Last fall, Damian Jones announced he would enter the NBA Draft after his junior season. On Thursday, he confirmed that news.
Vanderbilt junior big man Damian Jones will sign with an agent, sources told ESPN. Had debated the last week or two.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 14, 2016
Jones had been projected as a lottery pick back when he first made his declaration, but while he had a solid junior year he failed to put together the kind of breakout season that would cement his spot among the top 14 picks. He averaged 14.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks this winter and is still regarded as a first round pick. DraftExpress's Jonathan Givony slots him in at No. 21 in his 2016 mock draft.
|Mock Draft:||Jones' Pick|
Losing Jones will create a big hole in the Vanderbilt front court. Luke Kornet can shift from power forward to center and give the Commodores a strong shot-blocking presence inside, but can't replicate Jones' ability to score in the post. Redshirt freshman D'Jery Baptiste has the size and strength to lock down the middle as well, but he's still a very raw prospect whose offensive game boils down to dunks.
With Jones gone, expect plenty of three-guard sets with Jeff Roberson or Joe Toye sliding to play small-ball power forward next to Kornet. Here's what the Commodores' roster should look like in 2016-17.
Guards: Riley LaChance / Nolan Cressler / Camron Justice / Philip McGloin / Payton Willis
Wings: Jeff Roberson / Matthew Fisher-Davis / Joe Toye
Big Men: Luke Kornet / Samir Sehic / D'Jery Baptiste / Clevon Brown