Mar 4, 2012, 3:11 PM EDT
When making a list of the most-criticized and speculated-about players in the country, Kentucky’s Terrence Jones has to be toward the top.
Begin with the fact that he was the Preseason SEC Player of the Year, add in lingering charges of inconsistency on the floor, and pile on incidents that don’t help to shake the label of “immaturity” off the court, and you can see why.
But on Sunday afternoon, Jones showed the side of his game that many have raved about, the side that still has NBA scouts nodding in agreement, pointing and saying, “If he can consistently do that, he’s a pro.”
He finished with 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting, helping the No. 1 Wildcats to a 74-59 win over No. 16 Florida on the road in Gainesville, Fla.
This performance from the Oregon native showed who Kentucky (already dominant, as is evidence by their 30-1, 16-0 record) can be when firing on all cylinders.
The continually aggravating case of Jones, blessed with a 6-9, 252-pound frame, boils down to how good he, personally, wants to be.
Were one to have seen Jones play for the first time on Sunday afternoon, it would be difficult to understand the criticisms that have followed him to this point in his career.
Lack of aggressiveness? Kentucky fed him the ball in the post and he attacked the rim, scoring 14 of his 19 points in the first half on 7-of-9 shooting.
Emotions? Jones drove the early Wildcat attack and was positively emotional, in contrast to what has been seen in the past.
When Jones is clicking, Kentucky is clicking.
Yes, they have other scoring options in Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Anthony Davis, but bringing Terrence Jones into the fold, along with the others, means athleticism in the offensive attack that can be matched by less than a handful of teams in the country.
Bottom line? Consistently aggressive and focused play from Jones in March will make it that much more difficult to beat this supremely talented bunch of young Wildcats.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:52 AM EDT
Three more teams are dancing after tonight’s exhilarating conference tournament action.
Mar 11, 2014, 2:05 AM EDT
There are eight days left until Selection Sunday. Every morning from now until the bracket comes out, we’ll help you get caught up on the happenings with impact on the bubble from the night before. Our latest bracket projection can be found here. Gonzaga: The Zags entered Monday night’s WCC quarterfinal sitting in pretty good…
Mar 11, 2014, 12:43 AM EDT
In less than 36 months, Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello has taken the Jaspers from 6-25 to the NCAA tournament.
Mar 11, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT
Get to know the eighth entry into the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, the Wofford Terriers.
Mar 10, 2014, 10:47 PM EDT
Cameron Bairstow spent his offseason toiling in international competition, and return to New Mexico with a chip on his shoulder. After a season spent toying with the other Mountain West frontcourts, Bairstow’s efforts might not get the necessary recognition.
Mar 10, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT
Highlights of Delaware’s win in the CAA title game, as seen on the NBC Sports Network.
Mar 10, 2014, 9:56 PM EDT
Get to know the sixth entry into the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, the Delaware Blue Hens.
Mar 10, 2014, 9:43 PM EDT
Get to know the fifth entry into the 2014 NCAA Tournament field, the Manhattan Jaspers
Mar 10, 2014, 9:26 PM EDT
Joel Embiid will miss the Big 12 tournament and likely will be out for the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. What does this mean for Kansas?
Mar 10, 2014, 8:23 PM EDT
This is great. The bench mob for the Colby College Mules has extensive choreographed sideline celebrations. Their best is the “El Toro Tres Puntos”. Without a doubt. (h/t Colby’s finest)
Mar 10, 2014, 6:53 PM EDT
Louisiana Tech is fighting to stay on top of Conference USA after four teams tied atop the league standings with a 13-3 record during the regular season.
Mar 10, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT
The CAA Tournament title will take be played in Baltimore on Monday evening. League champ Delaware will square off with Williams & Mary, who is looking to make their first ever trip to the NCAA tournament. The game will tip off at roughly 7:00 p.m. You can watch the game live on NBC Sports Live Extra. WATCH…
Mar 10, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT
UConn’s Shabazz Napier elevates the conversation for the American Athletic Conference’s player of the year discussion.
Mar 10, 2014, 5:57 PM EDT
Despite an arrest for a driving under the influence charge, Oregon State’s Langston Morris-Walker will play in the Pac-12 tournament, and his addition means the Beavers are the conference’s ultimate sleeper pick for a tourney title.
Mar 10, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT
Jason Capel was reportedly fired today, which may put one of the best available class of 2014 recruits on the market again
Mar 10, 2014, 5:14 PM EDT
Joel Embiid has missed the last two games, and Bill Self shines some light on when the center will next play.
Mar 10, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
What do you expect from a conference that could feature eight NCAA tournament teams?
Mar 10, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT
Creighton and Villanova are the Big East’s two darlings, but which other teams are best positioned to separate themselves from the conference’s middle and earn a bid?
Mar 10, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
MAAC, CAA and Southern all at stake tonight.
Mar 10, 2014, 12:43 PM EDT
Justin Bieber and Rick Barnes! I shouldn’t have to say more.
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- 2014 Big East Tournament Preview: Can Villanova finally beat Creighton? 0
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- Bracketology: Florida in driver’s seat for overall No. 1 seed 5
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- Assigned Reading: Dean Smith’s health continues to deteriorate (6)
- No. 1 Florida’s undefeated SEC season not just a by-product of their league (6)