Reporting David McCoy
APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) – The college basketball season ended Monday night with a Louisville victory, but the competition continues for another big prize: Apple Valley’s Tyus Jones.
Most figure Minnesota is a longshot to land Jones, the most coveted point guard in the country. But he continues to insist the Gophers have a chance.
“Minnesota is still on my list,” Jones said.
With Richard Pitino now in place for the Gophers, Jones says the U made a good decision.
“They’re still where they were before,” Jones said. “It’s a good hire though, for them. Coach Pitino seems like a good fit for them. He’s been around the game of basketball a long time, his dad’s in the Hall of Fame now, so you know he’s been around the game and he knows the game of basketball. So I think it was a good hire for them.”
One of Pitino’s first moves after the hire was a phone call to Jones.
“He’s a good guy. He knows his basketball. He’s hungry, and that’s one thing I got from talking to him. He’s excited to start working,” he said.
With their relationship just beginning, Pitino must act fast; he has a lot of ground to make up with the talented guard.
Jones says that’s OK, and he might even delay his decision if he needs more time to get to know Pitino. They plan to meet face-to-face for the first time next week.
“Just trying to feel him out, see his coaching style and his tendencies,” he said. “I feel that the coach is important in how they coach and their philosophies.”