Fresno State forward Torren Jones was dismissed from the program for a violation of team rules, his Bulldogs career ending after 21 games in one turbulent season.
Coach Rodney Terry, who headed to Texas on Friday on a recruiting trip, declined to comment on Jones’ situation. But the 6-foot-9 forward came to Fresno State as a highly touted prospect after starting his career at Missouri and later enrolling at Midland Junior College in Texas. He got off to a fast start with the Bulldogs before running into difficulties on and off the floor.
On Jan. 28, Fresno State police cited Jones for misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, an infraction. Jones’ attorney, Stephanie Negin, identified the controlled substance as Xanax.
The charges were filed Feb. 23.
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Jones was due to be arraigned Tuesday, but the hearing was postponed until May 19 as Jones seeks treatment at the Valley Recovery Center of California in Fresno, according to Fresno County court records.
Jones had 13 points and 14 rebounds in an opening victory over Pepperdine, then 19 and 12 in a victory over Lamar, becoming the first Fresno State player with a double-double in his first two games since Dominic McGuire in 2006.
Jones also was leading the team with 8.4 rebounds and second with 12 points per game at the start of Mountain West Conference play.
Reached Friday, Jones said about his dismissal: “I don’t have any comment on that right now.”
There also was a bizarre incident in a December victory over Cal State Bakersfield when Jones took a seat among fans sitting along the baseline at Save Mart Center rather than the bench after he was removed from the game, and while he was not suspended for that incident he was held out of the starting lineup the next time out in a loss to Evansville.
He did not play in a loss at San Jose State when suspended one game for a violation of team rules, then sat out the next and final 13 games, including the conference tournament and NCAA Tournament, because of an undisclosed medical issue.
The Bulldogs went 11-3 in those final 13 games, winning the Mountain West Conference tournament with a 68-63 victory over San Diego State to advance to their first NCAA Tournament since 2001. Fresno State lost its first-round game 80-69 to Utah in the Midwest Regional.
The departure hurts the Bulldogs’ depth, but the front line is expected to be a strength next season with the return of seniors Karachi Edo, Paul Watson, Cullen Russo and junior Terrell Carter II. Terry also signed 6-8 forward Bryson Williams from Roosevelt High and 6-11 Brazilian forward Lazaro Rojas, who played at the Score Sports Academy in Naples, Fla., as part of the Bulldogs’ 2016 recruiting class.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada