Memphis Melrose junior guard commits to Tennessee

Coach says 'he's a program changer'

MEMPHIS - Having played before whom he intends to be his college coach last Monday at FedExForum, Melrose High School junior guard Chris Jones said late Sunday night he has committed to the University of Tennessee.

"They've been at me since the ninth grade," said Jones, a 5-foot-9 standout whom Rivals.com ranks the No. 36 overall prospect in the Class of 2011 and the No. 10 junior point guard prospect nationally.

Jones' Melrose team beat Germantown, 85-61, last Monday at FedExForum as part of the Memphis Grizzlies' eighth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl sat courtside during the game, watching Jones contribute 18 points, 10 assists and four steals for the Golden Wildcats.

"I really feel comfortable playing for Tennessee. Coach Pearl and I made that bond with each other," Jones said Sunday.

As a sophomore last season, Jones averaged 17.6 points, eight rebounds and six steals while leading Melrose to a 29-7 record.

Melrose coach Jermaine Johnson said Jones had been a soft commitment to Tennessee since the fall.

"He went on and committed after we played Germantown, whole-heartedly," Johnson said. "He's a program changer.

"Anytime you can get a point guard who's just fearless, a competitor and one of the hardest workers you've ever come across, it's just priceless. Chris has really turned around the Melrose High School basketball program, and I think he'll do the same at Tennessee."

Johnson said he'll seek another year of eligibility for Jones, who turns 19 in July, next year at Melrose through a hardship request to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association.

"After the season, I'm going to submit a hardship because he definitely has a hardship case," Johnson said. "If the TSSAA doesn't rule on his hardship for next year in a positive way, then he'll go to Hargrave Military (Academy) in Chatham, Va., (for his senior season)."

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Comments » 36

ArealVolFan writes:

KNS is terribly behind. We have had this and like 3 other football commits, and they have only reported on 2. Terrible on reporting.

UTByrd writes:

.Welcome to the VOL Nation. Looking forward to watching you and the rest of the basketVols.
Go VOLS!!!!!

dvols writes:

yes

VolWalker writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

KNS is terribly behind. We have had this and like 3 other football commits, and they have only reported on 2. Terrible on reporting.

Go pay a subscription to one of the other sites and troll around over there and quit your b-ing.

golfballs03 writes:

Yes! We will finally have some true point guards! He and Kevin Ware will make a sick backcourt. Now, let's get Chris' teammate Adonis Thomas. That kid is the gem of this class.

mike#208050 writes:

I wouldn't get my hopes too high, Memphis will sign Adonis Thomas who wants to play with his AAU teammates, Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black and Cris Crawford. Memphis is loaded with guards and they didn't recruit Jones.

Congrats Vols, you have a pretty good player here. There is another guard at Memphis White Station the Vols have a shot at too but none of them come close to Joe Jackson talent wise.

TIGRFAN in knoxville

dvols writes:

keep this pipeline!!!!!!!! two fingers round three fingers down............ what ya fav color!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! orange!!!!!!! mound!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

armyvol22 writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

KNS is terribly behind. We have had this and like 3 other football commits, and they have only reported on 2. Terrible on reporting.

ArealVolsFan where do you get your information. I would love to know where you look it up. Information is slow here.

GBO

GreerVol22 writes:

5-9 ??? He's only a junior, but dang thats short. Goins is the shortest man at 5-11 and he looks like a shrimp out there.

punkin writes:

in response to mike#208050:

I wouldn't get my hopes too high, Memphis will sign Adonis Thomas who wants to play with his AAU teammates, Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black and Cris Crawford. Memphis is loaded with guards and they didn't recruit Jones.

Congrats Vols, you have a pretty good player here. There is another guard at Memphis White Station the Vols have a shot at too but none of them come close to Joe Jackson talent wise.

