Texas may be without its leading scorer heading into conference play.
Longhorns coach Shaka Smart announced Monday that sophomore Andrew Jones suffered a hairline fracture in his right wrist and will be sidelined for the foreseeable future.
“Fortunately it’s not one of those injuries where he should be out for an extended long period of time,” Smart said at his news conference Monday, “but he’s going to miss at least the next few games before Christmas. They decided not to put it in a cast, which is good news.”
Jones suffered the injury last week against VCU when he took a number of tumbles to the floor. He’s averaging 15.3 points while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and 43.2 percent from 3-point range.
“It’s a tough injury for us because he’s our leading scorer and has done a phenomenal job for us this year,” Smart said. “We’re going to need everyone on our team, not just guards, but everyone on our team to step up and take a little more responsibility.
“Your margin for error is a little smaller.”
The Longhorns, who are 6-2 with losses to Duke and Gonzaga, face Michigan on Tuesday, Louisiana Tech on Saturday and Alabama next week. Jones is certainly out for those games, and his availability for Texas’ first Big 12 games – Dec. 29 vs. Kansas and Jan. 1 at Iowa State – would seem to be in question.
“We don’t have an exact timeframe,” Smart said. “It’s really good news they didn’t put it in a cast.
“We’re hopeful that we can get him back in three, four weeks, but that’s not a set timetable.”
Both of Texas’ McDonald’s All-Americans from its 2016 class will test the NBA waters.
Andrew Jones will declare for the draft, but will not hire an agent, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
The 6-foot-4 guard joins Jarrett Allen, the Longhorns’ star center, in utilizing the rule change that became available to players last year in which they can declare, workout for teams, attend the NBA combine and still return to school.
Jones averaged 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a freshman. He shot 42.5 percent from the field overall and 32.8 percent from 3-point range.
Allen seems the likelier candidate to remain in the draft as a potential lottery pick, but Jones came to Austin with similar one-and-done possibilities given his status as one of the class’ top recruits.
Texas, of course, is hoping both return, not just because they’re both big talents, but because incoming and highly-touted recruit Matt Coleman fills the major hole in last year’s lineup – point guard. If the three of them can share the floor together, Year 3 of the Shaka Smart era will be much more interesting.
Texas native and Class of 2016 guard Andrew Jones vaulted himself into four-star status with a strong month of July and the 6-foot-4 guard is now focusing on seven schools.
A native of Irving, Texas, Jones tweeted that he’s down to Arizona, SMU, Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Louisville.
During a very busy stretch last week, Jones took unofficial visits to Texas, Louisville, Texas A&M, Baylor and Arizona over a span of six days. Clearly, those unofficial trips had an impact on Jones as those schools make up five of the seven that currently sit on his list.
Playing with Pro Skills in the Nike EYBL this spring and summer, Jones averaged 13.3 points, 4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. During Peach Jam, Jones really made a strong impression on college coaches and scouts by averaging 18.4 points and 3.4 assists in five games at the event.
Although Jones went on the visit spree last week, he’ll likely set up official visits and figure out where things stand after seeing some more campuses. Currently unranked in the Rivals 150, Jones is sure to see his name on that list after looking like one of the more complete guards in the country during July.