Former Apple Valley high school star Tyus Jones said Wednesday he will leave Duke after one season to enter the NBA draft.
The web site quoted coach Mike Kyzezewski saying: “Tyus could not have done a better job for us this past year. We’re so very happy for him and his family to have the opportunity to declare for the draft. He is projected to be a first-round pick. He’s going to get a lot better, but people have already seen him and know how he handles himself, especially in pressure situations and in the biggest games. He comes through like a champion! I loved coaching him, and I believe he’ll be an outstanding professional. At this time, I think is so appropriate for him to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Jones is the third Duke freshman to declare for the draft. Center Jahlil Okafor, who is expected to be one of the first two players drafted, announced his intention last week. Jones and Okafor, who is from Illinois, were friends from high school and intent on playing college basketball together. Forward Justise Winslow also declared this week.
Jones is seen as a mid to late first-round pick by NBA experts. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four earlier this month after Duke defeated Wisconsin in the championship game.
Jones was a five-year starter at Apple Valley..
From the Duke men's basketball Twitter feed:
.@Tyusjones06 “I knew coming in I would be a part of a great team, but I never envisioned I would be a part of such an incredible family."— Duke M. Basketball (@Duke_MBB) April 15, 2015