Had a chance to talk to Tevian Jones after his workout in Champaign Saturday morning. But first let’s talk his workout.
His mentor didn't run the workout, so one of the managers ran it. The manager would suggest different drills, explain them and have TJ run through the drill. Jones almost glides across the floor. Very good feet. Excellent form. You can tell he's a shooter because he'd groan upon release if he didn't think it was going in and he was never wrong (not that he did that with every miss).
Best comparison that I can give for Tevian is Keita Bates-Diop (KBP, he former University High and current Ohio State star) but with a better jump shot for the same time in his career. When I first watched KBD between his sophomore and junior years, it was questioned if he was too thin, not quick enough, and was his shot good enough. It turned out he answered all those questions. For comparison purposes, Jones has a similar build, moves in a similar fashion, has a better shot, but isn’t quite as tall.
I had the opportunity to talk with him afterwards and what stood out was he is very patient with the fans (i.e. old fat guys like me talking with him). He will talk, focus on who he's talking to and be engaged in the conversation. He did a better job of engaging me in conversation than Jeff Teague did when he met my AAU team last summer. Much better. In fairness to Teague, being an NBA player, he’s probably bored with the whole fan thing.
If I had to peg this kid, I think he'll be a very strong college player with pro potential being based on how his body matures and how hard he will work at his craft (shooting). He isn't an uber-athlete but he's clearly a plus athlete at the college level. His throw the ball up, gather it, go between his legs and one hand jam it hard dunk was a thing of beauty. He wanted to end on a high note and the fans loved it.
His mentor made mention of Coach Underwood’s coaching winning percentage and seemed to think the offense was a good fit for Jones. He also mentioned that Jones is only 17 and that they're hopeful he might still grow another inch or two. If he gets to the 6'8" or 6'9" with the rest of his skill set, that would be a pretty imposing opponent come game time.
All in all it was a good one person workout. I think this kid will be successful wherever he chooses to play and I hope it will be in Orange and Blue.
Seemed like a great kid above and beyond being a very good basketball prospect.