Tag:Terrence Jones
Posted on: May 7, 2011 4:14 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Jones returning to Kentucky

Kentucky's Terrence Jones announced via Twitter on Saturday that he's withdrawing from the NBA Draft and returning to school for his sophomore season.

"I've been enjoying being a college player and plan on striving to reach my goal of winning [UK's eighth national title]," Jones Tweeted.. "I can't leave the [Big Blue Nation] just yet.

Jones averaged 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds last season while helping the Wildcats make the Final Four. The 6-foot-8 forward was a projected lottery pick but decided to return and play with Darius Miller and a star-studded recruiting class that should have Kentucky ranked no lower than second in every preseason college basketball poll, No. 1 in some.

Underclassmen who have declared for the NBA Draft have until Sunday to withdraw.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: November 24, 2010 2:10 am
Edited on: November 24, 2010 2:22 am
 

Five thoughts on a great night of hoops

Tuesday marked the first real day of great college basketball games, and it was terrific. Here are five thoughts from a night that saw No. 1 Duke remain undefeated, No. 4 Kansas State take its first loss, Kemba Walker lead UConn past No. 2 Michigan State, and No. 8 Kentucky get by No. 13 Washington thanks to another stellar effort from yet another terrific John Calipari-coached freshman:

1. Duke is seriously talented, elite, all that and more

The Blue Devils were the nation's consensus preseason No. 1 team, and the nation saw why during their 82-68 win over Kansas State. You could reasonably argue -- I'm not saying I necessarily believe this, just saying it could be reasonably argued -- that Duke has college basketball's best player at three different positions, and that freshman Kyrie Irving is already the team's top player despite the fact that he joined a roster featuring seven guys with national title rings. This team was easy to love on paper, and it's even easier to love after watching it on the court. They won't lose when they play well. To top them, somebody will have to be really good on the same day they're a little off.

2. Jacob Pullen will probably be OK, I think

Jacob Pullen struggled against Duke, missed 11 of the 12 shots he attempted. So if you want to question him, you can. And I won't blame you. But I would like to remind you that he's had awful nights before and recovered nicely. The All-American candidate posted back-to-back 2-of-15 games last January and still went on to put 34 on BYU and 28 on Xavier during the NCAA tournament. Granted, it's unclear if Pullen can be that same type of player without Denis Clemente in the backcourt beside him, and, I know, Pullen hasn't looked great this season regardless of the opponent. But he's still undeniably the best player on a team that already owns wins over Virginia Tech and Gonzaga, and that's worth remembering in the spirit of perspective.

3. Kemba Walker is turning into a star

New York-area basketball enthusiasts have wanted Kemba Walker to be a star since the moment he enrolled at UConn, but it didn't happen that quickly for a variety of reasons. It's happening now, though. Walker recorded at least 30 points for the third straight game and led the unranked (for the moment) Huskies to a 70-67 victory over Michigan State. He's driving and scoring and, perhaps most impressively, leading. And though I can't imagine Walker keeps it up and really averages around 30 points per game, if he's anywhere close to this good consistently then my prediction that UConn will miss the NCAA tournament for the second straight year will be wrong in a major way.

4. Michigan State, as usual, will be a work in progress

As sure as Tom Izzo is spelled with two Zs, Michigan State will be there in the end. To think otherwise would be stupid. But it must be concerning for Spartan fans that Kalin Lucas was awful in the loss to UConn. While Walker had the type of game that enhances (and in many cases inflates) reputations, Lucas had one that damages them. He recorded four field goals and five turnovers in the loss, and an elite point guard shouldn't have games like that in his senior year even when he's coming off of an injury.

5. Terrence Jones is way better than I anticipated

I knew Terrence Jones would be good because he's big and skilled and naturally gifted, but what he's done through four games is ridiculous. The 6-foot-8 freshman is averaging 20.1 points and 11.8 rebounds after geting 16 points and 17 rebounds in UK's 74-67 win over Washington, and he's the main reason why the Wildcats are still overwhelming opponents despite losing five first-round picks from last season's team. Jones' waffling between Washington and Kentucky for two weeks last May -- specifically the way he toyed with fans via Twitter -- before ultimately signing with the Wildcats was a major turnoff in my eyes, but I don't care about that anymore. Kid is performing like a monster. Just tremendous. He'll never play college basketball next to permanently ineligible Turkish star Enes Kanter (barring a successful appeal to the NCAA). But, my lord, can you imagine how scary Kentucky would be with those two?
Posted on: November 15, 2010 11:57 am
Edited on: November 15, 2010 11:58 am
 

UK freshmen are already at it again

Kentucky's Terrence Jones won SEC Freshman of the Week honors Monday.

It was no surprise.

The 6-foot-9 forward got 25 points and 12 rebounds in Friday's win over East Tennessee State, and that's almost always gonna take the award unless Brandon Knight or Doron Lamb one-ups Jones, which is my way of saying you can expect a Wildcat to win SEC Freshman of the Week honors more times than not for the second straight year.

A Kentucky freshman won it 11 of 17 times last season.

This season should be similar considering Jones, Knight and Lamb combined for 62 points against ETSU.
Posted on: November 11, 2010 7:54 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2010 8:02 pm
 

Kentucky loses Kanter, gains a ceiling

"If Kentucky gets Enes Kanter eligible, I'm recruiting Ricky Rubio next year."

That's what a coach told me a couple of months back, and I think he was joking but I can't say for sure. Either way, what I took from that statement was this: The NCAA allowing Kanter to play despite his background as a professional basketball player in Turkey would, in the eyes of most everybody outside of Kentucky, set a dangerous precedent. That's why I said on a radio show in Louisville on Wednesday that I did not believe the NCAA would clear Kanter, and why I wasn't stunned when the NCAA announced Thursday that it has ruled the UK freshman permanently ineligible.

Kentucky will appeal, of course.

But good luck with that.

The reality is that the NCAA has concluded that Kanter received $33,000 above his necessary expenses for the 2008-09 season with a professional team in Turkey, and there's little reason to think any lawyer will be able to make the NCAA conclude otherwise. Essentially, Kanter is a professional regardless of what those pushing his cause insisted. And though I realize the ongoing saga centered around Auburn quarterback Cam Newton suggests otherwise, professionals -- or anybody whose amateur status has been knowingly and seriously compromised -- still aren't allowed to compete under the NCAA umbrella.

So what now for the Wildcats?

Smallball, for starters.

This development -- combined with Daniel Orton's unexpected jump to the NBA after one season -- has Calipari operating with a roster short on tall people. Terrence Jones is a 6-foot-9 freshman who is talented. But when Scout.com lists one of your weaknesses as "post play," well, that's a decent indication that you're not ready to be DeMarcus Cousins. In all seriousness, Jones is good, and he'll be good. But he's not a natural lowpost presence, and he'll have to drastically adjust his mindset to serve as UK's top post player because I don't believe Eloy Vargas, a 6-11 junior, is a difference-maker down low.

Beyond that, it's mostly just a bunch of guards and wings.

They're gifted guards and wings, to be sure, gifted enough, in fact, to still lead Kentucky to very good things. But whereas last season's Wildcats had no ceiling, these Wildcats almost certainly do now. This team will likely prove to be one player away from greatness, and that one player will end up being the guy the NCAA took away Thursday.
Posted on: September 9, 2010 9:21 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 9:32 am
 

FYI: UK didn't pass on an impact big for Kanter

It's impossible to write anything about Kentucky -- and by Kentucky, I mean John Calipari -- without folks from both sides flooding your inbox, and I don't really mind it. I'm fully aware there's no more polarizing figure in college basketball (and perhaps American sports) than the only man to have Final Fours vacated at two different schools. But that doesn't mean the complaints against him don't have to make sense, and the main complaint I've heard about Calipari's willingness to accept a commitment from Enes Kanter despite likely amateurism issues doesn't make any sense.

The complaint?

That Calipari possibly wasted a scholarship on Kanter that could've been used on another big.

