Mountaineers may be moving on without Kevin Jones

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West Virginia’s rebuilding year may not include Kevin Jones.

The junior power forward will declare for the NBA draft but may not hire an agent, according to a report on The Journal News.  The odds of him returning to school seem high – he’s not on any mock draft projections and is only rated 29th among juniors on draftexpress.com – but after Jones’ brother, Gerard, talked to NBA scouts at the Portsmouth Invitational, he’s optimistic about his brother’s chances.

“A lot of scouts are really high on him if he does come out this year,” the elder Jones told the paper.

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If he does stay in, that leaves the Mountaineers without its best all-around player from a 21-12 team. The 6-8 power forward averaged 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds last season, his second as a starter. He wasn’t quite as efficient as his 2009-10 campaign, but that makes sense. Teams could key on De’Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks then.

Jones would be the sixth player gone from this season’s team, joining seniors Casey Mitchell, Joe Mazzulla, John Flowers, Jonnie West and Cam Thoroughman. Quite the exodus. West Virginia also adds eight (8!) new players to the roster for next season.

If I had to guess, I’d say both factors influenced Jones’ decision.

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