Jones was a three-year letterman at Rayen High School and led his prep team to a 43-4 record during his career. He averaged 24.9 points a game during his senior season and a 23-1 mark. He holds Rayen's all-time scoring record of 43 points in a single game and was selected to All-City, All-Northeastern Ohio and All-State teams while playing for Frank Cegledy. Jones was regarded as the best high-school point guard in the country.

Jones was an excellent outside shooter and playmaker at WVU. He possessed the ability to direct the Mountaineers offense from the point guard position. His quickness also made him a defensive threat. In 1980-1981 season, Jones came off the bench to see action in 27 games as a freshman and was a top candidate for one of the vacated guard positions. He averaged 4.7 points in 1980 and was credited with 31 steals. He scored in double figures three times, including a 16-point performance against Penn State, when he hit five consecutive baskets in the final three minutes of the game. In 1981-1982 season, Jones led WVU in scoring with an impressive 15.8 average. He also led the team in assists (155), steals (72) and playing time (1,194). Jones finished fourth in the Eastern Eight in scoring during his regular season and 13th nationally in steals in 1981. He averaged 15.0 points during the Mountaineers' Australian tour in 1981. Jones topped the Mountaineers in scoring in 13 games and scored in double figures 29 times. His best performance was a 31-point outing at St. Bonaventure and 32 points against Rutgers. In 1982-1983, he had several 30+point performances, and had been held to single digits only ten times in his last 50 games in 1983. He was selected to the NIT All-Star team, the Eastern Eight All-Conference squad and as West Virginia's most valuable player by the coaches. Jones majored in speech communication.