Heath: Jones has not made NBA decision yet

17

March

UPDATE: Stan Heath cleared this up pretty well here six hours ago, but USF has issued a statement from Dominique Jones:

"I want to set the record straight in regards to my plans regarding the NBA. 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. In the near future I hope to have clearer picture of what my plans will be. 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 be help me in this process."

Now, back to the "putting out fires" part of being a college beat writer. USF coach Stan Heath said Wednesday afternoon that junior guard Dominique Jones has not made up his mind about leaving for the NBA Draft or returning for his senior year, despite a Facebook.com status update from Jones saying "it's time to make money now."

"He has not made a decision to leave at all," Heath said. "You've got to take Facebook with a grain of salt."

Jones gave a "no comment" on Tuesday night when asked if he was coming back for his senior year, so there will be this kind of speculation until Jones announces a decision one way or the other. Heath said he will encourage Jones to put his name in the NBA Draft pool -- as Notre Dame's Luke Harangody did last spring before deciding in June to withdraw his name and return for his senior year. As long as underclassmen do not sign with an agent, they are free to withdraw by the June deadline and retain their eligibility, a significant difference between the NBA and NFL.

Heath said Jones is taking the same approach that many college underclassmen do, that he should not enter the draft unless he's been told with authority that he'll be a first-round draft pick, which carries a guaranteed contract. Heath said he will sit down with Jones and his father Norman to discuss the process, and he'll consult with NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson and NBA general managers to give Jones the best information he can as to where he might be selected.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:20pm]

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