Former Illini Guard Tevian Jones Transfers To Southern Utah

Matthew Stevens

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Tevian Jones has found a home via the transfer portal.

The former Illinois wing player entered the transfer portal in late March after being unable to overcome multiple suspensions and an inability to find a consistent role in two years with Brad Underwood’s program. Jones will be transferring to Southern Utah and, unless he receives a waiver by the NCAA Eligibility Center, will have two years remaining following sitting out the upcoming 2020-21 season. Stadium.com basketball analyst Jeff Goodman and CBS Sports college basketball reporter Jon Rothstein were the first to report this news Wednesday afternoon.

Jones’ tenure with the Illini program was a roller coaster ride of small glimpses of high-ceiling potential mixed in with off-the-court suspensions and little consistent playing time under Underwood.

Illinois guard Tevian Jones (5) gets called for a charge on Maryland Terrapins guard Anthony Cowan Jr. (1) during the second half at Madison Square Garden.
Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports

Jones was suspended last October for what would be the first eight games before the start of this past season for what school officials would only refer to as a “violation of team academic policies” but had still been active for practices.

Jones’ extended absence dropped him in the Illini playing rotation and he would finish the 2019-20 campaign with only 0.9 points per game, 0.7 rebounds per game in only 4.8 minutes per contest.

“Pretty simple. It’s about trust,” Underwood said this past season after Jones returned to the Illini lineup. “That sounds cliché and it’s a short answer, but he’s playing better. He’s making less mistakes, and it’s both ends of the court. We need what he can provide. He can provide some perimeter shooting, and we need that.”

Jones will be one of five transfers to join a Southern Utah program that finished finished last season with a 17-15 overall record and a 9-11 mark in Big Sky Conference play. Jones, who reportedly had drawn early interest from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado State, Hawai’i, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Portland State and California Santa-Barbara since entering the transfer portal. Southern Utah head coach Todd Simon has acquired a host of transfer players for the future including Utah State’s John Knight, Yuat Alok, who has played at UCF and TCU, Detroit’s Marquis Moore and North Dakota’s Aanen Moody.

The former four-star recruit, originally from Arizona but finished his high school career in Culver City, California, had his most famous moment in an Illini uniform at the place deemed the world’s most famous arena. Jones surprised everyone in attendance at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 26, 2019 when he posted a career-high 18 points, career-high tying four rebounds and career high-tying two steals in an upset win over No. 13 Maryland.

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