The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 27, 2011

Week to remember

WVU’s Jones earns Big East hoops honor

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia senior forward Kevin Jones was named the Big East Player of the Week.

If they’d had a World Player of the Week he might have won that, too.

Jones played three games for the Mountaineers, facing Tennessee Tech, Missouri State and No. 6/7 Baylor.

All he did was string together three double-doubles, collecting 25 points and 14 rebounds against Tech, 16 points and 13 boards against Missouri State, and then against a tall, athletic front line that Baylor put out there he scored a career-high 28 points with 17 rebounds in overtime.

That’s an average of 23 points and 14.7 rebounds per game.

It thrust him into the Big East lead in both scoring and rebounding as he suddenly has become the leading candidate for Player of the Year in the league as conference play starts this week.

Jones is averaging 21.0 points and 11.9 rebounds a game for the year. He also leads the Big East in offensive rebounding.

But as Coach Bob Huggins has noted, Jones also has become the team leader, an emotional, inspirational player who asks for the ball with the game on the line.

“He’s the guy who came over during the first overtime against Kansas State when we were going to run something for Deniz and who said, ‘Coach, I got a little guy on me. I can score.’ So we switched it and let Deniz throw him the ball and he did score,” Huggins recalled.

Jones isn’t even playing as well as he can.

His outside shooting has not been as good as it had been, hitting just 22.2 percent of his 3-point this year. Two years ago, as a sophomore, he hit 40.4 percent and last year 30.1 percent, certainly a decrease but still far better than this season.

Huggins refuses to panic about it.

“He’ll make shots. He works too had to not make shots,” Huggins said. “He has to get his feet down. He’s got to do a better job with his shot preparation. He’ll be fine.”

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