Illinois G/F Tevian Jones Has Entered Transfer Portal

Matthew Stevens

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Tevian Jones’ two-year run in an Illinois jersey has reportedly come to an end.

According to officials inside the Illini basketball program, the sophomore wing player has declared his intention to find another program for his final two years of eligibility.

Jones later confirmed the news with a message on Twitter. 

"I’ve chosen to continue my basketball career on another path, I will not be returning to Illinois," Jones tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "I appreciate everything you guys, the Univ. and Coaches have done for me. Wish the guys nothing but success moving forward. Gonna miss y’all. All Love." 

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 Illinois third-year head coach Brad Underwood.

Jones was suspended in 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.”

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.

Jones’ decision to transfer is being reported less than a day after fellow sophomore Alan Griffin has announced his intention Tuesday evening to transfer away from the Illinois men’s basketball program. The decision of Jones and Griffin currently leaves Illinois one under the NCAA scholarship limit of 13 but All-Big Ten first-team selection and Illini leading scorer Ayo Dosunmu has also yet to announce his decision on whether he’ll leave school after two seasons for professional basketball. If Dosunmu declares for the NBA draft, the only remaining member of Underwood’s 2018 recruiting class would be forward/center Giorgi Bezhanishvili.