Vols signee Jones going to juco first

Vols signee Jones going to juco first

April 29th, 2011 by Patrick Brown in Sports - Preps

KNOXVILLE - Tennessee basketball signee Chris Jones won't be wearing orange this fall.

Jermaine Johnson, the point guard's coach at Melrose High School in Memphis, told the Times Free Press early Thursday afternoon that Jones will go to Northwest Florida State College upon his graduation next month.

Former UT assistant Steve Forbes was hired as coach at the Niceville, Fla., junior college on April 13. Forbes was part of Bruce Pearl's staff that was fired in March amid major NCAA recruiting violations.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Jones, who averaged 30 points per game to take MVP honors after leading Melrose to the 2010 Class AAA state title, committed to the Volunteers in January 2010 and signed with UT last fall.

He began his senior year at Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military Academy, but the No. 39 player in the 2011 class according to Rivals.com was dismissed from the school in late January. Jones returned to Melrose in late March following a brief stint at Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte, N.C.

After meeting with new Vols coach Cuonzo Martin, Jones chose to stick with UT after considering asking for a release from his national letter of intent. Questions about whether Jones could qualify academically persisted, however, prompting the decision to go the junior college route.

Forbes began recruiting Jones when he was a freshman, Johnson said.

Point guard Wes Washpun (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and wing Josh Richardson (Edmond, Okla.) are UT's other two signees for the 2011 class.