Terrence Jones scored 52 points in Kentucky’s Blue and White scrimmage on Wednesday night.
He did it going up against Anthony Davis, the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2011 and a guy that could end up being not only the SEC Player of the Year and an all-american, but the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft as well.
Let’s forget, for a second, that this was nothing more than a glorified pick-up game. Let’s ignore the fact that Jones was going up against a physically over-matched Davis in a game that featured little-to-no defense; Jones’ team scored 126 points. Jones still managed to put up 52 points on 24-31 shooting from the floor to go along with 16 boards and six assists. Regardless of the level of competition or the defensive intensity you are going up against, those are incredible numbers; numbers that make his coach look smart for saying he’s the best player in the country.
But you shouldn’t be surprised to see Jones put up those kind of numbers, not after some of the games he had last season. Remember the 27 points and 17 boards he had against Notre Dame? Or the 16 points, 17 boards and four blocks he had against Washington? Or the 24 and 10 he put on Georgia’s front line? Or the 35 points he hung on Auburn?
Talent wasn’t the issue for Jones as a freshman, and it certainly won’t be the issue as a sophomore, not after he apparently spent the summer doing nothing but lifting weights and running sprints.
The issue with Jones was his attitude. We all remember the hullaballoo that was created when John Calipari was caught on camera calling Terrence Jones selfish in a very non-Disney movie way. That happened because, frankly, Jones was playing selfishly. And he didn’t respond well to the challenges from Calipari, either. He moped and he pouted and he lolligagged his way through the last month of the season, a shell of the player he was during the first couple of months of the season.
In case you have forgotten, Jones was one of, if not the favorite to win the National Player of the Year award in mid-December last season. But he wasn’t even one of Kentucky’s first two options offensively during their run to the Final Four.
If Jones cannot find a way to give consistent effort all-year long and doesn’t buy into the system that Calipari is running, than he will never live up to his talent level at Kentucky.