2010 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Dominique Jones

Editor's Note, by rook6980: This is the 17th installment in a series of regular postings on draft prospects.  This series will take a look at the top draft prospects for the 2010 NBA Draft in June. The plan is to have one or two a week, leading up to a flurry of activity the week of the draft. My DVR is crammed full of college games, and I'm watching and writing as fast as I can.

Let's jump around a little bit. With the Wizards bringing in six players for workouts this week, I thought I'd take a look at some that might actually be available when the Wizards pick at #30 & #34. First up is Dominique Jones.

Dominique Jones 

  • PG/SG
  • 21 Years Old
  • 6'4, 205 lbs
  • South Florida, Junior
I have to admit, I only saw three South Florida games this year, but in all of them Dominique Jones was a standout. About mid-season, I was watching Wes Johnson and Syracuse against South Florida. I had tuned in to the game to watch Johnson, a projected lottery pick - but I got mesmerized by a 6'4" South Florida guard named Dominique Jones. This guy shot from everywhere. Teardrops in the lane followed by NBA distance three-pointers. Jones drove the lane and threw his body around with a reckless abandon, getting fouled HARD and sometimes still making the shot. He ended up with 30 points (7-13 shooting), nine rebounds and three assists. His team just wasn't in the same league as Syracuse, and South Florida lost by something like 14 points.

The next time I watched a South Florida game, I did so with the explicit intent of keeping an eye on Dominique Jones. Against West Virginia, Dominique Jones was once again the best player on the court, scoring 28 points and grabbing seven rebounds, but his team just couldn't do anything to help him, and they lost by nine points. Finally, I watched him explode against Providence for 46 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. South Florida was down by 12 points with two minutes to go when Jones led his team in a furious comeback, hitting big shot after big shot. The game finally went into overtime and in the OT session, he scored nine points to help secure the win for his team. It was perhaps the most impressive offensive performance I have seen all year.

More after the jump

Dominique Jones is a 6'4" combo guard with a terrific first step and a powerful NBA ready body. He reminds me of a mini Tyreke Evans; but perhaps with a bit less explosive jumping ability. He's got great body control. He seemingly likes contact, both when he's going to the basket, and when he's defending.  He's got a long wingspan and large soft hands.

Jones was a very dangerous scorer in college, seemingly able to create his own shot with ease. He has a quick first step and terrific body control on his drives to the basket. He does an excellent job making decisions in the lane - where he can go up with the best floater in college today or go all the way to the rim. He's not afraid of contact, and frequently finishes, even through very heavy contact. He's a very aggressive offensive player, as evidenced by the fact that he gets to the foul line 9.2 times (per 40 minutes). When you’re 6-4, that's damned impressive.

Jones was a marked man this year at South Florida. Teams keyed their defenses at stopping him, knowing there was no one else on the team that could hurt them; and Jones still put that team on his back and carried them to a 20-13 record (9-9 in the Big East); averaging over 21 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

He's a very good ball handler, able to drive both right and left. He is good enough ball handler to bring the ball up the court and get a team into its offense. He has some advanced ball handling skills (spins, crossovers, hesitations, behind the back, etc.) and is relentless in probing the defense for driving lanes. He's a better passer than he's given credit for. He keeps his head up on his drives and can find open teammates. He's also very good at the pick-and-roll game, able to find the big man rolling to the basket, or pulling up for a jumper. But having said all that, he's definately not the typical point guard type. He has a go-to scoring mentality of a shooting guard rather than the pass-first mentality of a point.

As for his jump shot, Jones has an excellent mid-range game - shooting the 12-18ft jumper with confidence and making a good share of them. From longer distance, though, his consistency falls off, and he becomes very streaky. Jones has good mechanics. His release is high, but he's rather slow. Because he doesn't have explosive leaping ability, he doesn't get tremendous lift from his legs; that, combined with the fact that at 6'4" he'll most likely be going up against taller, more athletic opponents in the NBA, he may have trouble consistently getting his shot off at the next level. He hit only 31% of his 3-point shots last year - so improving the consistency and range on his jump shot should be a high priority for him this summer.

On defense, Jones takes a good fundamental stance, and stays engaged with his opponent. He seems to take great pride in his defense, working extremely hard on that side of the court. He frequently defended the opponent's best perimeter scorer. He likes to get right into his man's grill and stay there. He's extremely strong, and is effective at fighting through screens.

Even though he's not an "elite" athlete, Jones comes up with a fair number of blocked shots, because he contests every shot. While he doesn't seem to have the quickness to keep up with the quickest guards, his solid fundamentals help to diminish that deficiency some what. He's got quick, active hands and averages almost two steals per game. He rebounds extraordinarily well for his size, grabbing an astounding 6.6 boards (per 40 minutes) - one of the best rebounding guards in the draft.

As far as intangibles go, Jones is reportedly a great leader and an extremely hard worker. Some of the terms I've seen thrown around are: Mature, Polished, Experienced, Competitive, Coachable, Tough, Determined, High energy, Gives max effort, Excellent work ethic, High Basketball IQ.

Strengths:

  • Strong player with a solid frame
  • Ability to create his own shot
  • Shows diverse offensive skills
  • Can create off the dribble
  • Right-handed floater
  • Good Pick-and-roll decision maker
  • Good mid-range game
  • Fundamentally sound
  • Advanced Ball Handling skills
  • Low mistake player
  • Good passer - excellent court vision
  • Can play on or off the ball
  • Can finish at the rim
  • Good FT Shooter (75%)
  • Gets to the FT line a lot
  • Solid defensive skills
  • Works hard on Defense
  • Excellent rebounder
  • Great intangibles
Weaknesses
  • Undersized for Shooting Guard
  • Not an explosive leaper
  • Inconsistent outside shot
  • Needs to get more lift on his jump shot
  • Needs to extend the range on his jumper
Dominique Jones has some NBA ready skills. He can create his own shot, he's a very good ball handler and he plays hard on defense. Although I don't think Jones will be a star, he could be the sleeper of the Draft if he slips to the second round. Every team needs a solid perimeter player coming off the bench that can score and defend. Jones can do both. I can see him filling several needs (Bench scorer, emergency back-up Point Guard, 2nd unit defensive stopper, etc.).  Most second unit shooting guards in the NBA are 6'5" or less - whereas most starters are 6'6" or bigger. Coming off the bench, he would be playing against opponents more his same size, and his shot creating abilities and defensive skills could be utilized to their fullest.

Previous Draft Profiles:

John Wall PG 6-4 195 Fr Kentucky Declared for the NBA Draft.
Evan Turner SG 6-7 217 Jr. Ohio St Declared for the NBA Draft.
Wesley Johnson SF 6-7 205 Jr. Syracuse Declared for the NBA Draft.
Derrick Favors PF 6-9 246 Fr. Ga. Tech Declared for the NBA Draft.
DeMarcus Cousins C 6-11 280 Fr. Kentucky Declared for the NBA Draft.
Al-Farouq Aminu F 6-8 218 Soph. Wake Forest Declared for the NBA Draft
Cole Aldrich C 6-11 245 Jr. Kansas Declared for the NBA Draft
Greg Monroe C 6-10 247 Soph. Georgetown Declared for the NBA Draft
Patrick Patterson F 6-8 235 Jr. Kentucky Declared for the NBA Draft.
Ed Davis F 6-10 225 Soph. North Carolina Declared for the NBA Draft.
Hassan Whiteside  C 7-0 235 Fr. Marshall Declared for the NBA Draft
Xavier Henry
SG 6-6 220 Fr. Kansas Declared for the NBA Draft.
Larry Sanders PF 6-10 220 Jr. VCU Declared for the NBA Draft.
Ekpe Udoh PF/C 6-10 240 Jr. Baylor Declared for the NBA Draft.
Stanley Robinson SF 6-8 220 Sr. UConn Senior - Eligible for the Draft
James Anderson SG 6-6 195 Jr. Oklahoma St. Declared for the NBA Draft.
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