The return of guard Andrew Jones bodes well for Shaka Smart’s club entering the 2017-18 season.
Jones will join the No. 9-ranked recruiting class in the nation per ESPN.com, highlighted by 6-foot-11 Mohamed Bamba who signed last week.
Bamba is projected as the No. 4 pick in 2018 per DraftExpress.com, while Jones is at No. 20.
Texas finished 11-22 last season, 4-14 in the Big 12. They lost leading scorer Tevin Mack to transfer (Alabama) and second-leading scorer Jarrett Allen to the NBA Draft
Jones elected to withdraw his name for the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft and return for his sophomore season. He recently participated in the NBA Draft Combine and attended several individual and group workouts for selected NBA teams.
“I really enjoyed the experience, and I believe I got the most out of being able to play against top competition throughout this process,” Jones said. “I would like to thank the NBA executives for allowing me to workout for them and participate in the combine. I feel that I learned a lot and hope to carry that over into my sophomore season.”
During his freshman season, Jones played in all 33 games (23 starts). He tied for the team lead in assists (117, 3.5 apg) and ranked second in steals (41), third in scoring (11.4 ppg), fourth in minutes played (27.9 mpg) and tied for fourth in rebounding (3.9 rpg).
Jones reached double figures in scoring 22 times this season and converted 77.5 percent (86-111) from the free throw line. In Big 12 Conference play, he averaged 12.1 points in 31.5 minutes per contest and posted 71 assists against 45 turnovers (1.58 ratio).
“Andrew has taken a mature approach to gathering feedback from NBA teams about areas where he can continue to grow,” Smart said. “His work ethic has been terrific, and he is highly motivated to develop and help his team win. Our coaching staff is very excited to help him continue to move forward, on and off the court.”
JEVON CARTER RETURNING TO WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia guard Jevon Carter has withdrawn his name from the 2017 NBA Draft and will return for his senior season at WVU.
“I’m excited about coming back to West Virginia and playing with my teammates for my senior season,” Carter said. “The entire NBA process was a great experience for me and to gain valuable feedback that I can use to prepare for the future.”
A native of Maywood, Illinois, Carter led the Mountaineers in scoring at 13.5 points per game and in steals with 92 on the season. Carter was named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year, the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year, All-Big 12 Conference Second Team and to the All-Big 12 Defensive Team for the third year in a row.
“Jevon went through the process in a systematic and professional manner by exploring his options,” WVU basketball coach Bob Huggins said. “He was able to gain feedback from NBA professionals that will help him in the future. We’re pleased that he will be a Mountaineer for his senior season.”