SAN ANTONIO (WOOD) — DeVante’ Jones was back on the court on Wednesday morning and participated in the Wolverines’ practice at the AT&T Center ahead of Michigan’s Sweet 16 matchup against Villanova.
Last week, the Michigan guard missed the opening round of the NCAA tournament after entering concussion protocol. He spoke to the media for the first time on Wednesday since his injury, saying it was an emotional couple of weeks for him.
The Coastal Carolina transfer waited five years to play in the big dance, so when he entered concussion protocol that opportunity was in question. Instead of living out his biggest dream, the New Orleans native was back in his room in Ann Arbor, watching his teammates try to pull the upset over Colorado State in the first round.
“Throughout the first half I was a little nervous, it was playing on my emotions, but the second half they got it together and I’m excited they won,” said Jones. “That’s the main thing for me, obviously I want to play here in March Madness, but at the time I was so happy for my teammates, being able to win through that type of adversity.”
The Michigan guard returned for the next round against Tennessee, but only played for 11 minutes before sitting out in the second half.
Freshman Frankie Collins stepped up for Jones, scoring a career-high 14 points against Colorado State, while seeing extended minutes throughout the first two games of the tournament.
“Our guys understand that with injuries, we make no excuses, but we trust that every guy that’s on that roster is will go out there and get an opportunity when they go play,” said head coach Juwan Howard. “But I’m keeping my fingers crossed and praying that (Jones) will be available tomorrow.”
Tip-off against the No. 2 seed Wildcats in the Sweet 16 is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. on Thursday.