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August 19, 2006

BasketBulls focused on Parsons, Jones

It seems it's only a matter of time before Lake Wales combo guard Dominique Jones becomes part of USF's 2007 basketball recruiting class. Jones told Rivals.com earlier this week that he was leaning heavily toward USF, and he and his father reiterated that sentiment on Friday.

"They were the first ones to recruit me and they're still at the top of my list," Jones said. "I'm real comfortable with Coach (Robert) McCullum. As long as he's (at South Florida), it's all good. I'd definitely want to play for him."

Jones' father, Norman Jones, was even more to the point.

"He will sign early and USF is a clear No. 1. We'll visit Fresno State (Sept. 14) and we're waiting to hear from Pittsburgh about visiting there. Anything can happen. It's not 100-percent, but I really think he's just entertaining them. You know how kids are with wanting to take trips."

Jones, 6-foot-4, was a relative unknown nationally until emerging this summer on the AAU circuit. He impressed at tournaments in Las Vegas, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and Orlando. And in addition to his strong play, there was one constant for Jones at each stop - Robert McCullum.

"Every tournament he went to, he turned around and saw Coach McCullum sitting there. He's been with Dominique consistently for the last year and a half," Norman Jones said. "Everything is very positive for him at USF. He's been around campus a lot, so he can identify with what it's like to be a student there and he can envision his role on the team. He knows he can have a major impact and help big things happen."

  • CHANDLER PARSONS: "I can't go wrong." Lake Howell High forward Chandler Parsons has developed into one of the hottest prospects in the country because of the outstanding summer he turned in on the tournament circuit - and it's forced him to push back his timetable for making a commitment.

    Originally expected to decide on his collegiate destination before school opened in August, Parsons now has a full slate of visits set and it'll likely be at least late September before he's on someone's commitment list.

    "I wanted to get it done, but I had to step back and take a look at everything. There are a lot of campuses I want to see that I've heard so much about. It didn't make any sense to rush," he said. "I might go somewhere, fall in love with it and end it right there, but I could throw my final seven schools in a hat to pick from and I couldn't go wrong."

    Parsons has scheduled official visits to four of his seven chosen suitors - Florida (Aug. 25), Tennessee (Sept. 1), LSU (Sept. 8) and Notre Dame (Sept. 16). The other schools in the running are USF, Oklahoma and Indiana.

    The Bulls continue to be a strong draw for Parsons.

    "I just got a call from Coach (Greg) Gary. They're in Italy now and they're having fun. I went down there and hung out when they were practicing for the trip. I worked out a little bit with the freshmen and had a good time," he said.

    Prior to receiving an offer from Florida, Parsons had said in previous interviews that he was a longtime fan of the Gators. Many felt that if and when an offer from UF came, he would jump at the opportunity to commit. That hasn't happened.

    "I always wanted to go to Florida, but I'm not going to automatically commit there and stop everything I've been doing. I've met a lot of good people and there are still a lot of campuses I want to see," he said.


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