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May 1, 2010 at 3:22 AM

Maybe Not Cold Feet, But Terrence Jones Cools On UW

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Photo credit: Oregonian – Jamie Francis
No that’s not John Calipari on the phone with Terrence Jones. I believe it was KJR-AM, but it’s difficult to know because many folks were handing Jones a cellphone for interviews, asking him to pose for pictures and generally pulling him in several directions.
Needless to say, it was a bizarre day. I was going to drive back to Seattle last night and catch the Mariners game or UW Spring Game, but decided to remain in Portland because someone close to Jones said it would be a good idea to stick around today. I assumed that meant another news conference and rumors are flying about a 10 a.m. press conference, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
There’s no solid news this morning. We might know more later today.
Basically, Jones parents wanted him to hang out Friday with his friends and just be a kid again. They wanted him to take some time away from the recruiting stuff and sleep on his decision.
As for the news conference, I’m not sure what we witnessed Friday. It was exciting. It made for a good sound bite, photo-op and a very entertaining Live Chat.
Otherwise, it was very puzzling because Jones walked out without signing a national letter of intent with Washington.
Unlike his former Jefferson High teammate Terrence Ross, who eagerly signed his LOI, Jones never signed anything. Maybe it’s just an oversight, but I don’t think so.
I think Jones is rethinking his decision. Maybe it’s a byproduct of waiting so long to make a decision. He said he didn’t know he was going to decide until the moment before picking a UW cap among choices that included Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon and UCLA.
There’s only two schools involved now, Washington and Kentucky.
On the Live Chat, I said I thought Jones was going to UK. It was just a gut feeling I had based on nothing more than intuition. Obviously now I’m not so sure. I think the chances are good he’ll stick with his verbal commitment and sign a letter intent with the Huskies.
Still time is on his side. The signing period ends May 19. Conceivably, he could drag this out for another couple of weeks, which is the last thing anyone wants.
SOME QUICK TIDBITS:


— Ross, who is taking the SAT this morning, left the news conference long before Jones to get home and get a good night’s sleep, according his mother. As of last night, Ross was largely unaware about what was happening with Jones.
— Ross said he picked UW about a month ago after the Huskies knocked off Marquette in the first round of the NCAA tournament. “Just watching them and the way I play, that’s what I wanted,” he said.
— Jones was actually wearing a tuxedo and not a suit.
— Jones didn’t orchestrate the black attire, black UW cap thing. In fact, Jefferson High AD Mitch Whitehurst bought the hats from a local sporting good store unbeknownst to Jones.
— More than 25,000 people watched the news conference live on the internet feed provided by the Oregonian.
— Seems like there was some confusion in the last post about this sentence: “He told me, “You hurt thousands of people just as much as you make people happy.”
That’s Jones talking to me. The ‘He’ is Jones and that’s his quote and not Calipari’s.
— I read most of the comments on the previous post and folks are wondering about Jones parents. Well don’t worry. As far as I can tell, they’re good people. And they’re helping their 18-year-old son with a big decision.
I can’t read Dennis Jones. He’s measured, smart and he wants whatever is best for his son. Linda Mashia-Jones reminds me of my mother. She’s one of 10 kids. She had five of her six sisters at the press conference and she was so proud introducing her family to everyone. I spoke to her several times Friday. Early in the day, she was ecstatic and bubbly. After two-plus hours and what was likely some intense conversations, she seemed a little fatigued about the recruiting process.
I think she likes Lorenzo Romar and would like to see her son play at Washington. Still, I get the feeling she’s not going to make Jones do anything he doesn’t want to do.
— I’m not going to pretend I’m well versed on the NCAA recruiting rules. That being said, there’s a belief Romar will meet with Jones and his mother this morning. Not sure about that. For starters, I think this is a quiet period that prohibits meetings with recruits. Plus, no one last night said anything about visiting with Romar.
— I erred in the previous post when I wrote Calipari called Jones. I don’t know who called whom. I know Jones was on the cellphone for a long time and a Jones family member told me he was talking to Calipari.
— A Division I college coach also texted me last night and said Calipari was in Portland, but that’s not confirmed.
— Not sure why so many folks are bagging on Calipari. He’s competing. That’s what he expects of his players and that’s what he’s doing. It’s what coaches do. I remember Pete Carroll competing to keep Mark Sanchez the day the USC quarterback announced he was turning pro. Carroll got killed for it by the media and fans, but so what. Coaches tell their players to compete until the final seconds of a game and Calipari is acting accordingly. I believe he spoke to Jones yesterday, but only a handful of folks know what was said.
— I understand the frustration with Jones. You don’t call a news conference and change your mind minutes after making your decision. Scout.com’s Dave Telep had a clever Tweet about Jones. “T-Jones basically had a wedding, consulted a divorce lawyer and began dating again all in the same day.”
Still, it’s hard not to like Jones. He reminds me of Jamal Crawford in that he wants to please whoever he’s with at that moment. Crawford had a hard time saying no, which led to some of his early problems. Jones is a giver. Watch him interact with his friends and that’s easy to see.
— One last thing, I respect the so-called recruiting experts and the job they do. Back when I first covered college basketball many moons ago, things were much different. For the most part, those guys do good work.
Still, I suspect this situation is extremely rare. Anyone who says they knew for certain what Jones was going to do isn’t being honest. His parents didn’t know, which says all you need to know about him and is ability to keep a secret.
SATURDAY MORNING LINKS:
— In Lexington, KY, they’re bemoaning the loss of Jones and comparing him to recruit C.J. Leslie, who also spurned the Wildcats this week.
— The long coaching search hurt the Ducks’ chances in keeping the state’s top two prospect in Oregon.
— I think Foxsports.com’s Jeff Goodman wrote this before knowing everything that had transpired yesterday.
Abdul Gaddy is changing his number next season from 10 to 0, according to his Twitter account.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, top 25, UCLA

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