Henricksen: Simeon’s Messiah Jones commits to Drake

Messiah Jones of Simeon walk down against Young. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

Since coach Niko Medved was hired at Drake a little over six months ago, he and his staff have made Illinois a recruiting priority.

That plan and work put in paid dividends Sunday night as Simeon’s Messiah Jones committed to Medved and the Bulldogs.

“They have been there from the beginning,” says Jones. “When I went on my visit it felt like home to me.”

The highly-athletic 6-5 Jones has been an unsung player at Simeon and one of the more unheralded prospects in the senior class in Illinois. Jones is among the City/Sububan Hoops Report’s top 15 prospects in the Class of 2018.

“I had a vibe with assistant J.R. Blount and coach Medved is going to take me in as family,” Jones added. “I can’t wait to get there and play for them.”

Jones is a workhorse around the basket as a force on the glass and an uncanny ability to block shots with his length and ability to get off the floor. The lefty has also continued to improve his perimeter face-up shooting since the completion of his junior season.

“Drake is getting a hard worker who will put his hat on every day and go to work,” says Simeon coach Robert Smith. “He will do whatever it takes and anything they ask of him. He reminds me a little of [former Simeon star] Ed Morrow in that way.”

Medved already has a commitment from Danville scoring guard Kendle Moore and is heavily involved with 6-3 point guard Xavier Pinson of Simeon. Pinson officially visited Drake with Jones in September and took an official visit to Kent State this past weekend.

Medved and the Bulldogs would love to make it a trio of Illinois commitments.

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