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Terrence Jones: Junior?


I believe in Terrence Jones.  He announced his decision to stay last year on my birthday, which I took as a sign that he was meant to be a personal favorite of mine; so far, it’s held true.  Even from the first Waldo Geraldo Faldo comparison, I was sold: no way this guy was anything but alright.  But so far he’s proven that he’s a mercurial player that has great potential, but also a great measure of fluctuation as to how he’ll perform game in and game out.  With so much up-and-down in his output, it forces me to consider a question I never thought I’d ask:


Will we see Terrence Jones suit up in Kentucky blue next season?


In October, that question seemed preposterous.  The guy was on the precipice of leaving for the NBA before deciding, right at the deadline, that he was coming back for a second go at a national title.  While we of course appreciated that, there was little doubt that his motivations to win a championship were at the very least mingled with a desire to be drafted higher.  And that’s completely fine; there’s no grounds for saying that a player coming back to improve his stock is selfish, even if that is the only reason he comes back (which I don’t think was the case with Terrence).  However, we’re a little over halfway through the season.  Does he look like a better player than he did last year?


Quite frankly, it’s arguable that Jones is currently the third-best player on this team, behind MKG and Anthony Davis.  Keep in mind, that’s not necessarily a bad place for a player to be.  Both were selected as mid-season All-Americans, and MKG has worked himself onto many commentators’ Player of the Year lists.  They each came in with tremendous promise, and have overperformed.  Meanwhile, Jones is playing a little under where we expected him to be, especially during a rough stretch starting at Indiana, and has us all wondering where the “real” Terrence went, since we know how well he can perform.  But clearly, “Option 3” is not where we figured Jones would be on this team, nor likely where he thought himself to be at the start of the season.


During those first few games into the season, and particularly after the Kansas game at MSG, I thought Terrence could do no wrong.  He was playing strong, heady basketball, and seemed to be making all the right decisions every time he got a touch.  During the second quarter of the season, though, it was apparent that something was affecting his play.  Obviously, the pinky injury that reminded me of Major Payne (warning: gross) is a completely legitimate reason to underperform, but remember that his struggles started before that injury, at Assembly Hall, where he had four points, one rebound, and six turnovers in the loss.  There’s really no way to know what’s caused the funk.  It could be as simple as the injury, or it could be that Jones gets in his own head too often and thinks about mistakes too much; it could even be girl trouble, for all I care (I wouldn’t break up with you, Terrence).  It doesn’t matter what the source is, it only matters that he returns to the dominance that he’s capable of.


Recently, his game has started to pick back up.  Hopefully, it continues to do so, and he plays himself back onto the All-American and Player of the Year lists, gets drafted in the top five, wins some games in April, and we all look back at this post as being silly and grossly off point.  We all know he has the talent to do so, the guy oozes skill and strength in spades.  All we can wonder is where his motivation has gone, and what he can do to get it back.  Here’s hoping he gets it back tonight and single-handedly takes the Razorbacks out to the woodshed.  He’s got that kind of ability.  We’ve seen it.  But if he doesn’t use that ability, and we see for the third and fourth quarters of the season the play that he showcased in the second quarter, whether or not he’ll go pro is a legitimate question.  While I’d love to have him back another year, the cost for him to consider staying (underwhelming play the rest of the season) is not worth the reward.  I’d rather he revert to Terrence Jones: Basketball Superman form now, and go to the draft in June, than piddle around SEC play, and stay.  That sound about right to you?  Because there’s no way we’re winning a title without Jones playing to the best of his ability.  Our team is good now, but will be excellent when Jones and his teammates play one-hundred percent the way they’re capable of playing.


So if you’re reading this, Terrence, know that we need you.  You’re our dude, and the only reason people complain about ten point performances is because we know you can score forty.  Let’s make this happen, and get you onto the worst possible NBA team we can, making boatloads of money to spend on pointless stuff.


Oh, and if we happen to win a championship between now and then, so be it.

Article written by Corey Nichols

49 Comments for Terrence Jones: Junior?

  1. KC and jojo
    9:04 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    So true, go cats

  2. Hoss
    9:09 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Nope. Count me in as one not looking forward to an immature Junior TJ. The story of TJ got old last year, has become stale this year, and most likely will become a real issue if he’s here a 3rd year.

