Big South Opens Up Big Opportunities
While Jones acknowledges transfers are the name of the game in the MEAC, don’t be surprised if the program shifts its focus to the high school ranks. Especially as it moves to the Big South.
“Our emphasis now in our program, now that we’re going to the Big South the following year, we’re gonna continue to recruit JUCOs and transfers when we can but we’re really focusing our efforts on going out and trying to sign some of the better high school players in the country and we’re going to a league that’s going to allow us to do that,” he said.
Shooting for the (sons) of stars
A&T isn’t waiting to move to start trying to hone in on top talent. Waves were made earlier this year when A&T offered Zaire Wade — son of Dwyane Wade — along with LeBron “Bronny” James Jr.
“We wanted to really be aggressive in recruiting,” Jones told HBCU Gameday. “Coach (Ahmad) Dorsett he went out to LA, watched Zaire Wade play, their team. We offered those guys in their gym just to let them know that we’re going to go after the top players that we have a connection with.
“And if we do have a connection, we’re gonna try to work that connection until they say ‘you know what coach, you’ve done a heck of a job and it’s hard for me to tell you but I’m gonna go to Arizona or I’m gonna go to Kentucky.” As long as I’m captaining the ship, we’re gonna be aggressive in recruiting.
Looking to the future
Five months in to 2020, Jones is still listed as the acting head coach of the program. But with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping things up in the air throughout college athletics, Jones and his staff are keeping one eye on the future while keeping the current players locked in.
“We just wanted to make sure our guys finished strong first and foremost. We started to do weekly team meetings and build some positivity into the guys and explain to them what’s going on as far as the real world is concerned outside of basketball,” Jones said.
“We’ve been turning all the negatives into positives in Aggieland to let our guys know that we’re gonna get back out there one day soon,” he said.