Jones joins Penn State basketball staff as graduate assistant

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --  Penn State coach Patrick Chambers announced on June 25 the return of former Nittany Lion standout Andrew Jones to the program as a graduate assistant on the basketball coaching staff. He is enrolled the University's graduate school pursuing a Master of Education in educational leadership.

Jones, who played two seasons of professional basketball in Europe after graduating in 2011, was a four-year starter for the Nittany Lions (2008-11) and helped lead Penn State to the 2009 NIT championship and the 2011 NCAA Tournament during a career that saw him become the 12th leading rebounder in program history with 681.

"We are very excited to be able to bring Drew back to the Penn State program," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "He had a terrific career as a Nittany Lion and helped lead the program to some very successful seasons. He has a tremendous work ethic and great personality, and we are looking forward to having him as part of our staff."

Jones was a double major at Penn State and graduated with degrees in recreation, park and tourism management as well as labor and employment relations. He played in 134 career games as a Nittany Lion and made 117 career starts, starting 20 or more games in each of his four seasons following a redshirt season in 2006-07. Jones finished his career with 751 points and 681 rebounds and a career field goal percentage of 54.6 percent, which ranks second on Penn State's career charts.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to learn and grow under such a great staff at Penn State," Jones said. "My love and passion for the game has led me to pursue a career in collegiate coaching and I look forward to using Coach Chambers' philosophy and my experience as a player to be an asset to the program."

Jones was big in the Lions' run to the 2009 NIT championship as the sophomore started a team high 37 games that season and averaged 10.0 ppg and 8.2 rpg in Penn State's five tournament games, including career highs of 16 points and 14 rebounds in a semifinal victory over Notre Dame in Madison Square Garden.

He posted 6.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while starting all 34 games in his senior campaign that saw the Lions reach the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament and play in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, the program's first NCAA appearance in a decade.

He went on to a two-year professional career playing in the Slovakian Extraliga, Ukraine Superleague and Greece A1 league.

Jones was an All-League and All-City honoree at Abington Friends High School in Philadelphia.

Penn State will return three of its top five scorers and rebounders from 2012-13 and the top two returning scorers in the Big Ten in guards D.J. Newbill (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) who will form one of the most potent backcourts in the nation. Newbill, a rising junior, earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors while finishing fifth in the conference in scoring posting 16.3 ppg last year. Frazier, a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2012 after leading the Big Ten in assists (6.2 apg) and finishing second in scoring (18.8 ppg), received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA and a fifth season of eligibility after playing in just four games in 2012-13 after suffering an Achilles tendon injury. Rising junior forward Ross Travis (Chaska, Minn.) is the second leading returning rebounder in the Big Ten after finishing fifth in the conference last year (7.4 rpg). He posted double-doubles in three of his last seven games and will join rising sophomore Brandon Taylor (Tabernacle, N.J.), who made 32 threes in his freshman season, to anchor the frontcourt. Penn State posted a 10-21 record, but knocked of No. 4-ranked and eventual NCAA Tournament runner-up Michigan (84-78) in late February in Chambers' second season at the helm.

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Last Updated July 01, 2013