Jones to test NBA waters?

One of the biggest questions for the men’s basketball team is whether junior guard Dominique Jones will return for his senior season or enter the NBA draft.

After USF’s 58-57 loss to N.C. State in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night, Jones was asked if he would be in a USF uniform next season. Jones replied, “no comment.”

And an update to his Facebook status Wednesday morning said, “It’s time to make money now,” starting speculation that Jones would indeed declare for the NBA draft in June.

That, however, prompted Jones to issue this statement through the school Wednesday night:

“I want to set the record straight in regards to my plans regarding the NBA,” he said. “I have not made a decision on going to the NBA or returning to USF. At this time, I plan on gathering information on my status and will likely test the waters to further determine my positioning within the draft.

“I also expect to get feedback on areas of improvement for myself.”

Per NBA rules, Jones can enter his name in the draft pool without losing his senior year of eligibility. He can withdraw his name by the June deadline as long as he doesn’t sign with an agent.

Jones, a 6-foot-4 guard who averaged more than 23 points per game in Big East play, is projected as a high second-round pick, according to First-round draft picks get guaranteed contracts.

Jones said he plans to talk thoroughly about his plans with USF coach Stan Heath and his father.

“In the near future, I hope to have a clearer picture of what my plans will be,” Jones said. “My goal to play in the NBA, as well as my goal to earn a college degree, (are) both important to me. My dad and my coach will help me in this process.”

Taylor, Bedford miss practice for academics

Senior running back Jamar Taylor and senior defensive end David Bedford are still no-shows at spring football practice because of “academic issues,” said coach Skip Holtz on Wednesday.

“There are just some things right now they’re falling a little bit behind (with),” Holtz said. “I told them before, ‘We’re going to take care of what we have to off the field’ … I don’t want them to be here for spring practice and take up a spot and have us get all excited about what they’re doing on the field only to find out that we’re not getting done what we need to get done academically.”

Holtz said both could still participate later in spring practice. Taylor, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, is a potential starter at running back. Bedford started three games and played in all 12.

Women’s tennis moves up in rankings

After a 7-0 sweep of New Mexico on Tuesday, the USF women’s tennis team rose to No. 16 in the ITA national rankings.

Led by junior Irene Rehberger and senior Melissa Koning, who are ranked No. 14 in the country as a doubles tandem, the Bulls (9-4) have won four-straight matches. USF’s next match is at home against Rice on April 2.