The Louisville Cardinals dismissed senior guard Chris Jones from the team on Feb. 22 following his one-game suspension.
The Louisville Cardinals have dismissed senior guard Chris Jones.
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According to The Louisville Courier-Journal's Jeff Greer, the University of Louisville made the announcement on Feb. 22. The school will not comment any further on Jones' dismissal.
Jones "did not return multiple messages seeking comment," per Greer. A source close to him said he was "devastated" with the turn of events.
Cardinals head basketball coach Rick Pitino told Greer that Jones "is finished" and "there won't be any comment" on his dismissal.
Jones' ouster from the team comes just five days after the Cardinals suspended him indefinitely. Pitino told The Louisville Courier-Journal back then that Jones' "selfishness" ultimately took its toll on Louisville's season:
"We missed him a lot but, you know, it's his selfishness that hurt the team. It's all cleared up -- he could play the next game if he does what the assistant coaches tell him to do. If he doesn't, he sits again. And I don't care if he sits the whole season, to tell you the truth. I (couldn't) care less. Because if he doesn't do the right things and act like a Louisville man, he can move on and try to go to Belgium (or) somewhere."
Louisville now hopes to do well in the upcoming ACC Tournament without Jones, who scored 17 points in the Cardinals' 55-53 win over the Miami Hurricanes on Feb. 20. The Cardinals currently have a 21-6 overall record and 9-5 conference record, per Greer.
For his part, Jones admitted to Greer his one-game suspension was his fault. After the Miami game, he said,"I'm not worried about anything that anybody has to say about me. I came a long way, I'm telling you, from (throwing) garbage cans in gyms gyms wanting to fight every game to keeping it inside. I know how to manage it by just playing hard."
Greer says there were occasions when Jones "frustrated his teammates with his play, taking erratic shots and sometimes playing out of control on offense." Pitino even benched Jones twice during the current season for sub-par performances. One such game was the 69-56 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers in early February. Jones sat out the entire second half and did not talk to reporters after the game.
Pitino also chimed in on Jones the day before the Cardinals announced the senior point guard's dismissal, per The Louisville Courier-Journal:
"I had a couple players a while ago that were a problem, and I didn't like coaching them.The reason I didn't like coaching them was not the problems that they brought me, but because they didn't work hard...
"Chris works hard at his game -- all the time. That's why I appreciate him. Is it fun to coach him? Not like Russ Smith -- there's not a lot of laughter coaching him. You appreciate how hard he works, so you give him some latitude when things don't go well and he comes out of the game. He came out of the game tonight, and actually didn't pout for the first time, which was awesome. He just sat down, I said,'You ready to go in?' and he said,'Now, we took the next step.'"
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Tim Keeney stresses the Cardinals' offense will now revolve around either Terry Rozier or Montrezl Harrell with Jones no longer a part of the team. Moreover, freshman Quentin Snider will be tapped to play a bigger role.
Rozier, a sophomore guard, has been averaging 17.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists while Harrell, a junior power forward, has been chipping in with 15.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, according to ESPN stats.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Eisenburg also points out the Cardinals will be hard-pressed to improve on their 43 percent shooting during ACC play without Jones in the mix.
Jones averaged 13.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game during the 2014-15 NCAA season, per ESPN.
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