Vanderbilt star Damian Jones to enter NBA Draft

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It’s rare that you hear players come out and say it this early in the season, but Vanderbilt’s junior center Damian Jones will be leaving for the NBA after this season.

“This is my last go-around,” Jones told the Tennessean. “But all that means is that I want to give it all I’ve got. I want to push this team and get to that next step while I’m here.”

Jones declaring for the draft wouldn’t really shock anyone. He’s currently as the No. 16 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by Draft Express, while other outlets have him pegged as a lottery pick. If he lives up to his hype — and we expect him to — than the smart move would be for Jones to declare.

READ MORE: NBCSports.com’s SEC Season Preview

“If he is going to get picked anywhere near where they are projecting him to be picked, he’ll leave after this season,” Stallings said.

Jones averaged 14.5 points and 6.5 boards for the Commodores last season. Vandy finished in the middle of the SEC pack, but they won eight of their last ten regular season games and enter this year picked second in the conference, behind only Kentucky.