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May 5, 2010 at 5:48 AM

Terrence Jones “Still Committed to Washington” Says Jefferson High Coach

Talked to Jefferson High coach Pat Strickland who has coached the Democrats the past two seasons and led them to consecutive Oregon 5A state championships.
Before taking over as head coach, Strickland was an assistant at Jefferson and he’s coached Terrence Jones the past four years. Strickland also is very familiar with college recruiting. He was an Oregon State point guard and led AAU teams for several years before coaching at Jefferson, which was detailed in this story by the Portland Tribune.
Strickland wore a purple shirt to last Friday’s press conference and at the time he said “I just had a feeling,” Jones would picked the Huskies. Strickland stood off to the side in the gymnasium and cheered like many in the crowd when Jones made his decision.
Five days later, Strickland is unsure exactly what happened Friday.
(Any new developments?) “I haven’t directly asked him. The last time I talked to him was Saturday, but from what I’m hearing from other sources is that he’s said he hasn’t changed his mind, but for whatever reason he’s not signed the letter of intent.”
(Has he de-committed from Washington?) “As far as I know, he’s still committed to Washington. But how committed, I don’t know because he hasn’t signed the letter of intent.”
(So what do you think will happen?) “I think he’s going to end up at Washington in my opinion.”
(Is any of this surprising to you?) “It’s kind of surprising to me that it’s went this far. But what’s not surprising, regardless of who the kid is, it’s a 17, 18-year-old who’s trying to make a huge decision that’s going to affect his whole life. In that respect, I’m not so surprised. But I am surprised that T.Jones has let it draw out this long. I think his problem is it’s tough for him to tell people no. What I try to tell him is you got to look at this from a business standpoint. Any of these guys that’s recruiting you or have recruited you, they will open their mouth and tell you no in a second so you can’t look at it that way. If you hurt somebody’s feelings, then that’s on them because this is a business and decisions have to be made and you’re making a decision that’s in the best interest of you and not these coaches. You got to look at it from that perspective.”
(What was that conversation like on Saturday?)

“It was real quiet and it was by phone. Obviously I had a dialogue with him on Friday, but after Friday on Saturday it was a phone contact. It was pretty quiet. I wasn’t beating down the door with all these questions that the media and all these coaches are having. For me, I told him that if you really feel that you need time, then there’s no rush because you have some more time. I just wish he would have let everybody know before he even had the press conference that he needed more time and not rush into something.”
(So what happened during after he picked up the UW hat that made him have doubts?) “I got a sense that most people have gotten because I haven’t directly asked him about some of these things. I think he really didn’t and I kind of felt this going into it too that he really was unsure until he stepped up there to that table and saw those hats and actually picked one. If you look at the replay, it looked like he was going to grab the Kansas hat first. I really feel that he didn’t have a clear idea on what he wanted to do. My feeling was that it was always between Washington and Kentucky.”
(Will you ever have an event like this at the school for one of your players?) “I would advise not only my players, but any player if you have a press conference just make sure you’re ready to have make decision if you’re going to call a press conference. Just make sure. You got more time and you don’t have to throw a date out there to please people. This is about you. It’s not about nobody else. It’s about you so take your time. As long as you meet your timeline, you don’t have to give a date that you’re not ready for.”
(How is this being played out at the school?) “Throughout this whole process Terrence has been pretty tight lipped so I don’t think a lot of people are really shocked about what’s going on just because he’s been so tight lipped and so undecided and indecisive on what he wants to do as far as his college choices. Not a lot is going on at the school. They treat it like a regular day because we know what we’re dealing with. We’re dealing with Terrence Jones and he’s been undecided for a long time and he’s still somewhat undecided.”
— The Pac-10 is having its annual meetings this week in Phoenix and Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News says the conference leaders will discuss expansion. He also says it’s unlikely to happen.
— Honorable-mention All Big Ten forward Aaron Fuller has officially transferred from Iowa to USC. Fuller, the Hawkeyes’ leading scorer and rebounder, will sit out next season.
— It’s a little dated, but the Oregonian takes a look at Oregon’s shoe deal with Nike and published a list of the top deals.
— Interesting story in the New York Times about CBS, which considered paying ESPN to take the 2010 and ’13 NCAA tournament to stem expected losses.
— We’re not going to start covering Kentucky basketball, but it seems like Washington is paired with the Wildcats at least for the immediate future. So in that case, I’ll continue passing along links about UK. According to Yahoo Sports, It seems coach John Calipari may return to the NBA after three less than impressive seasons with the New Jersey Nets between 1996-99.
— Calipari has one of the richest contracts in college basketball, but believes he may be in line for a raise because of the Chicago Bulls rumors. On his Twitter page (below), Calipari address the speculation.
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Every year you will hear my named mentioned for NBA jobs because I coached in the league before. I’m very happy at Kentuckyless than a minute ago via TweetDeck



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