Truck Bryant on Kevin Jones: 'He was jerked' | Zagsblog
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Friday / April 12.
  • Truck Bryant on Kevin Jones: ‘He was jerked’

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    NEW YORKKevin Jones is too proud, too humble and too much of a good guy to say anything more than that he is “disappointed” by what transpired over what turned out to be the final few days of his Big East career.

    But his longtime friend and roommate Darryl “Truck” Bryant isn’t afraid to let his feelings fly.

    “We’re roommates, we’ve been roommates for four years so of course we spoke about it but at the end of the day we both know he got jerked. We both know it,” Bryant, the former St. Raymond’s High School star, told exclusively following West Virginia’s final game in the Big East Tournament, a 71-67 overtime loss to UConn.

    Bryant was referring to Jones being left off at least one ballot for First Team All-Big East honors despite leading the conference in scoring and rebounding and then losing out on Big East Player of the Year honors to Marquette’s Jae Crowder.

    “Not so much disrespected as disappointed that every coach didn’t see what I tried to do out there on there on the court and try to lift my teammates every game with the passion I play with every game,” said Jones, the Mount Vernon, N.Y., native who finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

    “But things happen that’s out of our control. And that was definitely out of our control. So just gotta keep on moving forward.”

    West Virginia will begin play in the Big 12 next year without Jones, without Bryant, and the Big East will welcome in Temple.

    But Bryant still can’t believe what happened to his friend here in the last few days.

    “He averaged 20 and 10 every night,” Bryant said of Jones. “That’s just unacceptable for one coach to leave him out. I mean he’ s clearly dominant. He’s a heck of a player….He’s the most dominant player in the league.”

    The problem for the Mountaineers (19-13), whose NCAA Tournament fate now rests with the Selection Committee, is that Jones wasn’t allowed to be dominant down the stretch of this game.

    After the rugged forward helped West Virginia build a 63-54 lead with under four minutes remaining, he failed to score a single basket the rest of the way as UConn closed regulation and the extra period on a 17-4 run.

    “I don’t think he scored a heck of a lot over the last 15 minutes,” UConn coach Jim Calhoun said. “In fact, I don’t remember him scoring.”

    That’s because he didn’t.

    After Jones missed two attempts in the OT and Bryant’s shot was blocked, somebody named Paul Williamson was firing one off the side of the backboard for the Mounties.

    “[Jones] was playing with a bunch of freshmen that don’t have any idea what the hell they’re doing,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.

    “They look him off. They don’t mean to. They’re good kids, they don’t mean to.”

    Credit Shabazz Napier (26 points), Jeremy Lamb (22) and Ryan Boatright for stepping up for the defending NCAA and Big East champion Huskies, who are hoping to repeat their magical run of 2011.

    Two years ago, Jones won a Big East Championship here and then celebrated to the strains of “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

    He was hoping for one last special run in front of friends and family here at the Garden.

    “It’s just tough because me and Truck ┬ádefinitely wanted to go out winners of the Big East Tournament our senior year and it’s tough,” Jones said.

    Instead, Jones and his teammates head home uncertain of which tournament they will play in next.

    “I think they’ll make it,” Jerry Palm of told, “but it will be a nervous selection Sunday.”

    “We’ve played more games against top 100 people than anybody in the country,” Huggins said. “They say play a tough schedule, we have. We’ve played more games against Top 50 teams. We’ve done everything they’ve asked us to do other than maybe win a couple games.”

    Jones’s Big East career is now officially over, completed in a disappointing way for a proud warrior from “Money Earnin’ Mount Vernon.”

    Disrespected or not, he just wants a chance to continue his career on the biggest college basketball stage there is.

    “We’ve got to keep on moving forward,” Jones said in a statement that sums up his career, “and hopefully make it into the tournament and try to make a run in the tournament.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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