In last Saturday's loss to No. 1 Kentucky, Jones acted as if he took an elbow to the face from Wildcats big man Dakari Johnson. Footage of the exchange shows that Johnson did not make contact with Jones, and the blatant "flop" was greeted with ridicule.
Pitino's decision to bench Jones came as he was struggling offensively, having connected on just 11 of his last 43 shot attempts.
The junior played nine minutes against the 49ers and failed to score.
“I didn't start Chris, not because of his shooting percentages, I didn't start him because of the flop issue,” Pitino said, according to WDRB. “I was very upset at that. We don't do that type of thing. And then to fake it with the jaw like you got hit. You can't fake it. In junior college you do it. But you can't fake it. It's on TV.
"You can't fake those things. So I told him, you're not playing because of that. That's something Louisville guys don't do. But he was the best cheerleader on the bench and he did a great job with the guys.”
Over 13 games this season, Jones has averaged 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
Louisville (12-1) opens ACC play at Wake Forest on Sunday.
- Chris Johnson