TAMPA - Former University of South Florida standout Dominique Jones became the first USF player to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft when the Memphis Grizzlies picked the guard 25th overall Thursday night on a national television broadcast. Jones was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks for cash considerations.
"It feels good [to be drafted in the first round]," said Jones. "I feel like USF was a good choice for me. I worked my way up. This is just a turning point. I have to keep going. I've got a long ways to go. I'm ready."
With the selection, Jones trumps former USF center Solomon Jones, who was selected 33rd overall by the Hawks in the 2006 draft.
USF is one of six teams across the nation to have a player selected in the first round of both the NFL and NBA Drafts this year. Former USF defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was selected 15th by the New York Giants earlier this year. The other five teams are Georgia Tech, Fresno State, Texas, Oklahoma State and Clemson.
Jones' name was announced at Madison Square Garden by NBA Commissioner David Stern as the 25th overall pick in the first of two rounds on the night.
On May 8, Jones decided to forgo his senior season at USF by leaving his name in the draft pool. At the time, Jones was predicted to be selected late in the second round, but Jones improved his draft status by participating in pre-draft tryouts in 18 cities.
USF has had a total of seven players selected in the NBA Draft, dating back to 1982. Willie Redden was the first of three former Bulls to be picked, a third-round selection by San Antonio. Tony Grier (4th, San Antonio) and Vince Reynolds (6th, Cleveland) were also chosen in 1982. Jim Grandholm (1984, Washington), Charlie Bradley (1985, Sacramento) and Curtis Kitchen (1986, Seattle) were the last Bulls selected in the Draft until Solomon Jones was Atlanta's second round pick, 33rd overall, in 2006.
Watch Jones in action here.
In 33 games this year at USF, Jones averaged 21.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 37.1 minutes per game. He shot 45.0 percent from the field and hit 74.1 percent of his free throws. Jones logged 21 games with 20 points or more, including the last six games of the year.
Jones exploded for a career high 46 points vs. Providence (1/23/10), shooting 15-23 from the field, 2-6 from 3-point range and 14-18 from the free throw line, vaulting USF to four-straight BIG EAST wins and an appearance in the national polls (receiving votes).
Jones earned the 2010 BIG EAST Scoring Title for his 23.2 points per game average and was tabbed to the AP All-America Honorable Mention Team, the NABC All-District 5 Second Team, and the All-BIG EAST First Team. In addition, he earned a spot on the Mid-Season Naismith Award List and the Wooden Award Finalist List.
Check out a complete list of his awards here.
Jones ended the season with 705 points, the second-most in USF history, behind Charlie Bradley's 901 in 1982-83. Jones made 209 free throws this year to own the school record for most free throws made in a season.
In just three seasons with the Bulls, Jones is listed on nine career records lists at USF. He is tops in free throws attempted (615) and second in free throws made (453). He is fourth in field goals attempted (1,339) and fifth in three pointers attempted (495), scoring (1,797 points) and field goals made (592). He is seventh in three point field goals made (160) and steals (144) and 10th in assists (328).
USF Draft Picks with Year Taken, Team and Round
Dominique Jones - 2010 - Memphis - 1st
Solomon Jones - 2006 - Atlanta - 2nd
Curtis Kitchen - 1986 - Seattle - 6th
Charlie Bradley - 1985 - Sacramento - 3rd
Jim Grandholm - 1984 - Washington - 4th
Vince Reynolds - 1982 - Cleveland - 6th
Tony Grier - 1982 - San Antonio - 4th
Willie Redden - 1982 - San Antonio - 3rd