Oct 25, 2011, 5:19 PM EDT
Calipari lauded the 6-9 sophomore Tuesday, telling local media that Jones’ work ethic finally matches his immense talent. He’s now the first guy in the gym, he stays late and he spent the summer improving his game.
Jones, according to Calipari, might be the game’s best player.
“If there’s a better player in the country, I gotta see him. Maybe that guy’s in our gym, I don’t know. If there is somebody better than Terrence, I gotta see,” Calipari said. “His focus on basketball compared to what it was last year is not even close.”
Calipari – who noted Jones’ improved ball-handling, shooting and conditioning — expects Jones’ extra work and dedication to result in a Josh Harrellson-esque jump, which would be nothing short of spectacular. Jones was already one of the game’s elite players as a freshman. If he improves as much as Harrellson did, we’ll see a transcendent player.
That’s a scary thought for Kentucky foes.
It may not result in a massive stat bump, though. Kentucky’s got plenty of talent and Calipari says everyone’s upping their game, especially senior Darius Miller and freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who “try to kill each other” during practice.
The result? “Darius has never been better,” Calipari says.
Hey, Calipari even lauded Eloy Vargas, a 6-11 senior who wasn’t good for much last season other than giving Harrellson the occasional breather.
Much of this no doubt counts as coach-speak and early season lauding designed to boost his guys’ confidence and encourage fans. But if half of what Calipari says is true, then that Dec. 3 game against North Carolina went from must-see TV to essential viewing for any sports fan.
- Kentucky’s No. 2 in our preseason Top 25
- Why can’t freshmen win a national title?
- Marquis Teague’s ready for the pressure at Kentucky
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
- Cody Zeller, Indiana president speak out against recent athlete legal issues 0
- Five-star 2016 combo guard cuts list to four 0
- Xavier, Mount St. Joseph to launch the ‘Lauren Hill Tip-Off Classic’ 0
- Tai Wynyard: ‘I will be coming to UK in December’ 0
- Tom Izzo, 30 second shot clocks, and why zone presses will be more popular this year 1
- Kentucky lands a commitment from four-star 2016 forward 0
- Everything you need to know about the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon 0
- Bill Self says Cheick Diallo could wait ‘at least another month’ for eligibility ruling (12)
- Winona State coach Mike Leaf resigned after player accused him of making drunken sexual advances (6)
- Tulsa gets 2016 commitment from former Wichita State guard (2)
- Here’s what the new Illinois basketball court will look like (PHOTO) (2)
- Buffalo dismisses Justin Moss, reigning MAC Player of the Year, from team (2)