Why Dominique Jones Should Return To South Florida for His Senior Season

Drew GatewoodAnalyst IMarch 16, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 09: Dominique Jones #20 of the University of South Florida takes it to the basket during the game against of DePaul University during the first round game of the Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 9, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Dominique Jones has a decision to make this postseason. He’s arguably one of the top five players ever to wear a Bulls uniform, but the NBA is calling. For the first time in his successful career at USF, Jones actually has some decent talent surrounding him, which adds to the difficulty of this decision.

The Bulls fell just short of making the NCAA tournament this season, but did secure an NIT bid. Jones was a huge part of the success that led to the best record USF has seen since the 1989-1990 season.

Dominique Jones is the Big East’s leading scorer this season. He’s also the only player in college basketball to average at least 21 points, six rebounds, and three assists this year. He was named first-team All Big East and also was on the Naismith list.

Accolades won't get you into the NBA, but they help garner some attention. Currently, Jones is seen as a second-round draft pick and is the rated the No. 8 scoring guard and No. 54 overall prospect. To put that in perspective, there are currently 29 teams in the NBA and two rounds of the draft, equaling 58 total picks.

Jones has some serious upside when compared to other potential scoring guards entering the draft. He already has an NBA body and plays tough physical defense.

His quick first step acceleration gives him an uncanny ability to get to the basket. Jones’ long arms give him the ability to be both a productive rebounder, and a pickpocket on defense.

It’s not all rosy with the Bulls' star player. He’s had to carry this team his entire career at USF, and because of that, he’s prone to have an itchy trigger finger. This is a huge problem, considering Jones is a very streaky shooter, often going cold for long periods of time during games.

His lack of perimeter jumpshot will hurt him in the draft as well. He’s shooting 31 percent on the season, but went 0-for-10 in the Big East tournament. He’s made some huge shots for the Bulls this season, but lacks consistency hitting from beyond the arc.

Jones' tendency to try and take over games leads to some erratic play and turnovers. Because he's a slasher, he spends the majority of the time he has the ball driving the lane and getting double-teamed. These double teams lead to potential three-point plays for Jones, but also have led to 96 turnovers on the season.

Jones could do himself some good by coming back for his senior year. Continuing to improve on mid-range and perimeter shooting could skyrocket his draft stock. Reducing his turnovers and maintaining his scoring numbers would also propel him into a mid-first-round pick.