Jones tells Heath he's leaving for NBA draft
USF junior guard Dominique Jones won't make it official until May 8, but he told Bulls coach Stan Heath on Saturday night that he's entering the NBA draft, pleased with what he's heard about his draft position in the weeks since his season ended.
"He's surveyed the situation and has decided this is what's best for him, and we support him," Heath said Sunday afternoon. "He's been a big part of our success here, and we're going to miss him. This gives us a good leg up in terms of what we can do in recruiting. Nobody is going to fill his shoes, but we'll find someone who can contribute for us."
Jones' father, Norman, said Sunday that Jones will not retain an agent until May 8, the deadline for underclassmen to withdraw their name from the draft pool, just to guard against an injury or anything else that would hurt his draft status. But Jones said his son is confident he'll be able to be a first-round draft pick, which carries with it a guaranteed NBA contract -- he would be USF's first-ever first-round pick if that were the case.
-- Heath continues to work on finalizing his incoming recruiting class -- this weekend's visitors included junior college wing Hugh Robertson, who is committed to signing with the Bulls on Wednesday, and Davante Gardner, a high school center from Virginia who is choosing between USF and Marquette.
"He seemed to enjoy it," said Clint Wright, his AAU coach. "We just want to get into a family setting and discuss the different factors between USF and Marquette."
Wright said the 6-foot-9 Gardner had weighed as much as 325 pounds as a sophomore, but has worked himself down to about 280 pounds through conditioning and a better diet. Wright said Gardner might wait until late this week to decide, as his teammate and friend, Jay Copeland, is visiting Ball State on Thursday and the two had wanted to announce their college decisions at the same time.
-- It's rare that I go 24 hours without any Internet, but I spent all day Saturday camping with my son in Cub Scouts, so I'm now catching up on a lot of things. That starts with lefty Andrew Barbosa getting another solid start with 11 strikeouts in a 4-2 win against Georgetown on Saturday. That puts USF at 7-1 in the Big East and within one game of reaching .500 overall. The Bulls lead the Hoyas 4-0 in the fourth this afternoon, so another big sweep could be close for Lelo Prado's team.
-- Softball took a pair of losses to Notre Dame on Saturday, falling 4-2 in the opener despite a home run from JoJo Medina, then 10-1 in five innings in the second game, limited to one hit in the five-inning loss. The Bulls lost 2-0 on Sunday to finish the three-game sweep, dropping to 18-19 on the season.