In the least surprising NBA draft announcement since Kentucky announced John Wall was leaving school, Northern Arizona guard Cameron Jones has withdrawn his name from the draft and will return for his senior season.
Jones sent in the paperwork yesterday on his 21st birthday satisfied that his initial announcement achieved its purpose of drawing some attention with the NBA, as numerous teams spoke with coach Mike Adras -- probably wondering if they had missed something.
"I did it to get some exposure," Jones said. "I feel I can play at the next level. It wasn’t necessarily a publicity stunt or a joke."
Mission accomplished. Jones is a 6-foot-4 guard who averaged 19.3 points per game. But of course the Big Sky isn't exactly an area of interest for NBA scouts to notice these things. They found Rodney Stuckey, a first-rounder out of Eastern Washington in 2007, but you never know if there's gem in the league waiting to be uncovered.
Jones is also the cousin of Pac-10 scoring champ Landry Fields (their mothers are identical twins). Fields, a Stanford senior in the draft as well, appreciated the thinking behind Jones' declaration.
"He said, 'Yeah, that’s pretty smart,'" Jones said. "Just make sure you pull your name out."