Duke's Alexis Jones to transfer closer to family
Junior point guard Alexis Jones is transferring from Duke in order to be closer to family as she recovers from multiple knee injuries.
The Irving, Texas native announced the decision on Monday. A source close to the rising junior said that she’s looking at Baylor, Texas, LSU and South Carolina, where she also has close family.
The 5-8 Jones started all 64 games she played in during her two years with the Blue Devils and averaged 11.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.9 steals.
“I would like to thank Coach P for the opportunity to attend Duke University,” Jones said in a statement. “Due to injuries, I feel the need to be closer to my family.”
Jones tore the ACL in her left knee at Notre Dame last February and missed the final seven games of the season. While repairing the ACL tear, a source close to Jones said that doctors also decided to repair her right knee, which had been bothering her since high school. Those injuries were sustained in a car accident that left her father paralyzed.
Jones must sit out next season because of NCAA transfer rules, but the dual recoveries meant it was possible that Jones would have to sit out next season anyway.
"We are very sad to see Alexis go because we love her and her family,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said in a statement. “Given her significant surgeries and her chance to redshirt this year, we support her with this decision. We wish her the best as she heads home.”
With Jones’s status for this season iffy this spring, Duke added depth at point guard by adding junior-college transfer Mercedes Riggs. McCallie said the 5-7 Riggs, from Salt Lake City Community College, has the talent to handle playing time at point guard.
"She is a terrific person with a solid work ethic," McCallie said.
Rising senior Ka'Lia Johnson is another possibility.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Ka'Lia," McCallie said. "It totally fits her. Ka'Lia has an opportunity."
Two other newcomers, redshirt freshman Becca Greenwell and true freshman Sierra Calhoun, are also capable of playing point guard. Greenwell can play point guard, shooting guard or small forward, McCallie said, and Calhoun was a point guard early in her high school career.