TAMPA, Fla. -- Five seniors played their final game with West Virginia in Saturday's loss to Kentucky in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Mountaineers might prepare themselves for the possibility a sixth player departs. Junior forward Kevin Jones said after the game he'll be thinking about entering the NBA Draft.
"I don't have an exact timeline to make a decision, but I do have to talk to my coach and my family about it," he said. "I have to see how the process works what I have to do to make the best decision."
Jones will most likely enter the draft because he thought about doing it last year and did not. The NCAA allows an underclassman to enter the draft and withdraw just once and Jones has the option.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound Jones, from Mount Vernon, N.Y., averaged 13.1 points and 7.5 rebounds and was an honorable mention All-Big East selection. Jones was a first-team pick in the preseason, though, based on his junior season. He averaged 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds, but also shot 52.1 percent from the floor and 40.4 percent from 3-point range. His shooting numbers dipped to 44.5 and 30.1.
"I need to spread my game out and become a more versatile player and not so one-dimensional," he said. "That's what I need to work on. Am I ready for the next level? It's something a lot of college athletes want to do, but they're not always prepared for it. I want to make sure I'm prepared."
Jones had eight points and nine rebounds against the Wildcats. He had double-doubles in the final three games of the regular season and is now No. 2 in WVU history in offensive rebounds. He had four against the Wildcats and has 305 in his career. Chris Brooks had 320 from 1988-91.
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JOE MAZZULLA had a career-high 20 points in the 145th and final game of his five-year career. He had 15 points in the first and played through a sore hip after he was bumped hard by Kentucky's Eloy Vargas in the first half.
"He got me pretty good," Mazzulla said. "I don't know if that was part of the game plan, but he got me good."
Mazzulla's father, Daniel, was at the St. Pete Times Forum and hurried to the front of the stands for before the second half started to talk to his son.
He yelled out, "Suck it up. It only hurts a little while." Mazzulla, who at times limped and favored his right side, said the hip hardly bothered him.
"It did and it didn't," he said. "When it comes in the last few games of your career, you can't let something like that affect you."
Mazzulla, who played in seven games in 2009 before taking a medical redshirt, played 145 in his career. Only Da'Sean Butler played more (146). Butler played in a school-record 107 wins, two more than Mazzulla.
"It's hard for anybody to understand what Joe's been through," Coach Bob Huggins said. "He woke up every day for the better part of a year not knowing whether he'd ever play basketball again - actually didn't know whether he'd ever be able to get his arm above his shoulder.