Dillon Jones picked up his first major offer and it was close to home.
South Carolina offered the Keenan junior forward/guard after an unofficial visit to the school Wednesday. It was Jones’ first power five offer. His others included College of Charleston, Maryland-Eastern Shore and South Carolina State.
“Coach Martin was just telling me whole recruiting process,” Jones said. “I think they liked the improvement I have been making. I have lost a lot of weight. Coach Martin could tell that have been working on my body and getting better and working on my shooting.”
USC watched Jones during its team camp over the summer. He said the USC coaches liked his versatility and ability to play any position on the floor. The 6-foot-5 junior has the range to play point guard or center depending on the matchup. As a freshman, Jones and teammate Dantrell Sligh-Rogers guarded future Duke signee Zion Williamson at the Chick-fil-A Classic. They held the five-star recruit to 19 points, a night after he went for 53 points, in 57-54 win over Spartanburg Day.
“I wasn’t really scared, because that is how I was raised up – to guard bigger players and to come up on the big stage,” Jones said after the game in 2016.
Jones went to plenty of USC games growing up. His brother, Eric Washington, was a ball boy for the Gamecocks and went on to play at Miami (Ohio) and is playing overseas in Hungary.
This summer, Jones has worked hard improving his game with his brother and working on his body at Athlete’s Arena. He weighed 240 pounds last summer and is down to about 215-220.
As a freshman, Jones contributed to Keenan’s 2017 Class 2A title championship. This year, he averaged 10.2 points and eight rebounds a game last season for the Raiders, who made it to the Class 2A Upper State title game.
During the summer, he played AAU for Upward Stars 16U SE team along with Dorman’s PJ Hall and Myles Tate. Hall and Tate picked up offers from the Gamecocks this summer.
“The possibility of all us linking up at USC would really be something,” Jones said.