Bryce Jones played a key role in one of the biggest upsets in the history of NJCAA national championship tournament earlier this year.
The Brooklyn native scored eight points and handed out six assists while leading Jones County (Miss.) College, the 11th-seed, to an 87-77 win over Indian Hills (Iowa), a traditional JUCO power in the title game.
The win was the cap to a standout freshman season for Jones, who has heard from a host of Division I programs that are interested in signing him even though he still has another season at Jones College before he picks the next stop in his college career.
UNT is just one of the schools that have tried to move to the front of the line of suitors early in the process.
Jones spoke to a member of UNT’s staff this week who told him that the Mean Green is looking for a point guard in the Class of 2015.
Mississippi State, Wichita State, Miami-Ohio, Iona and St. Francis are among the other teams who have spoken to Jones in the last few weeks.
“It’s a blessing to have so many teams checking in on me,” Jones said. “It shows that all the hard work I am putting in is paying off.”
Jones averaged 10.7 points and 5.2 assists a game last season.
The tournament run was special for the Bobcats, who finished 28-5.
“It was a special year for us to win the tournament,” Jones said. “None of us had ever started a college game before this season. No one looked at us like top players or a top team. We didn’t back down from anyone. There has been a lot of interest from that point on.
“We are getting calls now that school is getting out and are hearing from teams every day. Coaches know that we are winners and coaches want winners on their teams.”
Jones is waiting to see what opportunities could come his way over the next few months, when he will attend a series of camps for top junior college prospects and then play his sophomore year.
He should have several coaches watching his every move after a breakout freshman campaign.
“I want to wait things out and see how everything will go over the summer,” Jones said. “I will probably decide around the beginning of the season.”