The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 31, 2012

WVU's Jones is consensus All-American

By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald

MORGANTOWN — Honors continue to come in for Kevin Jones, one of the most productive players in West Virginia men’s basketball history.

So much so, the 6-foot-8, 260 pound senior from Mr. Vernon, N.Y., has become a consensus second-team All-American selection.

Jones made the John Wooden All-America 10-man team, The Associated Press second team, the NABC (coaches) All-American second team, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-America second team, and The Sporting News All-America third team.

There had been just three other consensus All-America picks at WVU previously. Those were Hot Rod Hundley in 1957, Jerry West in 1959 and 1960, and Rod Thorn in 1963.

West, a three year superstar, earned the most honors- 10 each of his last two seasons. He, Hundley, and Thorn all were West Virginia natives.

Jones clearly was the leader of the 2011-12 West Virginia team that posted a disappointing 19-15 record and qualified for a fifth consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament.

He finished the season averaging 19.9 points and 10.9 rebounds. He was only the third player in Big East history to end a year with a double-double in those two categories.

Despite being No. 1 in the conference in both scoring and rebounding, the league coaches failed to name him as Big East Player of the Year. Jae Crowder of Marquette received that honor instead of Jones, who now ranks fifth among all-time Mountaineer point-scorer and fourth among all-time rebounders. Jones broke the school record for offensive rebounds.

Jones had 21 double-double games this year and tallied 20 or more points 19 times, including a career-high 30 in the overtime victory over Kansas State.

He became the first Mountaineer since Will Robinson in 1972 to score at least 20 points in nine consecutive contests.

Jones was named to the All-Big East first team.

Jones was praised time and time again for his great improvement as an all-around standout in each of his last three years here.

He had a tremendous work ethic over three seasons.

Coach Bob Huggins has held Jones in the highest of regards, calling him one of the best persons he has been around in his 30 years as a head coach.

He said, “Forget basketball. Anywhere at anytime he is a wonderful, wonderful human being. He’s going to end up, I don’t know (where), among the top five scorers, top-five rebounders, all-time offensive rebounder, a lot of things.

“When you look at the names he’s passed, it’s pretty impressive.”

It should be interesting to see in what round the young man is picked in the upcoming NBA draft.