Tennessee Temple University has signed a legitimate big man for its first basketball season under coach Brac Brady: 6-foot-9 John Jones from Chattahoochee Tech.
Jones grew up in Louisiana but moved to Cobb County, Ga., in time to play three years of basketball for Campbell High School in Smyrna, interrupted by his junior season at Wheeler High in Marietta. He averaged about 10 points and eight rebounds a game as a Campbell senior, graduating in 2008, and about 10 points and seven rebounds two years later as a Chattahoochee Tech freshman, when he was limited by injury but played most of the second half of the season. He played only seven games for the two-year school last season.
"First of all, he's a nice kid. We might have to work to get the nasty out of him on the court," Brady said. "He's big and athletic. He jumps well and moves well for a guy his size. I think he's the kind of kid who can have an immediate impact."
Jones had discussions with some NCAA Division I schools, including Florida A&M and South Carolina State, as well as Columbus State in Division II and NAIA-going-NCAA Lee University.
His recruiting process was hampered, he said, because he has been helping his twin sister raise her three children, and TTU assistant coach Ezell Dodd said it was a "pleasant surprise" to learn Jones "was still available."