Good news for the Vanderbilt Commodores today as it was announced by ESPN that standout center Damian Jones will return to play another season on the college level following a stunning sophomore year which saw Jones lead the Commodores in points and assists per game.
Jones was also announced to the All-SEC First Team by the league’s coaches.
“After consulting with my family and Coach Stallings, I felt it was in my best interest to return to Vanderbilt next season,” said Jones. “I love it here at Vanderbilt, and I am extremely excited about our team. I can’t wait to start working toward making our team better this spring.”
Following a quarterfinal run in the NIT, the youthful Commodores now have even more to look forward to next year as with Jones staying, Vanderbilt will have 4 of its 5 starters coming back next year. Many fans close to the Vanderbilt program see the potential in this team and think an NCAA tournament berth is in the cards.
Not to mention the addition of more big men in D’jery Baptiste and Samir Sehic to the Commodores line up and of course the return of big man Luke Kornet, the Commodores should be a threat down low this upcoming season with plenty of size.
“We’re thrilled that Damian has decided to return for his junior season,” Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said, “This was a process that he and his family took very seriously, and we’re happy that he came to this decision. Damian has the potential to be one of the top big men in the country net season, and we’re excited to see him work with a promising group of returnees and outstanding incoming players this spring and summer to see that come to fruition.”
If Jones is able to have a season like he did in 2014-2015, he is expected to go anywhere between 13th and 17th in the 2016 NBA Entry Draft.
As Coach Stallings said, there are still some kinks in Jones’ game that need to be worked out in practice during the summer and spring to see him rise to his full potential which should be his final in college.
*Section Photo credit to Rich Schultz, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Bosley Jarrett, Vanderbilt Hustler