Jones to Make Final Walk Tonight

  • By Christopher Cerbo
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  • February 28, 2012 10:27 AM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Kevin Jones, or K.J. as he is known affectionately by the Mountaineer faithful, has been a staple in the lineup for Bob Huggins the last four seasons.

Jones, a Mount Vernon, N.Y. native, found his home in West Virginia by becoming a clutch player and someone who handled many pressure situations. Tonight, Jones will play his final game for the Mountaineers in front of the home crowd, as he ends a storied career.

Last week he recorded his 1000th career rebound, becoming the second player in the history of WVU to have both 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. The only other player to do that is Jerry West, meaning Jones will now be mentioned in the same breath as The Logo, somethiumber is humbled by.

“It’s a tremendous honor to go down in history with one of the greatest,” says Jones.

In his final season as a Mountaineer, Jones is putting up career numbers and has continued to lead the Big East in scoring and rebounding, attempting to become just the third player in conference history to do so. K.J. considered leaving school early following the 2011 season to enter the NBA draft, but withdrew, deciding that finishing his career with the Mountaineers would be a better option.

Jones has been one of the best players in the Big East this year, averaging a double-double 20 points and 11 rebounds per contest. Many believe he is the favorite to become Big East player of the year – an award no other Mountaineer player has ever won.

When you ask coach Bob Huggins about his team leader, he can’t say enough about Jones’ passion, drive and work ethic that has helped the Mountaineers to a 17-12 record this season.

“As great a player as he is, and I think when it’s all said and done, when people look at what he’s statistically, and what he’s been a huge part of here, I think he’s going to go down as one of the great players who ever played here,” said Huggins. “As good a player as he’s been, he’s an even better person off the floor.”

Huggins continued. “He’s been our one constant. Actually he’s been our only constant. I don’t think he’s getting the notoriety nationally that he ought to get because he’s not a high flyer, he just does his job every day. At the end of the day, he’s going to get his 20 and 11 and does it on an incredibly consistent basis against a heck of a schedule.

“We’ve played everybody and he’s carried us on his back.”

Kevin Jones has truly been everything the Mountaineers could have asked for when he set foot on campus four years ago. Huggins recalled a story from Jones’ rookie season.

“The thing I remember it was about the second or third week he was here and somebody was supposed to pick him up and he was afraid that they were not going to get him here on time,” said Huggins. “He ran all the way from Lincoln Hall (next to Towers) to the weight room to get there on time. He walked in and he was soaking wet from running over there, out of breath. (Strength coach) Andy (Kettler) said ‘what’s wrong?’ Jones said, “I had to run over here so I wouldn’t be late.

“That’s been KJ for four years.”

Tonight, Kevin Jones will join teammate Darryl Bryant in running down the carpet one final time in front of Mountaineer faithful.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Note: The Mountaineer Ticket Office will continue to accept online orders for tonight's special $10 until 3 p.m. today. Log on to WVUGAME.vom.