Notre Dame Basketball

Coach: Point Guard Jalen Cone A Dynamic Scorer

April 29, 2019
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Fredrick Cannon admits he often struggles to describe Jalen Cone’s game.

“It’s kind of hard to explain until you see it and how he throws it down,” the Director of Team Felton Basketball says of the North Carolina point guard. “We run lob plays over the top of 2-3 zones. He’s just a freak of nature to be somebody of that size and get up and elevate like that.

“To be 5-9, 5-10 and finish at the rim, not too many can do it at his size like that. He’s got multiple 50-point games this year. He’s done it over the course of his whole career. He’s a dynamic scorer, ballhandler and playmaking general.”

It’s the combination of Cone’s gifts that make him such a lethal scorer, according to Cannon.

“He’s so fast that defenses have to respect his speed,” Cannon says. “Once they give him a step, his pull-up jumper is about as good as it gets. You don’t see too many kids with mid-range games, but he stops on a dime and elevates. Once he hits one or two of those, he’s one of the types of kids who can hit eight or nine.

“He has unlimited three-point range. He does it off the bounce, off screens. He’s just very skilled and it makes the game very easy for him even with his size.

Cone has offers from schools like Wake Forest, NC State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Stanford, Providence and Ole Miss among others. He’s taking an official to Virginia Tech this week and has plans to take officials to Tennessee and Texas A&M next month.

Of late, Notre Dame has shown some serious interest.

“Coach (Ryan) Humphrey was the initial coach getting involved several months back,” Cannon explains. “I know he’s been down here several times and I believe the whole staff came down recently.”

Cannon said Cone would “absolutely” fit at Notre Dame.

“A lot of times, the misconception with kids from North Carolina won’t leave North Carolina,” he says. “But just for instance, his brother plays football at the University of Wisconsin and they go and travel and support him at all of his games.”

Cone’s brother, Madison, is a junior cornerback for the Badgers.

“Distance is not an issue,” Cannon reiterates. “It’s definitely going to be about fit and need for Jalen. Geography isn’t going to play a major issue. It’s more so going to be style of play and the relationship with the coaching staff. The good thing about Notre Dame being in the ACC, his family will be in driving distance of like six or seven games depending on how the schedule plays out.

“I think it’s really going to come down to who the surrounding pieces are around him.”

Cannon adds “Jalen is a very spiritual kid.”

 “His teammates love playing with him,” he continues. “He brings a lot of fun energy to the situation. If it worked out for Notre Dame to get a kid like that, I think he’s definitely going to fall in line.”

There’s been an interesting development in his recruitment of late as some schools have talked to the 2020 prospect about potentially reclassifying and coming in as a member of the 2019 class, but Cannon thinks that may be receiving more attention than is warranted.

“That wasn’t initiated by him or his family,” Cannon stresses. “That was just schools throwing that out there to him. I don’t know how heavy he is considering that. I know he’s listening to it, but it’s not a deal-breaker to him.

“I think schools are really just trying to lock him in for 2020. I haven’t heard many schools say, ‘Hey, we’re going to bring you in and give you the ball a whole year early.’ It’s mostly, ‘Let’s get you in our system.’ I think schools are just trying to get their bid in early to get him for 2020.”

Cannon believes some schools have found themselves with open scholarships they didn’t know they’d have earlier in the process and are looking to fill them.

“I don’t think it’s holding as much weight as some people are placing on it right now,” he says. “The kid still wants to be a kid too. I think that’s what he’s weighing with his family. You’ve got the prom and trying to win a state championship, stuff you can’t get back. They’re very aware of the situation.”

Whenever Cone’s college career starts, Cannon believes he’ll be a contributor.

“He’s capable of taking games over, I don’t know how realistic that is in the ACC during his first two years,” he says. “But as a shooter, ballhandler and distributor, I think he can play a role his first two years. By the time his third and fourth years come around, I think he’ll be an all-conference type of talent.”

But while some schools are trying to get him to rush off to college, he won’t do that with the process.

“I know there’s no rush to make a decision.”

 
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