Tang Signs Transfer C.J. Jones

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang continued to construct his roster for the 2024-25 season with the signing of transfer guard Christian (C.J.) Jones (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis/UIC) to a Financial Aid Agreement on Monday afternoon (April 15).

A 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard, Jones arrives at K-State after 2 seasons (2022-24) at Illinois-Chicago (UIC), where he led the Flames in assists (159) and minutes played (1,102) while was second in scoring (11.4 ppg.) and steals (1.0 spg.) as a sophomore in 2023-24. He scored in double figures in 14 of his last 17 games – which was jumpstarted by a career-high 25 points against Bradley on Jan. 13 – while producing a pair of points/assists double-doubles. His 14 assists against Drake on Feb. 28 were the most by a Missouri Valley Conference player this season.

In his 2 seasons in Chicago, Jones averaged 9.0 points on 39.4 percent shooting (216-of-548), including 36 percent (54-of-150) from 3-point range, to go with 3.6 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 30.2 minutes per game while playing in 62 of a possible 65 games with 50 starts for head coach Luke Yaklich.

Jones is a former high school teammate of current Wildcat Macaleab Rich at East St. Louis High School, where the duo led the Flyers to a 27-6 record and a berth in the Class 3A Super Sectionals in 2021-22.

“We’re fired up to welcome C.J. and his family to K-State,” said Tang. “We had some familiarity with him having played with Buddy (Rich) at East St. Louis High School for head coach Mark Chambers. But C.J. stands out on his own. He is a big versatile guard with great decision-making abilities who can shoot the ball at a very high, efficient rate. We love his size and measurables (6-foot-5 frame with a 6-7 wingspan) and we think he can be an all-conference player as he continues to develop. We’re excited that C.J. and his family have chosen to continue his basketball career at K-State. We know this fan base is ready to embrace and welcome them to this community.”

Jones is the third player to sign with the Wildcats for the 2024-25 season, including the second Division I transfer following Dug McDaniel (Washington, D.C./St. Paul VI Catholic VI/Michigan) on April 4. The pair join top-50 high school prospect David Castillo (Bartlesville, Okla./Sunrise Christian Academy [Kan.]), who signed on Nov. 8.

In all, Jones scored 556 points in his UIC career on 39.4 percent (216-of-548) shooting, including 36 percent (54-of-150) from 3-point range, and 63.6 percent (70-of-110) from the free throw line to go with 221 assists (3.6 apg.), 170 rebounds (2.7 rpg.) and 54 steals (0.9 spg.) in 1,870 total minutes (30.2 mpg.).

Jones posted double figures in 26 games, including three 20-point efforts, with 14 of those double-digit scoring games and two of those 20-point performances coming in the last 17 games this past season. In that stretch to end the season, he averaged 13.7 points on 44.8 percent shooting, including 40.5 percent from 3-point range, with 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 34.4 minutes per game. In addition to his 25 points against Bradley on Jan. 13, he scored 22 points against George Washington on Nov. 25 and 24 points against Northern Iowa on Feb. 11.

This past season, Jones averaged 11.4 points on 42.5 percent (150-of-353) shooting, including 37.8 percent (31-of-82) from 3-point range, to go with 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 33.3 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 18 times, including three 20-point games. He led the Flames in assists (159) and minutes played (1,102) while he was second in scoring, field goals made and steals (31). He ranked in the Missouri Valley top-10 in both assists (4.82/4th) and assist/turnover ratio (1.71/10th) while he was 11th in minutes.

Jones had a pair of points/assists double-doubles in 2023-24, including a Missouri Valley high 14 assists to go with 16 points in a 3-overtime loss to Drake on Feb. 28. He also had a 17-point, 10-assist performance against Evansville on Feb. 21. He totaled three double-digit assist games during the year, which included an 11-assist effort against Western Michigan on Dec. 16.

As a true freshman in 2022-23, Jones played in 29 of 32 games with 19 starts. He averaged 6.2 points on 33.8 percent (66-of-195) shooting, including 33.8 percent (23-of-68) from 3-point range, to go with 2.1 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 26.6 minutes per game. He scored in double figures 8 times, including a season-high 15 points twice, first against Northeastern on Dec. 18, 2022, and again against Indiana State on Feb. 15, 2023.

Jones played 2 seasons at East St. Louis High School in East St. Louis, Ill., where he led the Flyers to a 27-6 record and a berth in the Class 3A Super Sectionals in 2021-22. As a senior, he averaged 15.5 points on 38.9 percent shooting with 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. He scored a season-high 31 points against Rockford East in his second game of the season.

K-State finished the 2023-24 season with a 19-15 record, including a tie for ninth in the Big 12 with an 8-10 mark, and advanced to the NIT. Among the Wildcats’ 19 victories were 4 over Top 25 teams, including 3 in the Top 10. The team has won 45 games in head coach Jerome Tang’s tenure, including consecutive postseason appearances.

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