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The Recruiting Guy

Former Hog says family friend a good pickup

By Richard Davenport

This article was published April 15, 2018 at 3:18 a.m.

arkansas-jabril-durham-4-reacts-to-the-crowd-after-a-turnover-in-the-final-seconds-of-the-game-to-give-arkansas-possession-of-the-ball-in-the-second-half-of-an-ncaa-college-basketball-game-against-vanderbilt-in-fayetteville-ark-tuesday-jan-5-2016-arkansas-won-90-85-in-overtime-ap-photosarah-bentham

Arkansas' Jabril Durham (4) reacts to the crowd after a turnover in the final seconds of the game to give Arkansas possession of the ball in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt in Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Arkansas won 90-85 in overtime. (AP Photo/Sarah Bentham)

Former Arkansas Razorbacks point guard Jabril Durham said he thinks the Hogs did well by signing junior college wingman Mason Jones on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period for basketball.

Jones, 6-5, 202 pounds, of Connor State College in Oklahoma, is relatively a newcomer to basketball and just finished his third season playing the sport. He and his family are close to Durham and his family.

Jones' older brother Matt was a guard for Duke in 2013- 2017 and is best of friends with Durham, while Durham's younger brother Isiah is also close friends with Jones.

"Growing up, me and Matt had both of our little brothers in the gym with us all the time, and after we all would go to each other houses and eat food," Durham said. "Last summer we did this every day, so this comes to no surprise to me that Mason is at Arkansas. I've seen the work he put in all summer. He took a similar route that I took, and it payed off. A lot of people doubted him in the city, and he proved them all wrong."

The younger Jones played his senior year at Triple A Academy in Dallas before attending Lincoln Prep and then junior college.

He averaged 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this season while shooting 51.5 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from beyond the three-point line and 77.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Durham is averaging a team-high 15.9 points and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from beyond the three-point line for the PVSK Panthers in Hungary.

Because Hungary is seven hours ahead of the Central time zone, Durham was awakened at 5 a.m. on April 7 and told of Mason's commitment.

"Everyone woke me up from sleeping, calling me to tell me Mason committed," Durham said.

Jones has reshaped his body after weighing 245 pounds at one time. He played at 240 during his senior year in high school and 230 last year before getting down to his current weight.

"Mason shoots just like his brother, deep-range, but also can get by his defender," Durham said. "Mason use to be a little chubby, so he always had to learn how to get separation. Now he has slimmed down over the years. He's a very skilled basketball player, and he comes from good stock. He has a great feel and IQ for the game as well."

Durham and his family was a good source of support and encouragement to Jones, and he said it's something he will not soon forget.

"They're like my second family," Jones said. "I've been through the tough times with the Durham family. They always took care of me regardless of the good and bad days. They definitely kept me going outside of my own family."

Jones also said he is glad to be a Razorback.

"To be a Hog, it means a lot," Jones said. "I'm part of a family that's going to be family for the rest of my life. I'm ready to get my journey started."

Email Richard Davenport at

rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 04/15/2018

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