Matt Jones Journal: Vol. 3

Duke commit updates Blue Devil fans on the latest happenings on his path to Durham

What's up Duke Fans?

It's been a while since my last journal entry, but I'm excited to updated everyone on what's been happening.

SEASON RECAP:

My high school season ended with a heartbreaking loss that could have sent us to states. We finished the year 38-4 and I ended up averaging 19 points and eight rebounds per game. I feel like I learned a lot about myself and my team through all the ups and downs from the year. We are all hard working guys that come to work each day and push ourselves to be better. We're looking forward to next season and improving on what we were able to accomplish this season.

Individually I felt that my game grew and evolved as the year progressed. I am more explosive than I was at the same time last year, and I feel that my handle is much tighter as well.

Since the season ended I've been enjoying some downtime and using it as an opportunity to refine the areas of my game that need it the most. You can always tweak things, and I feel that I need to be really sharp as I start my last summer of AAU ball.

When I've had time to myself, I've just enjoyed being a normal kid. Every now and then I'll go out and get a few games of bowling in with friends, or just hang out in general. Just being a normal kid for a while.

Speaking of heartbreaking losses, it was tough to watch my guys at Duke end the season they way they did. I thought we had a real chance to make some noise in the tournament, but it didn't happen. I was shocked and sad to see what happened against Lehigh, but it was still a great year and the team did some amazing things.

After their season ended I had a chance to talk to the coaches and they are really excited for the future. Everyone is really optimistic with Mason coming back and I know everyone at Duke is going to be working hard this summer.

RECRUITING:

A lot of guys I play AAU and high school with are really getting into the recruiting process at this time. It's a relief for me knowing where I'm going though. I can spend all my efforts hitting the books and putting in work on the court and preparing for college as a student athlete. It's a real benefit knowing the level of competition I'm going to be working with every day at the next level, so I know what I have to prepare for.

I don't really feel like making an early decision causes you to miss out on anything at all. I've always tried to live my life with no regrets and when I made my decision to commit to Duke, I went through all the steps and over all the factors with my family. I felt confident in the decision and am glad to have that part of the process behind me.

Of course being a Duke recruit can mean having a target on your back. I felt a little bit of it as the year wore on and after the team lost in the tournament. It's important for me to just remain confident and content with who I am and to continue to work harder every day knowing there are people who have put a target on my back.

When it comes to recruiting other guys, I guess I could be the guy now with Rasheed heading to Durham. You know I'm recruiting my guy Julius Randle hard. We've been playing together since the fifth grade, and it's only right that we tag along together to Duke.

I'm also working on Jabari Parker. That guy is a beast on the court and a really cool person off the court. My pitch to all the guys is to come in and play for the best coach in the country, in front of the best fans in the country, and to play somewhere that's always on the national stage. It's a challenge and an honor.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Like I mentioned earlier, this will be my last summer of AAU ball and I'm definitely looking forward to getting back out on the circuit. Playing in the EYBL lets us play against some of the top players in our class, which is what I look forward to the most.

When you're playing against the best, everyone is trying to show out and show what they can do, and what better place to do it than the EYBL?

Not only is it a lot of fun playing high level games, but life on the road is pretty fun as well. I get to hang out with some of the best guys around for the whole summer. It's hard to ask for a better situation.

I appreciate the opportunity to check in with you all and I appreciate you reading my blog.

Until next time.

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