The 6-foot-3 senior forward was simply sick.
“He wasn’t feeling well,” Simmons said on Monday’s MVC coaches teleconference.
Jones, who entered Saturday averaging 26 minutes per game in MVC play, was replaced by Adam Wing in the Aces’ starting lineup. Wing helped UE to a hot start — the Aces led 14-3 and later 31-15 after another run — and finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Before Saturday, Simmons had stuck with the same starting lineup — Jones, the Aces’ three seniors and freshman center Egidijus Mockevicius — since a Dec. 5 win over Miami (Ohio).
The change for Wing ended a streak of 19 Aces games played with that lineup, and Simmons said it may happen again Wednesday when UE hosts Illinois State.
“We’ll just have to wait and see how practice goes, but he’s certainly got us off to a terrific start,” Simmons said. “He played extremely hard. He was battling like crazy, so I’d say he has a pretty good chance of being in the starting lineup.
“I think (Jones will) have a great attitude. I think he’ll handle it exactly the right way. I think Lewis is just concerned about his team having success.”