Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dick Vitale advises Dominique Jones to pass on NBA, stay at USF

Dominique Jones, who led the Big East in scoring as a junior, has said he’ll decide whether to declare for the NBA draft based on the team’s accomplishments.

Getty Images

Dominique Jones, who led the Big East in scoring as a junior, has said he’ll decide whether to declare for the NBA draft based on the team’s accomplishments.

NEW YORK — As great as Dominique Jones has been this year, leading the Bulls to 20 wins and leading the Big East in scoring, ESPN's Dick Vitale has some direct advice for the USF junior: Give yourself another year before you take your game to the next level in the NBA.

"I think he should definitely come back. I would strongly recommend that to him," Vitale said Monday night. "His stock is going up, but he needs another year to build on what he's done this season."

Jones earned first-team All-Big East honors after leading USF to a 9-9 conference record by averaging 23.2 points. He chipped in another 20 in Tuesday's conference tournament opening-round win against DePaul.

Jones has said his decision about returning for his senior year will have more to do with how much USF can accomplish as a team this season. He wants to leave knowing he took the Bulls to a new level of success.

Vitale thinks highly of Jones but said he shouldn't leave unless he knows he'll be a first-round draft pick. Second-round picks don't get guaranteed contracts and face long NBA odds, often playing on Developmental League affiliates instead.

BULLS JOIN IN: Vitale is excited that both Stan Heath and USF football coach Skip Holtz will be among the guests at his fifth annual Dick Vitale Gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota on May 21, which aims to raise $1 million to support cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Vitale said last year's event raised $1.2 million, and this year's will honor former Bucs coach Tony Dungy and Heath's mentor at Michigan State, Tom Izzo. Magic Johnson will introduce Izzo at the event, while current Colts coach Jim Caldwell will introduce Dungy.

OWN THE NINTH: USF's bullpen has struggled in baseball's 3-9 start, such that coach Lelo Prado is turning the closer role over to freshman Ray Delphey, a right-hander from Alonso who had worked as a weekend starter. Prado is open to using ace Randy Fontanez as a midweek closer between starts. … Prado got his 700th career victory, 14-7 over visiting Jacksonville on Tuesday.

THIS AND THAT: RB Jamar Taylor, who made a cameo at linebacker in December, is staying at his old position, new offensive coordinator Todd Fitch said. The only position change of note is WR Daniel Bryant, who will open the spring at cornerback when practice starts Tuesday. As a general rule, Holtz won't make position changes until after USF's first spring scrimmage. … You'd be hard-pressed to find a more improved player at USF than softball senior Alison Savarese, a Seminole graduate who has five home runs, 22 RBIs and a .404 average in the first 15 games. She was 3-for-4 in a 5-4 win over visiting Saint Joseph's on Tuesday. Last year she totaled one homer and 17 RBIs in 50 games. Freshman Lindsey Richardson has shown exceptional control in her first month at USF, with 42 strikeouts and three walks.

Dick Vitale advises Dominique Jones to pass on NBA, stay at USF 03/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 11:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  2. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?


    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss


    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: A by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 34-17 loss


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) hits Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) as he passes during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times