WACO (April 11, 2011)—To the relief of Baylor men’s basketball fans, forward Perry Jones III will be back for his sophomore year.
Jones, who by most accounts is one of the most talented freshmen in the country, said Tuesday he’ll pass on the NBA draft to return for his sophomore year.
Jones was projected as an NBA lottery pick.
He’ll have to sit out a five-game NCAA suspension, however, for accepting impermissible benefits.
He was declared ineligible for a pre-enrollment amateurism violation/preferential treatment just before Baylor faced Oklahoma in the opening round of the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo.
Officials said Jones had no knowledge of three, 15-day loans between his mother and an AAU coach while Jones was in high school.
The loans were repaid in a timely manner, according to interviews conducted by Baylor officials and the NCAA staff.
Before his enrollment at Baylor, Jones' AAU coach also paid for Jones' travel to a professional pre-season football game in San Diego, Calif.
Jones, a finalist for the 2011 Wayman Tisdale Award, which is given to the nation’s top freshman, earned second-team All-Big 12 honors and led all Big 12 freshmen in both scoring, averaging 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and with a field goal percentage of .549.