UTEP center Kelvin Jones leaves the program

Kelvin Jones leaves UTEP basketball team

UTEP men's basketball head coach Tim Floyd confirmed that sophomore center Kelvin Jones has left the program. 

Floyd spoke to reporters after a team scrimmage Saturday and said that he was not expecting Jones to suddenly leave the team.  Jones had been out for about a week nursing an injury when he came to talk to Floyd. 

"After the week of being out, Kelvin showed up and said his father no longer wanted him to play basketball at UTEP," said Floyd. 

Though he was still surprised by the move, Floyd did say that there were some issues last season surrounding Jones and his father. 

"His father came to a game last year and thought Kelvin should have played more and should have had more touches and this and that, much like what you hear in high school from high school parents," said Floyd. 

Jones, a native of Chihuahua, Mexico, played high school basketball for Hobbs in New Mexico.  

UTEP will now have to lean heavily on center Matt Willms with the departure of Jones.  Willms echoed the notion that it was a surprise move, and he said he's sad to see his practice partner leave the team. 

"It's upsetting that he wanted to leave, I mean, within a week," said Willms. "You know, we've worked hard together.  He's worked me hard.  I've worked him hard in the post.  And he's become a really...great player."

Jones appeared in every game for UTEP as a freshman, averaging 3.4 points per game to go along with 3.7 rebounds per contest. 

UTEP also lost freshman forward Joey St Pierre right before the start of the semester.  St. Pierre said he was happy with the program but needed to leave to return home to Illinois for personal reasons. 

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