Q&A with Louisville signee Chris Jones

NICEVILLE, Fla. - Northwest Florida State College point guard Chris Jones has signed to play next season for the University of Louisville basketball team. Jones is a former top-50 player nationally who was headed to Tennessee. He's considered the No. 1 junior-college player in the country. Jones sat down recently with Cardinal Authority and here are a few questions and answers from the interview.

Cardinal Authority: A lot of schools were recruiting you, what made you feel comfortable with Louisville?

Chris Jones: "I knew all the players they had from my class and felt comfortable that coach (Rick) Pitino could get me to get me to the next level. He knows what to do and how to make me do it to get there. Everybody out there who doubted me, you can come from anywhere and keep working and make it. I just stay in the gym and get better and better each year.

CA: What did coach Pitino tell you that made you feel so comfortable with him as a coach?

Jones: "He loves point guards. He's a great point guard coach and made me comfortable about that, and I've known coach (Kevin) Keatts a long time. He likes to work players out a lot. I know I am going to get better and better and better when I am there at Louisville."

CA: You wear No. 3 here at NW Florida?

Jones: "Yes. I wear No. 3 everywhere."

CA: Do you know who wears No. 3 at Louisville now?

Jones: "Yes, but he's going to be gone when I get there. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I think I can fill them because of my style of play. It's just an honor to know I am going to replace a great player like Peyton Siva."

CA: Coach Pitino saw you several times before you signed. What did he tell you need to improve before next season?

Jones: "Well, that's a funny story because he watched me in open gym. He said the only thing I needed to improve on is taking the ball out (of bounds) better. And I said, ‘What coach?' He said, ‘Taking the ball out better'. I just laughed. But then he said, he was just joking but you that I do everything good. He told me there were no holes in my game."

CA: Wow, how big of a compliment was that?

Jones: "Man, I couldn't stop smiling. I couldn't stop smiling for a while. That coming from him, it just made my day. My confidence went way up."

CA: So, are you working on taking the ball out?

Jones: "No, that's not going to be my job."

CA: What are your best attributes on the floor when you are playing your type of game and doing you thing?

Jones: "I like getting everyone else involved. I know I can make my shots and I will take my shots, but I like getting everybody else involved. That's big for me to see my teammates happy and being successful."

CA: How excited are you still to be headed to Louisville?

Jones: "The fans won't let me stop smiling. Every time I look on twitter there's always a good tweet to me from a Louisville fan or fans. I love it."

CA: Your favorite food?

Jones: "Well, I have to change now. (Coach Pitino) told me there was going to be none. My favorite food is wings, any kind of wings."

CA: Anybody you model your game after?

Jones: "Chris Paul and Kemba Walker, a little of both. Kemba is the same as me, he came out of nowhere and shocked the world. I saw how he played and said I want to be like that. He is a little guy and I am a little guy. He plays hard. So, I went to gym and tried all his moves. With Chris Paul, no words can explain him. He's terrific. He doesn't care how big you are. He takes on anything."

CA: The biggest influence on your life?

Jones: "I would say my high school coach (Jermaine Johnson). He has been there the whole way. He's my father figure. To this day, I tell him anything and everything. We talk every night. He really made me."

CA: Best memory in basketball, so far?

Jones: "Scoring 36 (point last season) in a college game against Pensacola during a conference game."

CA: Biggest weakness in your game?

Jones: "Being too unselfish at times. Like Kobe (Bryant) says, I could have a wide-open layup but I would give it up to my teammate."

CA: Your biggest strength?

Jones: "Getting to the rim. I haven't seen anyone who can stop me from getting to the rim. They have to play my jump shot."

CA: Who was the artist last played on your IPod?

Jones: "Future."

CA: The most popular song on your IPod?

Jones: "Everybody knows my favorite song - Never End by Future."

CA: How do you get ready for a game?

Jones: "I just put my headphones on. But I don't listen to hype music, I listen to music to calm my nerves. And that's why I listen to Future, he's not always talking thug stuff."

CA: Your ultimate goal in basketball?

Jones: "I want to make it to the NBA and stay."

CA: What would you want to do away from basketball?

Jones: "I want to be a firefighter. Those guys help a lot, saving lives. Just knowing that you could have to save someone's life is amazing to me."

CA: Your first thought when you heard someone say, ‘Chris Jones, No. 1 junior college player in the country'?

Jones: "I was like, ‘Wow.' Really, all I said was, ‘Wow'. I had to go see for myself. I've worked so hard and it's great that my hard work is paying off."

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