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Jones excited for USA tryout

USF guard Dominique Jones accepted an invitation May 27 to attend the 2009 USA Men’s World University Games Team training Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo. from June 16-24.

Jones will compete against 16 other elite players from across the country for a spot on the 12-man roster, which will be announced prior to the team’s departure for Serbia on June 25.

Jones, a junior from Lake Wales, averaged a team-best 18.1 points per game last season and was a Big East Conference honorable mention. Jones talked to the Oracle as he prepared for his upcoming trip.

The Oracle: What was your initial reaction to the invitation?
Dominique Jones: I was surprised and excited at the same time. I’m glad that I got this

O: Was it a topic that was brought up in the past, or did it catch you by surprise?
DJ: It was a little bit of both. Coach said something to me about it, but I wasn’t really sure it was going to happen. When it happened, it kind of hit me by surprise. I’ve been preparing ever since.

O: Has coach Stan Heath given you any advice about going to the camp?
DJ: He told me to be in shape. I’ve just been trying to get in shape by working out. I want to be as sharp as I can. There’s one thing about representing South Florida, but when you get to go somewhere and represent the United States, you’ve got to be special.

O: Can you talk a little about playing with the cream of the crop players throughout the country?
DJ: It should be fun. I don’t know those guys personally but I know (West Virginia’s) Da’Sean Butler and (Villanova’s) Corey Fisher from the Big East.

If you make the team, will this be your first time out of the country?
DJ: Yeah, I just got a passport. It’s going to be a new experience.

Are going to try to make a vacation out of it?
DJ: I’m going to try, but it’s still business.

O: What does it mean to represent USF like this?
DJ: Out of all the good players that have come through USF, I don’t know how many have ever played on this team. For me to do something like this, to be the first person to do this … it feels good. But then again, it pushes me to keep going hard.

O: Where does this rank on your career accomplishment list?
DJ: I only celebrate things when they come. If I don’t get selected, it’s going to push me to get back in the gym and go harder. If I do get selected, I’m going to still go hard and I still feel like I’m going to have a chip on my shoulder. It’s either/or — I just don’t know.

O: How will this experience help you for next season?
DJ: It’ll help. Going back to what you said, if I don’t make the team, I’ll feel like I failed. I know you have to fail to succeed but this isn’t something I want to fail in. This is like my first season. Then I come back after July 12, rest for a week or so, and go back to my second season.