The big question surrounding the USF basketball team these days is whether star player Dominique Jones should come back for his senior year or make himself available for the NBA Draft.
NBADraft.Net has Jones as the 20th overall pick going to the San Antonio Spurs, listing him as the fourth best shooting guard in this year’s draft behind Evan Turner, Xavier Henry and James Anderson.
But ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale doesn’t agree and says the choice is simple for the 6-4 guard. He should stay.
“No, he should absolutely not come out,” Vitale said. “He should build off this year. A good recruiting class comes in, which will help him get his stock even higher. I’ve seen ratings where he is not in the first round at all, where he is maybe even late second round.
“My feeling is he would be wiser to see his stock elevate and really build off what he achieved this season. He needs to defend better and improve his shot selection. He is a volume shooter, shoots a lot of shots and he needs to get a better understanding of that. From the beginning of the year to the end, he is a much improved player.”
In 33 games this season, Jones averaged 21.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game shooting 45 percent from the field and 74.1 on free throws. In conference games, he was the Big East’s top scorer (23.2 ppg).
Scouting reports say his best attributes are his strength and ability to create his own shot particularly at taking it to the basket. The biggest criticism has been inconsistency in his long range shooting (31% on 3-point attempts).
Vitale is impressed with USF and head coach Stan Heath, who guided the Bulls to the second biggest turnaround of the six major conferences going from 9-22 (4-14 Big East) to 20-13 (9-9). He says Heath has one of the toughest coaching jobs in America, but his vote for Big East Conference Coach of The Year is Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.
“I think coach Heath did a fantastic job to win nine games in the toughest conference in America,” Vitale said. “He can build off of that and next year they are going to have a multi-million dollar complex for practice, which will play another role in recruiting,” Vitale said. “I think coach Boeheim is the Big East
Coach of the Year. Syracuse was predicted to finish sixth in the Big East and finished in the top five in America.”