Our long national nightmare is over.
Moments ago, Terrence Jones committed to Kentucky. This gives John Calipari the following clowder of freshman for 2010-11, with ESPN-U 100 and Scout.com rankings, respectively:
- Brandon Knight (4/6)
- Terrence Jones (8/9)
- Enes Kanter (3/25)
- Doron Lamb (28/29)
- Stacey Poole (51/67)
Former Florida big man Eloy Vargas — who was ranked with four stars at #33 on Scout’s 2008 list of top recruits — will also be joining the group, giving Calipari even more depth in the paint. Vargas played at Miami Dade College last season, averaging 21.1 PPG and 14.1 RPG as well as swatting three blocks per game. The addition of Jones tonight means it’s the second straight year Kentucky has had the best recruiting class in the nation.
There will be a lot of people continuing to take jabs at Jones over the next week or so because he waited until the last day of the signing period to make his decision. True, this whole process could have been handled a little better by the young man. But as we’ve said before, it was more important that Jones make a college choice about which he was confident rather than stick with a hasty decision made just because it was announcement-party day. Also, if the deadline for signing a letter of intent is May 19th, what’s wrong with a kid waiting until…May 19th?
The only perplexing aspect of this is that Jones signed financial aid papers, not a letter of intent. We understand not signing the LOI, but if he didn’t plan to sign one, why make the 19th your decision day? Jones could have taken longer if he’d wanted. Not signing the LOI renders the May 19th deadline moot. We speculate that if Terrence had decided to stick with Washington, he probably would have signed a LOI, since there’s no chance of Lorenzo Romar up and leaving for the NBA. It doesn’t look like there’s cause for concern about Calipari heading back to the NBA before next season, but with all the talk still hovering about that possibility, Jones is smart to play it safe by eschewing the LOI.
At any rate, it’s over. The Kentucky coaching staff can rest well knowing that this is where Jones wants to be, because he took the extra time to consider his decision. If he’d have chosen Washington, we’d be saying the same thing. Of course, this certainly makes next season’s Maui Invitational that much more interesting. Both Kentucky and Washington will be there. Jones isn’t the only presumptive Wildcat to put a pump-fake on UW — the aforementioned Enes Kanter pulled a similar move earlier this year. If the bracket-makers can engineer a matchup between those two schools, you better believe they will. And more importantly, given the man’s recruiting prowess, we wonder if Coach Cal would have time to be our wingman for an hour or so in a couple of those Maui hotel lobbies…