On NBA Draft Eve, most analysts are handing in their final mock drafts hoping to be the most correct regarding team selections. They’ve talked to general managers, scouts, and owners and have a pretty good handle on how certain teams view certain players. One thing that continues to bother me about all the mock drafts is that most analysts don’t think Terrence Jones should be drafted with a lottery pick – and they couldn’t be more wrong. I know I’ll be accused of having tunnel vision when it comes to UK prospects, but, if you were to take the Kentucky off Jones’ jersey, I would likely say the same things about him. Jones is an outstanding NBA prospect, a high character guy, and should be a top ten pick tomorrow.
I can’t fathom how an individual who played such a vital role in a national championship run, and is arguably the most versatile player in the draft, is projected to slip out of the top ten. Maybe even the lottery selections. Yes, there are questions about his motor, something which Kentucky fans have seen and can attest to, but those same fans will tell you, towards the end of the season, Jones was as dialed in as we’ve ever seen him.
In professional sports, head coaches stress how much high character guys help their teams become successful. Jones, after being criticized by some following a not-so-great freshman year postseason, could have headed for the NBA, and been in the same projected position that he’s in today. Instead, he returned to Kentucky for a sophomore season determined to help accomplish a goal that he and the 2010-11 Wildcats narrowly missed. With him as a catalyst, Kentucky finally reached the college basketball mountaintop and the program’s elusive eighth national title. As good as he is on the court, Jones is an even better person off the court. If he’s not surprising his mother with gifts, he’s fulfilling a super fan’s dream out of the goodness of his heart.
I’ll be the first to say how stacked this draft is. A ton of tomorrow’s first-round selections, maybe even some second round ones, are going to have long, productive careers in the NBA. But, when general managers see a special talent available such as Jones, they should take a long, hard look at them. Jones is currently rated behind names like North Carolina’s John Henson, Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie, and Baylor’s Perry Jones III on some mock drafts. All of which have found themselves on the losing end of a game the against the Jones-led Wildcats.
I believe that Jones can be a ten-year starter in the NBA with the right head coach demanding his best, night in and night out. Who wouldn’t want a lengthy, inside/outside, super athletic guy, who can guard small and power forwards? A lot of teams might not be picking in the lottery if they had a player like that starting at their power forward position. Hopefully a general manager comes to his senses and takes Jones with a lottery, or even better, a top ten pick. If not, some team will get a ton of value out of their mid-first round selection.
[powered by WordPress.]
Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
9 queries. 0.340 seconds