Notes: Eagles 'just laugh' at Jones' guarantee
Still never quite sure how to handle statements made on Facebook.com -- is it a public statement, open to scrutiny as such? -- but there's more and more reaction to a bold statement attributed to USF guard Dominique Jones, whose confidence has been overflowing in recent weeks.
Here's what was posted by Jones after the team's loss at Notre Dame, in which he went 3-for-17 from the field, but also had eight assists and zero turnovers. Jones has more than 1,100 friends on Facebook, so it's a decent crowd privy to what he's writing.
"TO ALL THE USF FANS WHO CONTINUE TO ASK AND COMMENT ABOUT THE GAME- WE PLAYED IN 1 OF THE HARDEST PLACES TO WIN-I DIDNT PLAY WELL BUT IM GOOD FOR A BAD GAME EVERY 10- BUT NOW WE ARE IN FULL EFFECT- AND I GUARANTEE 4 MORE BIG EAST WINS IN A ROW- COPYRIGHT THIS QUOTE FROM JONESBOY ENT"
Naturally, word of this has gotten to tonight's opponent, Marquette, where local media asked coaches and players about the quote Thursday. You can watch video of the interviews on Marquette's official site -- coach Buzz Williams, who impresively says USF has "three NBA players" on roster, says that Jones "is good enough to say what he wants to say."
Marquette's top scorer, Lazar Hayward, said he "just laughed" at Jones' guarantee. "Probably just something he's trying to do, trying to inspire his team. It may not work. We'll see," he said. "False confidence doesn't go too far."
A few sites have written about Jones' guarantee -- from Blackathlete.net to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to Fanhouse.com. Marquette blog Crackedsidewalks.com reminds USF in response that "you are perpetually one of the worst teams in conference." Both teams are squarely on the NCAA bubble, so neither needed any extra motivation for the game, but it's there if they need it ...
-- A little follow-up on new Bulls commitment Hugh Robertson, the 6-5 guard from Tallahassee Community College. Talked with Dartez Talbott, his high school coach at Macon (Ga.) Northeast two years ago, and he's not surprised to see Robertson pledged to play at a high level of college basketball.
Talbott said Robertson's strength in high school was his versatility -- he recalls him just missing a quadruple-double in one game, tallying 22 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists and nine steals. Robertson could defend any position on the court, posting up with taller players and keeping up with quicker guards. One game, Talbott suspended his top shooting guard, and Robertson responded by going 8-for-9 on 3-pointers.
"I saw great potential," Talbott said. "He can shoot, he can defend, and he can jump out of the gym. We played in summer camp against the top players in Georgia, and it was nothing for him to have five or six alley-oops in a game."
Talbott said Robertson's weakness might be his unselfishness, looking out for his teammates almost too much when he needed to be confident in his own ability to score points. it's a noble quality most places, but as a 2-guard, it can limit his success. "Shoot the damn ball," Talbott would say, but he said he's seen more confidence in Robertson's statistics this season.
Talbott said Robertson is one of the best athletes he's ever coached, in the top three or four as far as all-around game, and his coaching days go back to former Louisville and Celtics star Greg Minor in the late 1980s.