Guard from Ohio is Marquette's first commitment to the 2022 class
The Marquette men's basketball team has the first member of its 2022 recruiting class.
Sean Jones, a 6-foot point guard from Gahanna Lincoln High School in Ohio, announced his commitment to the Golden Eagles on Friday.
Jones picked MU over Xavier and Pittsburgh. He was offered a scholarship by the Golden Eagles in May and made an official visit to campus in late June.
New MU coach Shaka Smart and his assistants quickly pieced together a roster for next season with nine newcomers, including five freshmen. But Jones is the first player fully recruited by the staff since arriving at MU.
Gahanna coach Tony Staib started Jones from Day 1 his freshman season.
"We play in one of top leagues in Ohio," Staib said. "He had the skill to play at our level with our competition. He also had a calmness about him. Sean doesn't get too high. He doesn't get too low. Whether it's a 20-point game or a one-point game with 30 seconds to go, he was always such even-keel."
Jones is third player during Staib's time at Gahanna to get recruited by Smart. When Smart was an assistant at Akron, he landed Nate Linhart and then Rob Brandenberg was the first player to commit when Smart became head coach at Virginia Commonwealth.
"Talking with Nate Linhart and Rob Brandenberg, I think he does a great job with a family atmosphere," Staib said. "Relationships are rock solid. There's a level of caring more than basketball. I think Shaka does a great job relating that to players."
Jones fits the mold of the high-energy, scrappy guards who populated Smart's best teams at Texas and VCU. Playing with the All-Ohio Red AAU team, Jones was among the leaders in steals per game in the EYBL, Nike's premier grassroots league.
"He's one of the better on-ball defenders I've coached," All-Ohio Red coach Quentin Rogers said. "And I've had a handful of good point guards and he's right there with them.
"He can pick you up 94 feet. He's fast. He's strong. Great lateral quickness and anticipation. He's an exceptional on-ball defender. So I think that's going to help Marquette a lot when you can put someone like that on the floor that can neutralize or slow up the other team's point guard."
Rogers coached Jones three years in AAU with the young guard working diligently to polish his game.
"He added a pull-up jump shot," Rogers said. "He added range to his three-pointer. As a coach, I like to ask the player what areas they think they need to work on. Because a lot of these kids, they know. I put it on them. And so he went about making sure those weren't areas of concern."
According to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, Jones is the No. 149 recruit in the 2022 class. ESPN, which updated its rankings last month, has Jones as the No. 91 prospect in 2022.
On offense, Jones is a shifty ball-handler who can get into the paint and finish at the rim with either hand despite his size. He has good form on his jump shot. Jones averaged 17.5 points per game as a junior, leading Gahanna to the regional finals.
"I think after this decision, he has an ease to him," Staib said. "Now he can enjoy his senior year. He has 340 points to go to become the all-time leading scorer here at our school.
"This is a really good senior class. These are his buddies that he grew up with. So he can enjoy his senior class with his buddies and hopefully we can make another good run."