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March Madness: Duke freshman Tre Jones to skip NBA draft, return next season

By
Connor Grott

April 8 (UPI) -- Duke Blue Devils freshman Tre Jones will forego the NBA Draft and return for his sophomore season, the school announced Monday.

The 6-foot-2 point guard was one of four five-star prospects in Duke's 2018 recruiting class, along with Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish. Williamson, Barrett and Reddish are expected to enter the 2019 NBA Draft in June.

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Jones averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds this season, but struggled with his jump shot from 3-point range. He made only 26.2 percent of his 3-point attempts in the 2018-19 campaign.

Jones is widely considered one of the best on-ball defenders in the country. He averaged 1.9 steals last season.

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Duke was the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament but lost to Michigan State in the Elite Eight. Jones posted four points in the Blue Devils' loss against the Spartans. He recorded 22 points and eight assists in Duke's win over Virginia Tech in the Sweet 16.

Jones previously hinted at his return on social media Saturday night. The guard posted a photo of himself on Instagram with a caption that read, "Year 2?"

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Tre Jones' older brother, Tyus Jones, also played at Duke. He spent one season with the Blue Devils and helped guide the program to a national championship in 2015. Tyus Jones was a first-round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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ESPN had Tre Jones as the No. 4 point guard and No. 29 overall player on its rankings of the top 100 NBA Draft prospects. Sports Illustrated also listed him as the 29th-best player in the 2019 draft.

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