Apple Valley's Jones has talent, poise beyond his years

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 16, 2012 - 11:19 PM

Apple Valley sophomore Tyus Jones (right, going up against Eastview's Joey King) had 39 points and 11 assists against the Lightning. “Pretty good for a point guard,” Apple Valley coach Zach Goring said.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

This kid is only a sophomore?

That question kept coming to mind Friday night as Apple Valley's Tyus Jones put on a point guard clinic in a 91-84 loss to crosstown rival Eastview, the state's top-ranked team.

Jones dazzled with dribble drives, pinpoint passing and pull-up jumpers. He executed the pick-and-roll perfectly and got his shot any time he wanted.

Jones didn't disappoint the largest crowd ever for an Apple Valley home game (school doors were closed at halftime of the junior varsity game, and some fans had to sit on the floor). His final stat line: 39 points, 11 assists, one turnover, five rebounds, three steals, two blocked shots. He made all 10 free throws he shot.

"Pretty good for a point guard," Apple Valley coach Zach Goring said with a smile.

And only a sophomore. That's the amazing part.

This is not some grand revelation, of course. Jones became a varsity starter in eighth grade and now carries a national profile.

He is rated the top point guard nationally in the Class of 2014 and No. 5 sophomore prospect overall by ESPN. He has a growing list of scholarship offers, including the Gophers, Ohio State, Michigan State, Arizona, Baylor and Marquette.

College coaches flock to his games. Michigan State's Tom Izzo has watched him play several times this season. Same for Tubby Smith. Ohio State's Thad Matta is expected to be in the stands Tuesday. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski talked to him on the phone this summer and sent his assistant Jeff Capel to watch him recently.

His recruitment is only going to multiply and intensify. That's why Smith and his staff should be able to find Apple Valley blindfolded. If Jones sneezes, they should be there to hand him a tissue (provided that sort of thing is permissible in the labyrinth of NCAA rules.) The Gophers might not land Jones, but it shouldn't be because he was under-recruited.

That type of scrutiny and attention brings pressure and, unfortunately, too often skews perspective. Recruiting at the highest level can create a sense of entitlement that is fostered and fueled by all parties -- prospects, parents, coaches, fans and media. We demand that college coaches treat elite prospects in a special way (see above paragraph) and then scoff when recruits begin to think they're special. We -- myself included -- feed the machine but get angry at what it spits out.

That is what made a conversation with Jones after his game so encouraging. He comes across as an emotionally grounded kid who understands that he is a star but isn't consumed by his status. He feels the buzz circulating around him but is determined to not allow it to change him.

"I just have to stay humble," he said. "[Recruiters] are here for a reason, and I can't get big-headed about that and start bragging. That's when people around you start to not like you. I'm a team-first guy. That's just how I was raised. I was raised to be a mature young man and be respectful. I'm not out here being cocky or anything like that."

He plays with swagger but not arrogance. He scores a lot, but he's not selfish. He considers himself a pass-first point guard, but his team is so young that Jones needs to be offensive-minded.

"I just like to make the right play," he said. "If I can set up my teammates to score, that's what I want to do because it makes the game fun. That keeps them involved, keeps me involved."

Jones is the main attraction, the reason so many people come to watch. At 6-2, he's not a freak of nature physically, but he's quick with the ball in his hands and strong on the drive. He's constantly looking to beat defenders off the dribble, but that doesn't mean his outside shooting is a liability. He's worked hard to develop that part of his game. He routinely gets to school at 6:30 a.m. so that he can lift weights or shoot jumpers before class starts.

"He just puts a ton of time in," Goring said.

He has plenty of time. Watch him play and it's easy to forget he's only a sophomore. There's no telling where this will lead.

"I'm still looking at every option because a lot can happen in two years," he said. "There's so much that can happen so I'm not really ready to make a commitment. You only have this opportunity once, so you might as well make the best of it."

Chip Scoggins •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 7
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: M. Melancon 0
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 2
Chicago WSox - LP: H. Noesi 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: C. Archer 3
Cleveland - WP: T. House 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: T. May 3
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: D. Keuchel 10
Cincinnati - LP: M. Leake 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Motte 8
San Francisco - LP: Y. Petit 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 3
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 5 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 8
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 16 4th Qtr 10:19
Toledo 34
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 28 3rd Qtr 9:24
Arizona 13
San Diego St 7 3rd Qtr 14:55
Oregon State 14
(2) Oregon 21 3rd Qtr
Washington St 21
Louisiana 3 3rd Qtr
Boise State 21
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 FINAL
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
Chicago 3
FC Dallas 1 2nd Half 15:00
Los Angeles 1
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM


Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29




question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do on Sunday in New Orleans?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters