In an interview with Andy Katz (funny how those things just pop up periodically, huh?), Kentucky coach John Calipari talked about Terrence Jones’ return to Kentucky for a sophomore season and what it meant for the team, as well as the player. Calipari said that Jones’ decision to return indicates that he’s ready to be challenged to be the best player in the country and elaborated by saying that he wants him to transform like former Arizona player Derrick Williams. Not a bad guy to aim for.
Williams’ freshmen numbers (15 points, 7 rebounds per game) were similar to Jones’ freshmen numbers, but he took a leap forward as a sophomore, putting up 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and upping his shooting numbers across the board (including hitting 57% of his threes, up from 25% as a freshman). Though their games are a little different, they both are perceived as “tweener” players at the next level and Cal wants Jones to improve his rebounding and effort as he pushes for better draft stock. It’s a calculated and astute comparison by Kentucky’s head man and one that, hopefully, will be the driving force behind an improved Terrence Jones.
For his part, Jones told Andy Katz that he wasn’t ready to leave college yet because he hadn’t adequately left his mark on the college game. He didn’t want, as Katz put it, to “be remembered as a nice complementary piece”. He summed it up best when he said, “I want to gain maturity. I want to learn how to be a better leader. I want to try and win a national championship with the new guys coming in.”