Fed up with speculation over why he left Texas A&M after a breakout junior season, forward Jamal Jones took to Twitter to vent his frustration.
Jones explained he left the Aggies by choice, insinuating that his decision had something to do with both the firing of top assistant Glynn Cyprien this past spring and dysfunction within the program all last season.
Seeing Jones leave was difficult for Texas A&M fans because his presence and the arrival of a handful of newcomers offered hope of a turnaround next season. Jones averaged 13.4 points per game last season and upped his average to 16 per game in SEC play, though his shooting percentage dipped over the course of the season because he was asked to shoulder a lot of responsibility.
It's difficult to evaluate Jones' decision to transfer without knowing all the factors that led to it, but there's likely blame to be shared on both sides.
On one hand, the fact that Jones' next school will be his fourth in four years suggests he might have a tendency to bail at the first hint of adversity rather than working through it. On the other hand, Texas A&M has clearly been a program in turmoil of late with a roster in flux and a coaching staff under pressure to make major progress next season.
Highly touted guard J-Mychal Reese was dismissed from the team early this past season. Then Jones and part-time starter Shawn Smith announced they intended to transfer. Perhaps feeling pressure to have a breakthrough season this year, coach Billy Kennedy revamped his staff this offseason, dismissing Cyprien and adding ex-Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury as an assistant.
The departure of Cyprien was surely hard on Jones since that was his primary recruiter and the staffer with which he was closest. Cyprien showed a lot of class after reading Jones' Twitter rant, encouraging his former player to take the high road.
"JJ, ON TO THE NEXT!" he wrote. "A&M IS A GREAT SCHOOL W GREAT PEOPLE! HIGH ROAD!! GOD'S PLAN!! LET IT GO!!"
If Jones is smart, he'll follow the advice of his former coach. He has a bright future and little to gain from lashing out at a former school.
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