OK, first let's give Dominique Jones his inch. He is not 6-foot-4. He is officially -- by NBA measurements -- 6-5.
And that's important. The NBA is a tough gig for a 6-4 shooting guard unless he can handle the rock and play a little point, too, something Jones says he can do.
"I feel like I can play either position and be effective at either position because I have a 6-9½ wing span; I'm 6-5 with shoes on," Jones said. "I mean, I stood next to Kobe [Bryant] and he's not really that much taller than me. I'm just ready for it all."
Including working on areas of his game that need improving. Jones is a creative slasher, but he's not a great shooter. Even coach Rick Carlisle classified Jones as a scorer and not a shooter. And that gets back to the 6-4 -- or 6-5 -- shooting guard arguement. Can one survive without a mid-range game and rely solely on attacking the rim to score and get to the free throw line.
"I always feel spot-up shooting is important and you can always get better at that; just repetition, muscle memory," Jones said. "I know what my weaknesses are and I know what I have to work on. I'm ready."
Jones shot just 32.3 percent from 3-point range in his three seasons at South Florida. His percentage actually dropped the past two seasons while his attempts went up. He hit 30.9 percent as a sophomore (54-of-175) and 31.1 percent last year (52-of-167).
His 2-point percentage also dipped after his freshman season when he made 46 percent (177-of-385) of his tries. As a sophomore he dropped to 41.9 percent (193-of-461) and boosted back up to 45.0 percent (222-of-493) last year.
"He has the ability to get places with the ball. He's got an assortment of floaters, his shooting is good, but it's going to get better," Carlisle said. "But, he's just a very resourceful scorer and a guy with toughness. Toughness and energy are things that are high on our list."
If Jones is anything, he is tough. He got to the free throw line 282 times last season, about nine times a game playing in the Big East by initiating contact on his way to the rim. That ability helped to raise his career scoring average to 18.9 points with a career-high average of 21.4 last season.
He owns a ridiculous point-to-shot ratio, more than one point per shot, thanks to his determination to get to the free throw line by driving to the basket. And, that's the skill the Mavs most coveted.
"With kids coming out of college right away, he has what we would consider kind of a pro ability to get his own shot and create," Carlisle said. "A lot of kids coming out of college, they get in late-clock situations with the shot clock and it's tough. You don't get a lot of those in the college game because the shot clock is a lot longer. We think he's a unique guy."