Jones: Im going to be a great NBA player in the long run

Former USF star Dominique Jones has made a few pre-draft headlines lately.

Jones’ recent comments after a workout with the Washington Wizards about how his talents will translate in the NBA implied he couldn’t show the full extent of his basketball game in college because of the talent and coaching surrounding him.

When asked by a reporter from Bullet’s forever, a Washington Wizard’s blog, who was the best player Jones played in college, Jones mentioned West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler, Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson and Villanova’s Scottie Reynolds. Jones, however, added his own insight in response to the question.

“You can never really measure how good someone is because of the team they have surrounding them compared to the team I had surrounding me,” Jones said to the blog earlier this week.

“There’s a lot of things that I can do that I wasn’t able to show in college because of the team that I was on and the talent surrounding me,” he added. “I feel like if I can take guys like that and go beat teams in the top 10, the top 20, then if I get some other pros, I can make some good things happen.”

Jones also referenced the coaching he received in college.

“That’s something some other guys have an advantage over me because they’re used to it. They had the coaching on how to be an NBA player, and I feel like I’m raw talent,” he said.

After his words drew controversy, Jones said Wednesday he meant no harm, but just wanted to differentiate between the level of talent in the college game and the professional ranks.

“That wasn’t what I meant,” Jones, who has since talked to former USF teammates to clear the air, said to the St. Petersburg Times on Wednesday. He said he did not intend for his comments to be a knock on his former team. “I just wanted to say that I can show different aspects of my game with different talent around me. I want to let everybody on the team know what I meant. We went to war together, and they know who I am as a person.”

Jones said he was contacted by members inside USF about Monday’s comments, which prompted his explanation.

Jones, who is projected as a late first-round pick in most mock drafts, was recently compared to Miami star Dwyane Wade by ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb.

“(Jones) has a Dwyane Wade-type of game and position. Not a point, not a 2, just a scoring guard that shoots it at an average level, but is unreal at getting into the paint,” he said in his latest ESPN Insider column.
“Jones is a good pickup for a playoff team needing offense off the bench, but he needs to shoot it better from 3. Though he has no position, he can guard a point or an average-sized 2 right now, which will help him get onto the court this year.”

Jones, expanding on his comments from earlier, said he knows he can make an impact at the next level.

“As long as I have a good situation and the opportunity to go out on the court and show what I can be, in the long run, I’m going to be a great player,” Jones said to reporters in Washington this week. “People are going to look back 10-15 years from now and be like, ‘How was that Dominique Jones still in the draft?'”

Taylor leaves USF football

Running back Jamar Taylor won’t play his senior season at USF after deciding to leave the program, the team announced earlier this week.

Taylor, who was held out of spring practice because of academics, played in just four games last year while nursing a knee injury suffered before the season.

Taylor’s departure leaves USF thin at running back. Senior Mike Ford was kicked off the team before spring practice.

Sixth-year senior Mo Plancher is the starter heading into the fall, with sophomore Demetris Murray backing him up.

Son of Heath to play for Bulls

USF men’s basketball coach Stan Heath’s son, Jordan Heath, will walk-on for the USF basketball program and be eligible for next season.

Jordan, a 5-11 guard out of class 2A state runner-up Tampa Prep, averaged 3.9 points per game last season as a senior.