    There are PLENTY of great players lining up to play for Cal. Let them come, let TJ flex his muscles and pout on the the NBA’s dime.

  3. #CourierJournalDoesntExist
    9:11 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Not as stellar as your immaculate post from yesterday, but I’ll take it.

  4. HOO HOO
    9:15 am January 17, 2012 Permalink


  5. Dr. Phil
    9:17 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Some kids are late bloomers on the emotional maturity scale. TJ is apparently one of them. Give him a break. Let him grow up. I also think he likes being a relatively big fish in a relatively small pond. He may realize he’s not ready for the rigors of the NBA life.

  6. Calipari'sInYourEar
    9:19 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s see here… Shabazz hasn’t made up his mind yet and you post this story NOW?

    Hey Corey, do you have $#!+ for brains?

  7. rockatao
    9:19 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Jones probably should have gone pro last year. I don’t think his draft position will get any higher than it was then. Did you see Thomas Robinson last night? That’s what we hoped TJ would become.

  8. Mr. Obvious
    9:20 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Hoo Hoo…great games against Minnesota and Ohio State last week. Looks like the Cosmos is finally correcting itself!!

  9. stevie
    9:20 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I doubt that there is much Jones can do to improve his stock this year. Don’t get me wrong, I am behind him all the way. And the better he performs the better for UK. But, I wonder if the GM’s consider him a “head case?” In all honesty, if I owned an NBA team and were willing to spend millions on a player I would be very selective. Jones would concern me.

  10. Phili5
    9:20 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Waldo Faldo? haha awesome.

  11. Wildcat Kyle
    9:21 am January 17, 2012 Permalink


  12. Wildcat Kyle
    9:25 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Did anyone hear on ESPN last night Scott Van Pelt called Shabazz Muhammad the wrong name. He called him Muhammad Shabazz. They will know his name next year, or maybe not if he falls in obscurity in UNLV or UCLA. I think he will be in Lex Vegas.

  13. yeah first!!
    9:27 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    What the duece?

  14. Go Deep
    9:28 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Good Post. Actually better than I’ve read here in awhile. I think MKG and Jones should come back next year. MKG obviously can play in the NBA but I think he truly loves the experience of being at UK. Some guys are just that way.

  15. barn
    9:30 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    any player projected as a 1st round pick ain’t coming back. period

  16. ktmiln2
    9:31 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    2. Yeah, he’s the only 20 year old in the history of the world to have maturity problems.

  17. theSkinny81
    9:32 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #6 – we also have commitments from Goodwin and Poythress; whats your point?? Muhammed wants to be a 2-3… Jones is a 3-4.

  18. UnimpressedUKfan
    9:34 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I thought Jones coming back this year would be amazing! He was supposed to be a superstar. It has to be all in his head though. He never seems to be having fun even when he is playing good. He’s always pouting even after making great plays.
    The last 2 years teams always seemed to be having a blast when they played. Always smiling and cheering for each other when they make plays. This team just doesnt have that same swagger. I don’t think it is just Jones but the whole team minus MKG and Davis maybe.
    It’s sad really…. makes me not wanna watch them play…..

  19. Me
    9:34 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Again, I love how this site offers an open platform for our “fans” to talk negative about our own players. None of these comments are ever filtered.

    Funny, if you question the thin skinned matt / ksr you get deleted.

  20. Jim Richards
    9:36 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hoosier Daddy?

  21. Hoptownsbeast
    9:45 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Jones can get to the NBA whenever he wants. Maybe he just likes college life. He may be struggling right now, but it is known he can be unstoppable at times. NBA drafts on potential alot. I love watching him play at UK and I’ll love watching him beast in the league!

  22. UnimpressedUKfan
    9:46 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Mostly, I feel bad for Jones. I don’t mean anything negative against him, but he needs to get his mojo back. I know he’ll be ready for tournament time when it really matters though.

  23. WhupAssNDaBluegrass
    9:46 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Well done and well said Corey. I think this has to be a thought on most fans mind. I watched 10 minutes of the Kansas/Baylor game last night, Perry Jones III and Thomas Robinson were playing like grown men and all I could think of was if Terrence Jones played with the same intensity…. WOW! the freshmen would just have to get out of the way. But instead, his pinky hurts, their fouling him, its too much effort to get to the basket, I like my rainbow threes…. He is kid and I really don’t hold any of this against him but somebody needs to remind this kid he has 2 2Hr job interviews a week, NBA scouts are watching, the money the number 5 pick gets vs. the money the 25 pick gets is the difference between having a house on the beach and owning the island.

