Welcome back to the longest 15-person countdown about the 2009-10 USF men's basketball team in the history of mankind. If you forgot about the countdown, or want to check back on the previous entries, click here.
"Ya'll come watch Dominique Jones play!"
That quote pretty much summed up the USF Basketball team this season. Before the year started, there were a lot of things that needed to happen for the Bulls to have some sort of success this season. We needed Chris Howard and Mike Mercer to bring their experience and defensive intensity (check). Jarrid Famous, Augustus Gilchrist, and Toarlyn Fitzpatrickneeded to stay healthy and not wear down towards the end of the year (pretty much a check) We needed a freshman to step up and drain shots from three. (/headdesk) But the one thing we needed was for Dominique Jones to continue his progress and take his game to another level. (triple check)
We've spoken at length about what DoJo meant to the team. Without him we don't win a single Big East game and Stan goes squarely on the hot seat next season. He is the best player EVER to don a USF jersey. I know some of the old school Bulls fans will try to say Chucky Atkins or Charlie Bradley should deserve the number one spot, but there is nothing that they can do to convince me otherwise.
Toro went to the Georgetown game in Feburary, and there is no way I can beat his description of Jones:
I've had a basketball crush on him since his freshman year, because it’s been clear his hoops IQ is Mensa standard. He sees the game the way I’ve always wanted every player with obscene talent like his to see it. He also has the physical talent to execute everything that mind can visualize. I’ve often called him a poor man’s Dwayne Wade. That’s not fair. He’s a middle class version with a matched 401k and stock options. Before the last two weeks I wondered about his size, quickness, and ability to compete at the next level. But I think I let my wall color what my eyes did see. I couldn’t believe that a player this good would actually play for my alma mater.
I know everyone will miss DoJo next season. We tried our best to keep him here, but in the end he made the right decision declaring for the draft. He looks like he will compete for minutes with the Mavericks, and I know he will do great things in Dallas.
So the question for you V5 readers is a good one: Who will be the 14th Most Important Player for USF Basketball next season? We've got three options for you, and choose wisely.