WACO, Texas – Baylor men's basketball sophomore forward Perry Jones III has declared for the 2012 NBA Draft and will forgo his final two years of eligibility.
Jones III, who returned for his sophomore season after being a projected a top-five pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 33 games and helped lead Baylor to the Elite Eight for the second time in three seasons. He was one of two Baylor players to earn All-American honorable mention from The Associated Press, while also picking up USBWA All-District VII and NABC All-District 8 honors. He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection by the AP, ESPN.com and Kansas City Star and third-team by the league coaches.
The Duncanville, Texas, product was named the 2011-12 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by the league's coaches, becoming the first player in program history to earn conference preseason player of the year honors.
"I want to thank Baylor Nation for an unbelievable two years," Jones III said. "Baylor will always be a second home to me and I look forward to spending a lot of time in Waco and working towards finishing my degree.
"Thanks again to all the great Baylor fans for accepting me into your family," Jones III said.
As a freshman in 2010-11, Jones III was a unanimous Big 12 All-Rookie selection and earned freshman All-American honors from USBWA, Basketball Times and CollegeInsider.com after posting 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 games.
"It was an honor and a privilege to coach Perry Jones III," head coach Scott Drew said. "Everyone knows what a great play Perry is, but as I have said before, he is even a better person and teammate. We will all miss not having him around, but we look forward to him having a very long and successful NBA career.
"We would like to thank the Jones family for trusting us with their son," Drew said.
Chad Ford, senior NBA writer for ESPN.com, projects PJ3 to become the second lottery pick in program history, going to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 8 selection. He also projected as a lottery pick by both NBADraft.net (No. 13 / Phoenix Suns) and DraftExpress.com (No. 9 / Utah Jazz).