Seton Hall's Herb Pope has withdrawn from NBA draft, but Dominique Jones of USF is taking his game to the next level. (Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated)
One way or another, the Big East as we know it will have changed its landscape drastically before the first game of the 2010-11 season tips off.
The same day that Herb Pope decided to return to Seton Hall for his junior season, another game-changer opted to go the other way; as Dominique Jones announced his decision to forgo his senior season at South Florida yesterday and sign with an agent, thus allowing him to remain in next month's NBA Draft.
Projected to be anywhere from a mid-first round to early-second round pick, Jones has proven his ability to break a game open, averaging 21.4 points per game in his junior year while leading the Bulls into the NIT. Jones erupted for a career-high 46 points against Providence last season, but ultimately couldn't resist the lure of going pro. "Playing basketball for USF was fun, but it's always been my dream to play basketball at the highest level," remarked Jones when he publicized his decision, which became easier for him after his pre-draft workouts.
USF head coach Stan Heath, who will now look to forward Jarrid Famous to provide most of the offensive spark now vacated by Jones, praised his junior leader by calling him a "special player" during his three years with the program, and also one who "has done a lot to take our program to the next level."
NBA front offices, take note, as Jones will be an absolute steal for whoever is fortunate enough to draft him.