All systems go: Jones commits to IU

A day after his disappointing loss to Butler, Kelvin Sampson received word of a player who is hoping to deliver IU some wins.

The only problem for the Hoosiers is he won’t be here for two years.

Fort Wayne native Eshaunte Jones verbally committed to play for the Hoosiers in an afternoon press conference at Fort Wayne North Side High School.

“I really wanted to stay close to home,” Jones said. “I think they have a really good coaching staff…and I think this will be a great opportunity for me.”

But the opportunity won’t come next season. The 6-foot-4 Jones has elected to attend prep school next season and join the Hoosiers as a freshman in 2008.

“Hopefully in a year he will improve body-wise and I think that will make him a better player,” North Side coach Mike Novell said. “His defensive end isn’t quite where his offensive game is right now.”

But Novell spoke very highly of his star player’s offensive abilities. He described Jones as a “tremendous offensive player.”

“He is great three point shooter and finisher. He has that special way of finding the basket and is a great passer,” Novell said.

(The rest of this article will appear in tomorrow’s newspaper)


  1. I know he is currently ranked in the top 100 by, say, Rivals . . . will he get a new ranking during his prep school year or will it be more like a JUCO situation where he won’t be re-ranked?

  2. He will be re-ranked. Usually when these kind of players go to prep school they shoot up the rankings too. I’d expect Eshaunte Jones to be a lot more of an appealing recruit in a year’s time.

  3. A verbal commitment? Don’t be surprised if he is contacted by Illinois the maximum number of times before the signing period next November. I have to think they want revenge!

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