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Duke point guard Tre Jones leaving school early for NBA draft

Duke point guard Tre Jones didn’t follow his lottery pick teammates to the NBA draft last year, returning to Durham in a quest for a national championship. 

Jones never got that opportunity. The NCAA tournament cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic dashed those dreams, and on Saturday, Jones confirmed it was his final season with the Blue Devils.

Jones told ESPN he would enter the 2020 NBA draft — which is still slated for June but could be pushed back with the NBA season currently suspended due to the virus. The 6-2 guard, younger brother to Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones, is a projected first-round pick. 

Jones’ 2019-20 sophomore season was memorable. He was named ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 16.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game for the Blue Devils this season and improved his shooting from his freshman year, going 42.3% from the floor and 36.1% on three-pointers.

Duke guard Tre Jones is entering the NBA draft.

During the 2018-19 season, Jones was floor general for Duke teammates Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, who both received national player of the year attention. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Jones “stirred the drink” for that team. This season, Jones took on more of a leadership role in guiding the Blue Devils to a 26-6 record.

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Duke was a projected No. 3 seed in USA TODAY Sports’ final bracketology and reached the Elite Eight in USA TODAY Sports’ simulated bracket

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