The emails that say such are in response to me writing that signing Kanter was a "gamble worth taking" and that there "never was any real downside" for Calipari despite there being a real chance that Kanter would never be cleared to play. Some readers have insisted I'm wrong, that the downside is how UK might now have to start the season without an impact center. The following is a typical note that was posted on the message board below the column: "I'm not buying the no-lose story Parrish is selling. If Kanter doesn't come then [the Wildcats] are behind where they could've been had [Calipari] used the scholarship for a different center."

What's funny is that I received many emails making that same point, but nobody ever mentioned the "different center" Kentucky could've signed instead of Kanter. Want to know why? It's because there wasn't a different center to be signed, or at least not one that could have made any real impact at a program like Kentucky.

Let's rewind: Kanter committed on March 23, which is to say when there were no other impact centers available. Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Adreian Payne and all prospects like them had long been off the board, so there was nobody else to get. Furthermore, it's important to remember UK was, at the time, operating under the assumption that it wouldn't lose Daniel Orton to the NBA Draft. So all indications were that Calipari could afford to gamble on Kanter because he'd still have Orton either way, and, beyond that, who were the Wildcats going to take otherwise?

Again, there was nobody to take.

The best prospect taller than 6-foot-8 still on the board when Kanter committed was Terrence Jones.

And guess what?

Kentucky got him anyway.
Posted on: May 23, 2010 8:32 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2010 8:46 pm
 

Oregon assitant Payne spends weekend visiting UK


Oregon assistant Kenny Payne visited Kentucky this weekend and is a candidate to join John Robic and Orlando Antigua on John Calipari's staff, Oregon coach Dana Altman told CBSSports.com on Sunday.

"Kenny's really good," Altman said by phone. "He works hard and does a good job. That's why Kentucky wants him."

A move by Payne to Kentucky would come as no surprise given that he's a close friend of William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley, the basketball powerbroker with ties to Calipari. It's also worth noting that Payne has spent years recruiting Terrence Jones, a Portland native who committed to Kentucky last week. Multiple sources told CBSSports.com that Payne's probable presence at Kentucky was a factor, though not the determining factor, in helping the Wildcats lure Jones away from Washington. Jones publicly committed to Washington last month but waffled in the wake of a phone call with Calipari. The McDonald's All-American signed a financial aid agreement with UK last week.

Altman said he plans to meet with Payne to discuss his future in the next 48 hours.
Posted on: May 1, 2010 7:38 am
Edited on: May 1, 2010 7:45 am
 

Jones picks UW, talks to Calipari, then wavers


Terrence Jones announced at a Friday press conference that he will attend Washington.

But he didn't sign his letter of intent.

And now he's wavering.

And, of course, Kentucky's John Calipari is at the middle of the controversy.

"This is uncharted territory," Tweeted Scout.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep. "T-Jones basically had a wedding, consulted a divorce lawyer and began dating again all in the same day."

Unreal.

The gist of the story is that Jones, a McDonald's All-American from Portland, picked Washington over Kentucky, Kansas, Oregon, UCLA and Oklahoma early Friday while more than 25,000 watched live on the Oregonian's web site. Then, according to Percy Allen of the Seattle Times, Jones ended up on the phone with Calipari for about 15 minutes. It's unclear who called whom. But Allen wrote that the 6-foot-9 forward "seemed pained" after the conversation, and either way, it's true that Jones never actually signed with Washington despite announcing he would sign with Washington.

Jones is now reportedly considering Kentucky again.

There's no timetable for a resolution.
Posted on: April 27, 2010 12:02 am
 

McDonald's All-American Jones announcing Friday


Terrence Jones, the top unsigned prospect in the Class of 2010, will announce his college decision Friday, according to Scout.com's Evan Daniels.

Jones is a 6-foot-9 McDonald's All-American from Portland.

He'll reportedly choose between Kansas, Kentucky, Washington, UCLA, Oklahoma and Oregon.

MaxPreps.com ranks Jones as the No. 6 prospect in the Class of 2010.
 
 
 
 
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