June 8, 2005
CHICAGO - Saint Joseph's center Dwayne Jones is one of 60 college players currently participating in the NBA Pre-Draft Camp held at the Moody Bible Institute thru June 11.
Jones declared his eligibility for the NBA Draft earlier this spring but has not hired an agent, thus maintaining the option of returning to Hawk Hill. Jones will have until June 21 to withdraw from the draft and retain his final season of eligibility. This year's NBA Draft will be held in New York on June 28.
The 6-11 center from Chester, PA, has established himself as one of the top rebounders and shot blockers in college basketball. Jones ranked fifth in the nation with rebounding with 11.6 per game and fifth in blocked shots with 3.0. He was the Hawks' third leading scorer with 10.1 points per game, while becoming the first SJU player since 1995-96 to average a double-double. In his career thus far, he has totalled 831 rebounds, 232 blocked shots and 694 points.
He was named the Atlantic 10's Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Conference and All-Big 5 second team honors. He was selected to both the Atlantic 10 Championship and to the NIT All-Tournament teams, as the Hawks reached the finals in both tournaments. Saint Joseph's finished the season with a 24-12 record.
Jones redshirted his first season at Saint Joseph's in 2001-02 and thus has one season of intercollegiate eligibility remaining. He will graduate from SJU on May 14 with his bachelor's degree in sociology.
Jones is the third Hawk in the last three years to declare his intentions for the draft before his eligibility was exhausted. Last year, Delonte West declared and stayed in the draft, being selected by the Boston Celtics with the 24th pick of the first round. Jameer Nelson submitted his name in 2003, but decided to return for this senior year, which ultimately led to the 2004 season in which he became the consensus National Player of the Year. Nelson was a first-round selection along with West in the 2004 draft, as he was picked 20th by Denver with his rights then being traded to Orlando.