Texas guard Andrew Jones has missed the better part of the past two seasons undergoing treatment for leukemia.
A former McDonald’s All-American who was averaging 13.5 points per game during a promising second season of college basketball during the 2017-18 season, Jones received his diagnosis after appearing in 10 games and didn’t play the rest of the year. Although Jones returned to the team to appear in two games last season, he also missed the majority of the Texas season to continue treatment.
Jones made his return to the team full time during the opening night of the college hoops on Tuesday night as he scored a career-high 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting to pace the Longhorns to a 69-45 win over Northern Colorado. Missing 23 months of basketball, Tuesday was an incredible moment for Jones as he was 4-for-5 from three-point range.
Finishing with 29 minutes on the night, it will be fascinating to see how Jones plays through the 2019-20 season. Highly-ranked coming out of high school, Jones was a double-figure scorer as a freshman who seemed to be turning the corner as a sophomore before missing time to recover.
Northern Colorado isn’t the toughest test for the Longhorns and Jones, but it’s also a Division I opponent and the first competitive live game for Jones in nearly two years. For him to pour in 20 points is a pretty amazing accomplishment as he’ll be one of the stories to watch in college basketball this season.
Jones returning to play for Texas is a great enough story. And if he’s able to become a regular Texas rotation player it’ll make for a tremendous turnaround. As it stands, it’s just nice to see Jones back on the court and thriving at something that used to come so easy for him.