Although this year's NBA Draft will feature a plethora of prospects from Duke University, the basketball program was fortunate to retain one of its best playmakers. Tre Jones put his dreams of playing at the professional level on hold for at least one more year to return to the Blue Devils.
Jones battled an injury to his shoulder during his freshman season, but did finish strong in the NCAA Tournament. However, Duke fell short in the Elite Eight to Michigan State.
There's unfinished business left for Jones and Duke for the 2019-20 season. Duke will have a few familiar faces on the roster mixed with another talented crop of freshmen.
In terms of talent, Jones might not be the most explosive player on the Blue Devils. Nonetheless, the versatile guard has tremendous value to his team.
Andy Katz of NCAA.com revealed his list for the five most important players in the ACC for next season, which includes Jones in the second spot.
Clearly, Katz thinks Jones will have an impactful sophomore campaign at Duke.
Jones decided to hang back and groom the next crop of Duke freshmen. Jones was the top on the ball defender last season and he returns to be the stopper for the Blue Devils. His numbers — 9.4 points, 3.8 boards, 5.4 assists and 1.5 turnovers a game — should all rise, well except for the turnovers. He was steady for Coach K and now that he has gone through one season he will be even more valuable.
Duke will enter next season as one of the favorites to win the national championship.
If all goes well for Jones, he could lead the Blue Devils on another postseason run while elevating his draft stock in the process.