  24. Sammydog
    9:49 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I read a post a week or two ago from someone who supposedly had inside info that TJ received a “death threat” on his phone before the Indiana game and was upset by it. No one responded to that post and I heard nothing more about it. Another poster said TJ was upset about his best friend and roommate, Poole, leaving the team. It also appears TJ went downhill after being called out by the talking heads for posing after making an aggressive play early on. Could that have affected his play

  25. theoledog
    9:50 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    He came in thinking one year now two…and now the talk is three…. He/we needs to quit thinking about what’s happening at the end of the year and just commit to being a college player, getting his degree, growing up, and see what lies ahead after his time is done.

  26. DEasy
    9:51 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #6 Do you think Shabazz honestly reads these posts? Lol. The people who act like anything on this site has anything to do with a recruits decision to play here are hilarious.

  27. Rick
    9:52 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Terrence is NOT helping the team….he hogs the ball…thinks he is a guard….drives to the basket and gets his shot blocked or taken away.
    His problem…..he is jealous of MKG and Davis and thinks by hoging the ball he can score and prove his worth….just like last year….it is NOT working.

  28. Somervillain
    9:56 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I do not require people to be perfect. I think he made a very mature and self-aware decision to return last year, and in my view that was partly because he knows he still has some growing to do. Let’s allow him to grow. He represents us well and I am proud of him.

  29. Nerdo
    9:57 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Jones needs a Keith Bogans transformation, and another year at UK could give him the opportunity to recast himself as a mature person, which would allay many of the fears that NBA teams have about him.

  30. Al's IndiCats
    9:58 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hoo Hoo Hoosiers, how does that falling back to earth feel? HAD Jones played to his potential in that game we would’ve hung another L on that clown suited warm ups you’re so proud of.
    Reguardless of what’s happened to Terrence earlier, I think we’re going to see the Terrence of last year. We all know he can dominate.
    Ever since Vitale said he needed to stop all the flexing and posing that it isn’t nessasary, if it brings him back to the place we know he can go I couldn’t care less if he posed and flexed getting a drink on the sidelines.
    GOOOOO CATS!!!!!!!!

  31. Hoss
    10:01 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    16- I never sad he was. Point is, other players on this team manage to handle their maturity issues just fine, TJ being the perceived “problem child” in both his years here. Time for him to grow up in a hurry or just move along b/c UK can replace him, his attitude and his up&down game play with something equal or better that offers fewer headaches.

  32. theSkinny81
    10:02 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #24 – my best friends cousins grandmother plays bridge with Jimmy Hoffa and the Easter Bunny. but thats insider info…..

  33. Calipari'sInYourEar
    10:04 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #26 – DEasy – And you think Shabazz doesn’t know about KSR? lol

  34. ATB (Always True Blue)
    10:04 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t care about 10 point performances, give me 15 rebounds per game and Kentucky will not lose again this season and you will go to 10 in the draft. Focus on 15 boards per game. If he does that, then he scores 15 points per game as well.

  35. cristoforouk
    10:12 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    15 – Some guys do enjoy college….Sullinger, Barnes, Perry Jones, etc. Not everyone leaves as soon as they can.

  36. cristoforouk
    10:14 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Along these same lines though, I think the same question can be asked of Lamb and Teague. Obviously Teague needs another year AT LEAST of the college game. He would get eaten alive in the NBA right now. Lamb really struggles with physical opponents, and every player in the league is physical and strong.

  37. kykiller
    10:19 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Matt and Beisner I dont post any negative comments about ANYONE but the last two storie from this new person is ill timed and in poor taste and remember that THE PLAYERS READ THIS STUFF AND FEELINGS GET HURT! And If the great Shabazz reads into it this can cause doubt in his mind. proof read what is being posted guys, come on.

  38. PanamaIce
    10:22 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    TJ needs to channel his inner TR (Thomas Robinson), or perhaps his younger and inner JS (Jarnell Stokes).

  39. UKFan
    10:24 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    When They’re hanging Banner #8 in Rupp, this won’t be an issue anymore!

