After averaging 14 points and 7.7 rebounds in his sophomore season with Baylor, he will declare for the NBA draft, sources tell CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman.
Jones III opted to come back for his sophomore season when many thought it appeared he would have been a lottery pick in the 2011 draft. He is once again predicted to fall into that lottery range in 2012.
The Bears finished 30-8 on the year, including 12-6 in Big 12 play, before losing to Kentucky in the Elite 8 in Atlanta.
Jones is a 6-11, 235-pound native of Duncanville, Texas, and has drawn praise from scouts for the potential that he holds, especially considering his athleticism and rebounding ability.
Throughout the season, Jones III garnered more than a fair share of criticism for his perceived lack of toughness and decreased production against top-tier opponents.
Criticism came the hardest in early February, when back-to-back games against Kansas and Missouri saw Jones III struggle, going a combined 3-for-20 from the floor and scoring just nine points.
He came back stronger in the final two games of his team’s run in the NCAA tournament, scoring 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting against in a win over Xavier, and 17 points in Baylor’s season-ending loss to Kentucky.
The news of his departure comes on the same day of a report that Baylor could face possible sanctions from the NCAA in connection with impermissible phone calls and text messages to prospective recruits.
Goodman also reports that freshman forward Quincy Miller is expected to make his decision soon.