Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kicking It With Dominique Jones

Meet Dominique Jones.

He was the most underrated, underappreciated guard in the Big East last season, operating offense for the South Florida Bulls.

A standout sophomore on the downtrodden, cellar-dwelling Big East team, Dominique Jones isn't worried about skyrocketing to stardom.

Not being mentioned along the same lines as other top-flight Big East guards never seizes to shock him.

Jones is a cool customer, never taxed or bothered by the lack of individual shine, headlines, or the fact that he's yet to crack All-Conference.

Jones doesn't pay attention to stat sheets.

He doesn't keep tabs on his numbers or troll ESPN.com, dissecting the stats of other playmaking guards who get much more love in the papers and by the pundits.

Not Jones.

He didn't self-boast about establishing a new high-water mark with a 36-point eruption against Iona.

Through his win-crazy energy and attitude, it's visible that personal accolades are meaningless to the chiseled 6-foot-4 guard.S

urprising people as a team, progressing on a day-to-day basis, and maintaining his role as USF's do-it-all guard are first and foremost.

As a player, Jones doesn't want to carry the tag of go-to-guy.

He wants to have a hand in everything. He wants his teammates to be beneficiaries of his presence.

Resonating the righteous ideology of the legendary Oscar Robertson, Jones feels a team's best player is the one who takes the team's worst player and makes him good.

"I want to do a little bit of everything. I don't want to be a scorer, I don't want to be a point guard, I don't want to be a shooting guard. I want to be a player. I want to do it all," explained Jones.

"I'm kinda underrated, people say that, but that's not my main focus. My main focus is just getting the job done for my team, just going out there and playing."

Jones was a veritable superman for the Bulls this season, leading the team in essential categories such as points (18.1), assists (3.9), and rebounds (5.6).

He shredded Bobby Huggins' complex West Virginia defense to the tune of 35 points.

He scorched the nets for 29 points and snared eight boards against Providence.

A cyborg in Nikes, Jones seldomly played under 32 minutes in a game this season.

"Our team is progressing," opined Jones.

"I feel like we take steps back sometimes, but we have to keep pushing forward and get the best out of (next) season. Our goal is to just be prepared for the Big East tournament, get as many wins as we can. We need to keep getting better, set history, and just keep flowing."

James continued, "Our main thing is to just keep going, keep going, keep going. If a team rips off a little run, we don't want to let up. We want to respond with a little run."

If the Bulls--who stamped a shocking, 57-56 upset win over Marquette back on Feb. 6--improve next season, Jones will make a little run to the Big East first team.

The versatile scorer could evolve into an NBA prospect at that point.

Jones starred at Lake Wales High, becoming a first team 4A all-state selection after averaging 21 points, 10 boards, and seven assists his senior year.

The kid is Lake Wales through and through. He represents the school everywhere he goes.When accidently asked if he played at a neighboring, rival high school, Jones gave a terse response.

"Hell no!" He said. . "Lake Wales baby, Lake Wales."

For more information on South Florida or any other Big East team, please visit the Big East Basketball Report at http://w3.nbebasketball.com