Derrick Jones unraveled the bandage tape from his left wrist, crumpled it, and hurled it to the Life Center sidelines. The area's best high school basketball player had skated through the last few possessions Thursday afternoon at the Battle of the Borders AAU event.

But now his nose was bleeding from an opponent's head butt. Jones found his motivation.

He crossed the court, caught a pass near the left sideline, and leaped toward the net. Jones held the ball in his left hand and extended it behind his head. As Jones reached the rim, he rocked his arm and used his left wrist - the one freed from tape - to snap the ball through the rim.

"Everyone wants to play physical with me because they say my size is kind of weak," said Jones, a slender, 6-foot-7 wing player who will be a senior this fall at Archbishop Carroll. "But it's not true."

Jones received a scholarship offer before the game from Southern Methodist, and he is planning visits this summer to Auburn, Indiana, Louisville, Kansas, and Kentucky. Auburn made an offer last week.

Connecticut, which Jones visited earlier this month, remains in the mix. Georgetown has begun to show interest. Syracuse assistant Gerry McNamara watched Jones' first game on Thursday. The Orange offered him a scholarship last year.

ESPN ranks Jones as a five-star recruit and the nation's 27th-best prospect in the Class of 2015.

"It feels great just having any coach at your game," Jones said. "But having coaches like that watching you play is just a great honor."

Always known as an outstanding athlete with an ability to dunk, Jones has continued strengthening his all-around game.

He locked down his opponent - the one who head- butted him - for most of the second half. He dribbled at a defender, spun around him, and sank a fade-away three-pointer before crashing to the court. He rushed on a fastbreak, bounced the ball behind his back, and hit a layup while absorbing contact.

"When they find out that I'm more than just a dunker, their interest will be even more in me," Jones said. "Hopefully, they'll take me in and better my game even more, so I can make it to the next level. . . . Hopefully I can make it to the NBA."

Owls offers

Temple football offered scholarships in the last week to three wide receivers: Good Counsel (Md.) senior Keon Paye, Palmyra junior Kelvin Harmon, and Archbishop Wood sophomore Mark Webb.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Paye also has offers from North Carolina and Towson. He is a three-star recruit, according to Rivals.com. Harmon (6-2, 180 pounds) has an offer from Rutgers. It is Webb's first offer.

@matt_breen