Razorbacks

Mason Jones Declares NBA Draft

Razorback junior guard Mason Jones (#15) from Desota, TX makes a three pointer against Rice at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, AR.

FAYETTEVILLE –  Mason Jones, Arkansas Razorbacks junior honorable mention All-American and SEC Co-Player of the Year 6-3 guard, on Twitter Friday tweeted he is declaring his name in the National Basketball Association 2020 June draft.

“After much discussion, I have decided to enter my name in the NBA 2020 draft,” Jones said. “This has been a lifelong dream of mine to play in the NBA so I’m looking forward  to the next chapter in my life.”

Jones’ tweet did not fully explain if he would hire an agent, which irrevocably sets his course on turning professional, or would work through the NBA Undergraduate Committee which gives collegiate undergrads feedback regarding their NBA prospects and leaves a deadline option to return to college if they so choose. However, a statement by Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman indicated Jones was foregoing an option to return.

“Mason had a phenomenal season,”  Musselman said in a statement. “It came through hours of hard work and dedication as well as a desire to be the best player he could be. Our system gives players the freedom and opportunity to showcase their strengths and Mason took full advantage of it to become one of the top players in college basketball this season. We fully support Mason, and any player, pursuing his dream.” 

Jones’ tweet thanked Musselman, the basketball staff and fans.“Thank you to Coach Muss, UARK MBB staff  and teammates for pushing me to be a better person on and off the court,” Jones said. “Thank you Razorback Nation fans! The best fans in the world! Lastly, thank you to my family and close friends who continue to push and encourage met daily to pursue my dreams.”

A native of DeSoto, Texas where he acknowledged he played overweight while in high school, Jones played one year of junior college ball at Connors State in Oklahoma before transferring as a sophomore to former Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson’s 18-16 Razorbacks in 2018-2019. Jones played in every game totally scoring 463 points and per game averaging 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists. For Musselman’s 2019-2020 Razorbacks, 20-12 with the season canceled by the coronanavirus national emergency after Arkansas’ first-round  SEC Tournament, Jones earned First-Team All-SEC on both the Coaches and AP media All-SEC teams and along with Mississippi State forward Reggie Perry named SEC Co-Player of the Year upon leading the Razorbacks with 683 points for a 22.0 average, and team leading rebounds 169, 5.5 average, assists, 106, 3.9 and steals, 50 for a 1.6  average. Jones was the first Razorback simultaneously leading the Razorbacks in scoring, rebounding, steals and assists since All-American and Naismith and Collegiate Hall of Famer Sidney Moncrief in 1979. Both a 3-point shooting threat and even more a get-fouled driver, Jones for 2019-2020 led the nation in free throws made and attempted, 233 of 282.

If Jones does sign with an agent, he apparently will become the second among the 2019-2020 Razorbacks not returning for 2020-2021. Arkansas senior to be guard and 2-year letterman Jalen Harris has put his name in the graduate transfer portal. Arkansas Women’s Basketball Coach Mike Neighbors that two off his 24-8 Razorbacks, A’Tyanna Gaulden and Rokia Doumbia, have put their names in the graduate transfer portal.

Gaulden, originally a freshman at Florida State transferred and redshirting at Arkansas 2017-2018 has one year graduate transfer eligibility remaining after lettering for two Arkansas seasons. This past season Gaulden averaged 16.8 minutes per game alternating off the bench with freshman point guard Makayla Daniels.

Doumbia, transferring as a junior, increased her off the bench time as a 5-9 guard/small forward from 19 games and 119 minutes as a 2018-2019 freshman to 29 games and 463 minutes in 2019-2020.Both contributed to   the  nationally No. 24 Razorbacks, 10-6 in the SEC tied for third, achieve the second 10 SEC win season in their history and what would have been a NCAA Tournament berth before the season was canceled. 

On the Arkansas  football front, third-year sophomore offensive lineman Kirby Adcock of Nashville has been granted a medical hardship because of a chronic back injury. Adcock retains his scholarship but won’t count against the active 85 scholarship limit.

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