TIGRFAN in knoxville

Why don't you put your caustic comment you made in the Memphis paper on here. Something about BP can't coach, I think. No one really cares who Memphis State signs. UT keeps beating them. Troll

Brillovol writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

5-9 ??? He's only a junior, but dang thats short. Goins is the shortest man at 5-11 and he looks like a shrimp out there.

Personally, I don't think 5'9" is that short. :) He will be my inspiration at that height!

ORNGFACTOR writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

KNS is terribly behind. We have had this and like 3 other football commits, and they have only reported on 2. Terrible on reporting.

They stay more on top of the negative sarcastic news.

The Tennessean is a great read.

BigHouse_of_IceGulp writes:

I like the assist and steal stats. Looks like just what we need. Anyone have any leads on a shot blocking/rebounder prospect for this years class we have a shot at?

Ironcity writes:

Its great to get a Point Guard and also a player from the Memphis area. Now we need to a big man to join the two guards for 2011. This team is looking quite small in 2011 and forward.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to mike#208050:

I wouldn't get my hopes too high, Memphis will sign Adonis Thomas who wants to play with his AAU teammates, Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black and Cris Crawford. Memphis is loaded with guards and they didn't recruit Jones.

Congrats Vols, you have a pretty good player here. There is another guard at Memphis White Station the Vols have a shot at too but none of them come close to Joe Jackson talent wise.

TIGRFAN in knoxville

It's an important development any time UT can get a good player out of Memphis, whether he's as highly regarded as others or not. When's the last time Memphis got a good player out of east Tennessee - or even middle Tennessee - or even west Tennessee outside of Memphis?

RoadTrip writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

5-9 ??? He's only a junior, but dang thats short. Goins is the shortest man at 5-11 and he looks like a shrimp out there.

Two words answers this one fellow Vol - Devan Downey. At 5-9 he is one of the top three players in the SEC.

richvol writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Two words answers this one fellow Vol - Devan Downey. At 5-9 he is one of the top three players in the SEC.

Exactly,I would take Devan Downey over any point guard I have seen in the last five years. If this kid is anywhere near as effective as Downey then we have a winner.

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

It's an important development any time UT can get a good player out of Memphis, whether he's as highly regarded as others or not. When's the last time Memphis got a good player out of east Tennessee - or even middle Tennessee - or even west Tennessee outside of Memphis?

Sorry, but Memphis doesn't need to get players out of East/Middle TN because of the talent in Memphis. It's much more important for the Vols to recruit better in Memphis.

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

5-9 ??? He's only a junior, but dang thats short. Goins is the shortest man at 5-11 and he looks like a shrimp out there.

Point guards are typically short....

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to mike#208050:

I wouldn't get my hopes too high, Memphis will sign Adonis Thomas who wants to play with his AAU teammates, Joe Jackson, Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black and Cris Crawford. Memphis is loaded with guards and they didn't recruit Jones.

Congrats Vols, you have a pretty good player here. There is another guard at Memphis White Station the Vols have a shot at too but none of them come close to Joe Jackson talent wise.

TIGRFAN in knoxville

I'm glad you guys signed some talent. You're going to need it in the years to come against Tennessee and your awesome conference, which the Tigers aren't even going to win this year...

Go UTEP!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to cooper65#432178:

Sorry, but Memphis doesn't need to get players out of East/Middle TN because of the talent in Memphis. It's much more important for the Vols to recruit better in Memphis.

