Tyus Jones feels out Gophers’ new staff

Jace Frederick

Tyus Jones is still getting to know the Gophers’ coaching staff.

The 6-foot-1-inch Apple Valley point guard — and third-ranked recruit in the class of 2014, according to Rivals — averaged 22 points and and seven assists as his Howard Pulley Amatuer Athletic Union team went 5-0 at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball event in Eagan last weekend.

Jones said he’s still in the feeling out process with Gophers’ head coach Richard Pitino and his staff.

“I’ve been in contact with him every so often,” Jones said. “I’m just trying to build a relationship with him and go from there.”

Jones looks at a multitude of factors when sifting through his college choices.

“You look at the schooling. Education first,” he said. “Then you just look at a lot of little stuff –who else they’re recruiting, how the coach coaches, you know the style of play and the coaching philosophies and stuff like that. Also you look at the coaches’ relationships with his players.”

The up-tempo style of play Pitino plans to bring to the Gophers is particularly attractive to Jones.

“It fits,” he said. “I’m trying to go somewhere where I can get up and down and really just play basketball — not really too structured — so it helps.”

Jones sees enthusiasm from the new Gophers’ staff.

“(They’re) just hungry and excited to get going,” he said. “They’re challenged and new opportunities for them, so it’s exciting to see that they’re so into it and so passionate about it.”

Though the Gophers are included in Jones’ list of seven potential schools, he couldn’t say how high they ranked.

“I don’t really have an order with my list right now,” he said. “Everything’s just kind of wide open.”