Already expected to be an inexperienced team in Brian Wardle’s first season as head coach, the Bradley Braves will also have to account for the loss of their leading scorer in 2015-16.
Wednesday afternoon it was reported by the Peoria Journal-Star that Wardle has dismissed guard Warren Jones from the program. Jones, who was to be a senior this upcoming season, averaged 11.9 points per game last season and was the team’s leading returning scorer. Jones put forth that scoring average in 21 games, making just five starts, and he missed eight games due to a stress fracture in his foot.
Jones was also suspended for four games last season after being arrested on charges of using fake identification and underage drinking at a Peoria strip club in late-January.
Wardle issues the following comment to the Journal-Star regarding the dismissal of Jones from the program:
“I tell our student-athletes that where much is given, much is expected,” Wardle said. “Being a student-athlete at Bradley University is a privilege. In the classroom, community and on the floor, we have high expectations and standards in this program. When someone does not live up to them on a daily basis, changes need to be made. We are here to assist Warren if he would like to pursue other opportunities to continue his basketball career.”
Jones’ dismissal means that Bradley will have to account for the loss of its top five scorers from last season’s nine-win team, with senior point guard Ka’Darryl Bell being the leading returning scorer at 6.1 ppg. The Braves add eight freshmen to the program, and in total nine of their 13 scholarship players will be either freshmen or sophomores.