Yes, I agree that Memphis doesn't 'need to' recruit anywhere else but Memphis, generally. But by the same reasoning, Tennessee doesn't 'need to' recruit in Memphis, either. We get terrific players from all over this state and out of state. But there's a difference between 'need to' and 'want to.' Tennessee wants to recruit in Memphis not just because there are good players there and not just because it is in the state, but also to deny those players to rivals like Memphis, Vandy, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Miss St, etc. When we recruit well in Atlanta, we deny those players we sign to SEC rivals like Georgia, Auburn, SC, etc, who also recruit in that area.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to brownsvillevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Memphis paper states that he may not have the grades to finish at White Station next yr. and he may therefore go the Hargrave Military next yr. I'm not sure how good he is, but he outplayed (statistics wise) Joe Jackson in his last playoff game according to Commercial Appeal.

rdgshackelford writes:

in response to bigorangekoolaid:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Only 3 of Pearls players have left after two years. Age was not a factor in a single one of those cases

All_Vol writes:

in response to bigorangekoolaid:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Baseless and wrong. Lets hear of all the recruits you speak of.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I don't mean to be unduly critical, but could someone interpret that first sentence for me?

TigerVet writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

The Memphis paper states that he may not have the grades to finish at White Station next yr. and he may therefore go the Hargrave Military next yr. I'm not sure how good he is, but he outplayed (statistics wise) Joe Jackson in his last playoff game according to Commercial Appeal.

he attends Melrose High School, and its not because of grades that he may have to go to a prep school.
reading is fundamental!!

murrayvol writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I don't mean to be unduly critical, but could someone interpret that first sentence for me?

At the end of the "sentence" he committed to UT. That's good so I think I'll just let the rest of it pass. ;)

johnlg00 writes:

in response to GreerVol22:

5-9 ??? He's only a junior, but dang thats short. Goins is the shortest man at 5-11 and he looks like a shrimp out there.

Oh, yeah, we couldn't POSSIBLY use anybody the size of Downey at SCar(;-P)! It is nice to have size at any position but a short PG is not necessarily a "can't-play" type of deal. There is NOTHING more irritating than having a quick, stumpy little guy constantly digging at your dribble while you are trying to bring the ball up court. He may not block anybody's vision, but he can surely keep you busy enough that you don't dare look anywhere else while he's there.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BigHouse_of_IceGulp:

I like the assist and steal stats. Looks like just what we need. Anyone have any leads on a shot blocking/rebounder prospect for this years class we have a shot at?

I agree that we could REALLY use some big, strong post guys after all these guards we have been recruiting lately. I love quickness as much as anybody, but we need some board-bangers coming in, too. Hopefully, these new guard prospects will inspire some big uglies to climb aboard.

thsvolfan15 writes:

this kid played in the arbys classic against trae golden. he and adonis thomas killed everyone in the one of the best tournaments in the whole country. oh and chris jones won the tournament mvp award, not adonis thomas or trae golden or tim hardaway jr. so i saw the kid play in all of his games at the tournament and he was the most impressive player in the whole thing as a junior. trust me...getting this guy was HUGE.

cobbwebb writes:

if pearl can tap into memphis, and get half the top players, you know memphis will get their fair share, he could take this program to another level! he has already started a pipeline in and around the ATL.(please see atlanta celtics) with k. ware, mcrae, and golden! also t. harris could be big for us in the new york area! those three areas could be all a coach needs to be successful!!!
GO BIG ORANGE!!!!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to TigerVet:

he attends Melrose High School, and its not because of grades that he may have to go to a prep school.
reading is fundamental!!

My mistake, you're absolutely correct - I was reading about the White Station game also and got my facts mixed up! Don't mean to start any rumors on this site!! He is applying to TSSAA for a hardship case to continue at Melrose next yr. He is 18 now and will turn 19 in July.

Slystone writes:

Good pick up by the Vols. Pearls persistence may finally pay off. The one element ppl say about the Vols is that they need a point guard.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

We have a 6'6" post player who transferred from Marquette. Coach Pearl will get what he needs.Just give him time. Hall will be a junior and Harris a Sophomore. We are in good shape

BigOrangeVol writes:

No Center in the 2010 or 2011 classes? Am I the only one that is concerned about that?

hueypilot writes:

Just curious but does anyone know who pays for these kids to go to these prep schools like Oak Hill and Hargrave? They've got to be pretty expensive, right? Just wondering.

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