Ever since I was a wee little future blogger in Middlesboro, I always hoped that one day I would read the headline “Jones signs to play basketball for Kentucky.” Of course I hoped it would be Matt, not Terrence, but for UK’s sake the latter is a much better result. Defying all the odds, Terrence Jones signed with Kentucky this evening, putting a cap on another amazing Calipari recruiting class. Even though all those who went on record and speculated assumed that he was going to stick with the Washington Huskies (including his high school coach), Jones went in the other direction and decided to become a Cat. The news broke at 10:40 on Wednesday night, crashing KSR servers, making Jones a trending topic and generally causing celebrations throughout the Bluegrass. Kentucky has their stud Power Forward and now the pieces are finally in place for 2010-2011.
The impact of the Jones commitment cannot be understated. Terrence Jones coming to Kentucky means that UK will have the #1 class in 2010…BY FAR. The Cats have three players ranked in the Scout.com Top 10 in the class in Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter and Terrence Jones. Then you add another future pro in #28 ranked Doron Lamb and two solid pieces in Stacey Poole and Eloy Vargas and…well now you have a team that is looking at a Top 12 preseason ranking and the potential for real contender status come March. What was once a team that looked to have little front line depth just a week ago, now looks like a team that can put one of the 3-5 best starting lineups in America on the floor, and has the potential to dazzle again.
But enough about the class as a whole. What about Jones. When you think of Terrence Jones, think of a Lamar Odom-like player who is PERFECT for Calipari’s system. While I think the UK folks are excited about every player they have coming in, they coveted Jones like no other. His length, size, athleticism and ability to get to the basket are a perfect fit for the DDO and he will be a player who improves exponentially as the year goes on. Watch the Lakers play during the playoffs and see the way Lamar Odom handles the ball on the perimeter, but also scores inside. That is what Jones can do as well and he will make tons of plays for the Cats. It is a perfect fit and a perfect get.
Getting Jones will have a couple of negative effects. Washington fans will hate UK like none other, but they can get in line. After taking Enes Kanter and Terrence Jones, both former Washington commitments, the folks in Husky land are probably entering UL-levels of hate at this point. Both teams have the potential to face each other next year in Maui, and lets just say that we may have to keep the fans on opposite ends of the court. But besides that little irrelevant hiccup, Jones coming to UK will bring nothing but positivity. He takes UK from good to potentially great and sets the table for a great team next year and potentially transcendent team in 2012.
Its a great night UK fans. Jones time in Lexington…get on board. Your 2010 Class: