DUNCANVILLE, Texas – Kentucky commit De’Aaron Fox has been regarded as one of the top point guards in the Class of 2016 for some time and his play continues to cement his place among the nation’s best.
Andrew Jones, a combo guard from Irving (Texas) MacArthur, has taken a different path. With questions surrounding his position, Jones has ignored them, and has used a solid summer and start to the season to shoot up the rankings to No. 35 overall by ESPN and No. 9 among shooting guards.
The matchup of star guards was the centerpiece of the final matchup at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest as Fox’s Cy Lakes faced MacArthur. The two-day showcase featured some of the nation’s top players such as Trae Young, Schnider Herard, J.J. Caldwell among many others.
And the two stars delivered, going head-to-head the entire game.
“Once the game began, we started to get into a groove,” Jones said. “We both were motivating each other and we told each other to keep playing hard and making shots.”
In the end, Cy Lakes wore down MacArthur for a 68-53victory.
Jones hit step-back jumpers along with several highlight-reel dunks and finished with 29 points, five rebounds and two assists. Fox’s stat line was 31 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and two steals. He too had a monster dunk and wowed the crowd with a coast-to-coast layup that took four seconds to end the third quarter.
“It was a good game on both sides,” Fox said. “I feel like we outlasted them.”
Fox credited conditioning and suffocating defense as big factors in the win.
“When you play hard on both ends of the court, you have to be in shape,” he said. “I feel like in the fourth quarter they got tired.”
Even while shooting 11-for-29 from the field, Fox was able to get into the paint at will and finish at the rim or kick out to a teammate for an uncontested shot. Fox made his mark, however, on defense, locking down his man and getting into the passing lanes the entire night.
Jones was more efficient, hitting 10 of 17 from the field, and four of eight from the three-point line. Jones proved that he belongs in the same conversation as Fox and if nothing else, Jones has the distinction of being the top available player at his position in the class, depending on how coaches view where he fits. Kobi Simmons from Alpharetta, Ga., is ranked as the No. 18 overall player in the class and is more of a true point guard.
Jones has a high motor and continues to get better. If his performance against Cy Lakes and Fox wasn’t impressive enough, Jones had 37 points (24 in the second half), 10 rebounds and seven assists in a win against Norman (Okla.) North on Friday at the Hoopfest.
With a game similar to that of NBA superstar Russell Westbrook, Jones is making a late case for McDonald’s All-American Game consideration. As far as recruiting goes, Jones has narrowed his short list down to Texas, SMU, Texas A&M, Arizona, Baylor, and Louisville.