Report: Terrence Jones coming to Kentucky

jtipton@herald-leader.comMay 20, 2010 

With midnight Wednesday night marking the end of the spring signing period, all recruiting eyes were on forward Terrence Jones.

Jones, a 6-foot-9 forward from Portland, Ore., had said the day before that he would sign a national letter of intent on Wednesday. But as of only hours before midnight, there still was no word on whether Jones had signed with his two finalists: Washington or Kentucky.

Recruiting service Scout.com reported Wednesday night that Jones picked Kentucky.

"Glitz and glamour," Pat Strickland, Jones' high school coach, told Scout.com when asked why he chose UK. "It's Kentucky. Kentucky the program, the history and I think how good the freshman have done this past year helped as well."

Jones did not sign a letter of intent. He did sign financial-aid papers, Scout.com reported.

Jones led Jefferson High School to an unprecedented three straight Oregon Class 5A state championships. He averaged 32 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and three steals during his senior season.

Brick Oettinger, a longtime analyst for the Prep Stars recruiting service, considered UK's incoming class to be outstanding even before the addition of Jones.

"I've got them ranked No. 1 already, put it that way," he said before Jones signed.

Oettinger had Kentucky with two top-five national recruits in Turkish big man Enes Kanter and point guard Brandon Knight. Prep Stars ranked guard Doron Lamb in its top 30. And Oettinger called UK's first signee, wing Stacey Poole Jr., "a terrific athlete" in the mold of his father, former McDonald's All-American Stacey Poole Sr.

Jones committed to Washington earlier this spring. One of his closest friends, Terrence Ross, had committed to the Huskies.

But after informing UK Coach John Calipari of the commitment, Jones decided not to sign and said he would consider Kentucky as well as Washington.

Jones is a consensus top 30 national prospect. Prep Stars ranks him No. 18 and Rivals.com lists him in its top 15.

Oettinger described Jones as a versatile forward who can shoot over or go around taller defenders and post up smaller ones.

"He can guard a lot of people who have trouble guarding him," Oettinger said.

A left-handed player, Jones also has displayed shooting range beyond the three-point line. Playing with talented teammates should enhance Jones' already consistent productivity, Oettinger said.

"He can score a lot of points against one defender," the analyst said.

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