We knew that Tre Jones was certainly thinking about a sophomore season, but now it's set in stone.
In an official team tweet Monday evening, Duke announced that Jones will indeed return to school for his second season as a Blue Devil and not declare for the 2019 NBA Draft. The Apple Valley, Minn., native was projected to be a late first-round pick and would have likely joined classmates Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish, as all three are expected to announce their intentions to turn pro in the coming days.
In his first season at Duke, Jones led the Blue Devils with 5.3 assists per game and ranked third in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio. The freshman was also a defensive linchpin for Duke, usually tasked with defending the opposing team’s best perimeter player, and he was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team for his stellar work on that end of the floor.
Jones was a highly-touted recruit coming from Apple Valley High School, ranked as the No. 1 point guard in his class and following in the footsteps of older brother, Tyus. He more than lived up to expectations on the defensive end, but struggled offensively for much of the year, ending the season shooting just 26.2 percent from 3-point range.
The freshman consistently came up clutch in big moments, however, scoring 18 points in the ACC championship game to help lead the Blue Devils past Florida State. He also scored 22 points, including five triples, against Virginia Tech in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament to help save Duke’s season and send the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight.
Jones will continue to focus on developing his jump shot and becoming a more consistent offensive threat in his sophomore season. The 6-foot-2 guard’s defensive intensity and leadership ability will be crucial as Duke brings in another talented crop of freshmen who will need to adapt to the college game.
The Blue Devils have signed guard Boogie Ellis, a top-50 recruit who, along with junior Jordan Goldwire, will join up with Jones to anchor the Duke backcourt next season.