The 6-2 Jones averaged 20.9 points, 7.6 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 steals as a junior last year, leading Apple Valley to the Class 4A state championship. Krzyzewski, winner of four national titles at Duke since taking over at the Durham, N.C., school in 1980, cultivated the relationship for years.
Jones made the announcement one week after DeLaSalle forward Reid Travis picked Stanford over the Gophers. Travis ranks No. 23 on ESPN’s Top 100 recruits.
The only member of Minnesota’s “Big Three” left to make his college choice is Rashad Vaughn, who sits at No. 17 on ESPN’s list. The former Cooper shooting guard is playing his senior season at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.
Jones said he and Okafor “feel that we can fit into [Duke’s] style of play right away as freshmen. And obviously Coach K — to have a chance to go and play under arguably the best coach of all time, and one of the best basketball minds out there, we felt like we would learn a lot under him.”
Emotions flowed for Jones throughout the half-hour announcement. The audience watched a two-minute video of his highlights, which ended with the words, “For Grandpa.”
Jones hung his head and wiped tears from his eyes. His mother’s father had passed away two days earlier. Jones also choked up several times when thanking his family, coaches, teammates, teachers and fellow students.
“The past four or five years — it’s kind of going through my mind, and I’m just thinking about all the phone calls, all the texts and all the trips,” Jones said. “It’s just been a long process, and I’m just excited for this day, to have this off my chest.”