The highly touted 2012 recruiting class is expected to arrive in Bloomington to join a program many have projected to be the nation’s best next winter. The five 2012 signees will replace an outgoing group who came to IU at its bottom in the summer of 2008 and helped lead the Hoosiers all the way back to the Sweet 16 in March.
One of the key members of that group was Verdell Jones, a four-year starter who saw his senior season end abruptly in the Big Ten Tournament with an ACL tear in a win over Penn State.
Inside the Hall caught up with the Champaign, Illinois native on Wednesday for an update on his rehab, his plans to pursue a professional career and much more:
On what he’s been doing since graduation last month and how things are progressing with rehab:
“I hired an agent. Jared Hodges from WSMG. I was cleared last week to do more on the court stuff. I can do some light cutting now, I can do a lot more basketball stuff, a lot more shooting stuff, ball handling up and down. Nothing too vigorous. I can stairmaster, I can do elliptical, stuff like that. I’ve been cleared to do weight lifts, so now I’m just doing that almost every day. I’m doing a lot of basketball work with my dad almost every day. I haven’t felt pain in a while. The doctor said last week I was a couple weeks ahead of schedule, which is good. I’m going to keep working.”
On when he expects to be 100 percent and on his plans to pursue a professional career:
“The doctor said that I would probably be almost 100 percent by late September. As far as working out for teams, working out for overseas or NBA teams, I can probably start doing that in August. I missed a lot of the training camps and different camps that the NBA teams and overseas teams watch, but I hired a great agent and a lot of teams are waiting to see what happens with my knee. Every kid’s goal is to play in the NBA, but I have no problem playing overseas.”
On leaving Bloomington and getting back home and getting a chance to work out with his father and brother:
“It’s mixed feelings. I definitely miss the guys at IU. I loved working out with them. But it feels really good to be back with my dad. I feel like he was the guy who made me the high school player I was and allowed me the opportunity to go to IU. It feels real good. My dad, he knows a lot of my strengths and weaknesses. We’ve been trying to work on my outside shot, watching games. And my brother (Clayton), he’s trying to pursue his dreams, too.”