USC basketball coach Frank Martin, who did not fare well with his in-state recruiting for the 2018 and 2019 classes, has gotten a quick jump on the 2020 group. He recently offered 6-5 Dillon Jones of Keenan, his third offer to a 2020 in-state prospect. The others are Dorman teammates PJ Hall and Myles Tate who also are AAU teammates of Jones.
USC is the first Power Five conference offer for Jones who also has offers from the College of Charleston, SC State and Maryland Eastern-Shore. He visited Wednesday to meet with Martin and his assistants and walked away with his offer.
“It felt great, being that my hometown school is even giving me a chance,” Jones said. “I know a lot of people work for opportunities like these, so for me to be blessed with this opportunity is truly mind blowing. The visit was great. I love the family atmosphere. Its always good energy in the air. Everybody is so excited about the season. It’ll be fun to watch. Coach Martin just kept it real with me and told me about recruiting as a whole. I respect that.”
Jones added that he felt a real comfort level at USC and he drew similarities between the Gamecock program and his own at Keenan where he won a state championship as a freshman.
“USC reminds me a lot of my own high school, big on defense, big on communication,” Jones said. “They share a lot of similarities. I know if I decide to go to South Carolina I will have a good base on what Coach Martin is trying to do.”
Jones said he has talked once with Clemson recruiter Steve Smith but is not getting strong interest from the Tigers at this point. He also said it’s too early in the process for him to focus on a favorite.
“I’m only 16. I got time. I’m just having fun with it while I can.” He does not have any other visits planned at this point.
Last season Jones averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds per game.