Jones on pace for USF freshman scoring mark
Bulls guard Dominique Jones, fresh off his third Big East Rookie of the Week honor, is closing in on USF's freshman scoring record, set by B.B. Waldon in 1998-99.
With five games to play, Jones has 418 points, putting him 37 behind Waldon's record of 455. At his current average, he'll finish with 498 points, so the more interesting watch is to see whether he can get to 500 on the season. He'll need a real strong finish to crack the top 10 scoring seasons in USF history -- the cut to make that list is 533 points, so Jones would have to average 23 points the rest of the way.
Tonight's bar-bet trivia question is a doozy, and again, no looking it up in media guides: Counting conference games only, who holds the Big East freshman records for total points in a season, scoring average, and points in a game? (Clue: It's three different guys, two of which you should know.)
Other obscure statistical milestones to keep an eye on in the next few weeks: center Kentrell Gransberry is on pace to have the second-highest total rebounds in any USF season. Gransberry has 274, so he needs three rebounds to crack the all-time top 10 seasons, but he's on pace for 329, which would finish second behind the 383 Hakim Shahid had in 1989-90. Gransberry's current average of 11.0 would rank third, behind his 11.4 average last season, and Shahid's 12.4 in '89-90.
And if you want really obscure, pull for Solomon Bozeman to get to the free throw line at least 22 times in the last five games. Bozeman's shooting 87.5 percent at the line (35 of 40), which would be the third-best season in USF history, but to make the cut, a player has to average two free throws per game. In a 31-game season, that means 62 attempts. The good news? Bozeman can miss one of those 22 attempts and still get the highest free-throw percentage in school history. That record? Who could forget Cal Glover's 88.9 percent in 1976-77? Bozeman barely missed Glover's mark as a freshman last season, hitting 88.4 percent -- yes, by making just one more out of 147 attempts last season, Bozeman would have the best season in school history.
And, getting back to the freshman phenom Jones: Barring a ridiculous finish to his season, he will not be the Big East Rookie of the Year. That honor will go to Syracuse's Donte Greene, who has averaged about two more points per game for a more successful team, while ranking among the league leaders in rebounds (7.2) and blocks (1.8). Jones is a solid runner-up and a lock for any league all-freshman team. During the ESPN Regional broadcast Saturday, Mike Jarvis called him one of the best freshmen in the nation. Hard to argue with that ...