With a year left of eligibility but a hoop dream to chase, Kevin Jones faced a tough decision this week.
The West Virginia junior and former Mount Vernon star has decided he will declare for the 2011 NBA draft but will not hire an agent, according to older brother and advisor Gerard Jones.
Underclassmen like Jones had until Sunday to declare but cannot sign with an agent and must withdraw from the draft by May 8 to maintain their NCAA eligibility.
Jones has one season of eligibility remaining. If he returns, he will team with Mount Vernon guard Jabarie Hinds, who will be a freshman at West Virginia in the fall.
Jones hopes the next two weeks provide him a better feel for his draft status. Right now, the website DraftExpress.com has Jones listed as the No. 29-ranked junior but does not have him being selected in its most recent mock draft.
Jones' older brother, Gerard, believes otherwise after talking to NBA scouts at the renowned draft showcase, the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, earlier this month.
"A lot of scouts are really high on him if he does come out this year," the elder Jones said.
As a junior, Jones, a 6-foot-8 forward, ranked second on the Mountaineers with 13.1 points and first with 7.5 rebounds per game. That came in his second season as a starter, one in which West Virginia finished 22-12 and reached the Sweet 16.
As a sophomore, Jones averaged 13.5 points and helped West Virginia reach the Final Four.