  40. AJH
    10:25 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    What a dumb post. That a way to stir shit up. Hopefully Jones doesnt read into crap like this. He already forces his game enough as it is. Reading crap like this would only make it worse. Ive said it before and i’ll say it again, if UK wins a championship this year, it will be because Terrence Jones lets the game come to him and gets in a natural flow of the game.

  41. RicksAuntWithGoodEyes
    10:25 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s a little thought – maybe, just maybe, Terrence isn’t that good? The fact that the kid has been getting so much NBA attention over the last 2 yrs is still kinda puzzling to me. Why? He’s not that good. It only takes him 28 seconds to get a shot off, he only appears to get blocked every other time he takes the ball to the basket and every move he makes on the court seems about 2 seconds too slow. I’m sorry but what exactly do you people see, or have seen, that makes you think otherwise? I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Terrence make a play and thought to myself, nice move, but that garbage is getting sent in the NBA. He doesn’t have it. Plain and simple. It’s not a bad thing for this team because I truly believe TJ can help this team win, and that he is a pretty good college basketball player (but sorry, that’s it). So keep on wishing, I know I will, and you can start bashing me for saying this, but I will say it now and never back off – Terrence will never be a big time pro. As for his attitude problem, maybe he’s figuring this out for himself and it shows.

  42. Uglymuffin
    10:29 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    The problem with Jones is that he can do everything. But then later he looks like he can do nothing. Having versitility is good but I think with him it causes him to not know what kind of a player he is. He has no go-to move. He needs to forget posting up and work on driving and shooting. He gets blocked by dudes that miller or gilly post up no problem. Honestly, if he’d defend and rebound and get a few transition dunks per game I’d be happy with him. He isn’t a superstar, he’s a good role player. He figured that out last year and we went on a great run. He needs to figure it out again.

    And calling Jones the third best player is doing a disservice to Lamb and Miller.

  43. TJones is the man
    10:37 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I watched a replay of the Tennessee game with my brother and saw something I didn’t really notice the first time: Terrence Jones played a hell of a defensive game. He was getting steals, blocks, and hustling every play. Besides 3 bogus fouls and a couple of defensive lapses against Stokes, Jones was solid. He may not be the offensive force of last year, but he still means a lot to our team.

  44. Catfan in C-bus
    10:41 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Dear God, can we please remember that we are talking about a 20 year old kid!!! Despite the fact that these guys play ball at such a high level doesn’t change the fact that they are all still very young, and learning about themselves each and every day. We have a coach whose job it is to dole out criticism and praise, how about we all just take a deeeeeep breath and cheer for ALL of the kids on the team?

  45. Charley X
    12:25 pm January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #6 who cares what Shazbot thinks? He probably doesn’t read this thing near as much as you do. If he wants to come to UK, I don’t believe this article or much of anything will stop him (other than maybe fans cussing and spitting at his wife like those stupid yankee fans did to Cliff Lee).

  46. GreenupRox
    1:07 pm January 17, 2012 Permalink

    41. I totally agree with you. I think the problem is not “what’s wrong with Jones?”, but rather “What Position does he play?????”.

    In the NBA, Jones is NOT a power forward. The guy gets abused when taking the ball up against a bigger, stronger guy now (since he doesnt elevate well under the rim). In the NBA, every single PF will eat his lunch. And on the flipside, he is not a SF, or a 3. He simply doesnt shoot it well enoug, nor is he athletic enough to guard the smaller guys at that position.

    So simply put, I think Jones stays another year, or maybe two, at UK simply because the NBA scouts probably realize he is one of those guys that has a good college career, but will never have a true position to succeed in the pros. I hope I am wrong, but I dont think I am.

  47. MammaKin
    1:23 pm January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I hope he leave because then he won’t have to leason to so called [email protected]#y fans that have to live in an endless life of misery rather than just have fun with the team for what it is….ENTERTAINMENT…not life…I really really hate 25% of the uk fan base…children.. TJ so you don’t have to be bothered by losers who know so much about basketball they should be coaches….


  48. Zo
    1:40 pm January 17, 2012 Permalink

    What happened to”BEASTMODE”?I support this team nomatter,but we need a national championship,like soon,or the recruits might start to look elsewhere?Praying for #8.

  49. shields eyes
    2:15 pm January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Terrible post.