One-third of the much anticipated 2016 Xavier recruiting class is upcoming freshman Tyrique Jones. The explosive forward from New England decided against signing with a member of the "Old Big East" (many thought Jones would be taking his talents to UConn), and is now expected to be an influential component of the Musketeers.
The hype around Jones is not unfounded. According to ESPN 100's top recruits analysis, Jones is the second most lucrative recruit in the state of Connecticut, and the 94th overall top prospect in the country. During his time at Vermont Academy, the four-star recruit slammed his way through the high school basketball scene.
Actually, "dunked his way to the top" sounds like the more accurate sentiment.
As highlighted in Scout Hoops, it's clear Jones possesses an inherent robust physicality. And while that stature leads to seemingly effortless domination in the paint within the high school circuit, Jones's entry onto the collegiate level marks a tougher caliber of opponents to break past.
Even so, his tenacity close to the bucket is undoubtedly a major addition to coach Chris Mack's team. Jones's drive to light up the scoreboard may not result in as many successful dunks as he's accustomed to, but he is sure to provide Xavier a stronger layup and rebound presence. Defensively, his 6'8 frame will likely lend itself to becoming a key aspect of Xavier's blocking efforts.
When examining the bigger picture, Chris Mack has cultivated his three-player recruiting class for this upcoming season with a respectable mix of athletic dynamism and further development potential. Jones is no exception to this theme. His forceful maneuvering close to the post hints at the promise of a high-octane Musketeer drive.
And while we must wait to see those moves IRL, at least we have Jones's "mixtape" to tide ourselves over.