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May 25, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Calipari’s Version of What Happened With Terrence Jones

Updated: 10:28 am
I’m hesitant to post this for several reasons. It’s a little old. It’s already been linked and debated on the comments section of a previous post and quite frankly many readers have expressed a strong desire to put the Terrence Jones saga in the past.
Still, I got to admit I’m a little intrigued by the John Calipari-Jones-Lorenzo Romar triangle. Jones and Romar have commented on the bizarre recruitment, but we haven’t heard from Calipari until the Kentucky coach gave an interview with Portland radio station 95.5 The Fan on Monday.
Calipari gives some insights into what was said and not said after Jones committed to Washington at an April 30 news conference.

“Well we thought that he was coming with us and when he said ‘Washington’ we were like ‘what just happened?’ That was the first thing. Then he called about an hour later and said ‘Cal, I made a mistake. I don’t know what I was doing.’ That is when the thing went like ‘You what?’ So we talked to him and said that we are going to do whatever you want. I am holding your scholarship. At one point I said, ‘Look, if you want to go to Washington then go to Washington, and if you want to come with us, come with us. Just make a decision so that we can all move on.’ But I felt bad for him to be honest with you. Because he is 6’9” everybody thinks that this guy is a grown man. They have emotions and they still, the peer pressure wanting to please everybody. Terrence is a pleaser. He is not one to be confrontational. He is not one that… He is a pleaser. He wanted to please me, he wanted to please Lorenzo, wanted to please his teammates. That is what he is.”

Calipari also talked about the so-called unwritten rule that a coach shouldn’t recruit a player once he verbally commits to a school.

“Well I agree with that. I agree, but when the young man calls you and says that I made a mistake, ‘Coach, I want to reconsider this’ it changed everything. If he had committed to Washington and that was the end of it then we wouldn’t have done anything. But this was a unique situation now. I have never been in anything like this where within an hour… I didn’t see the press conference but I had people tell me that at the time they looked at it and said, ‘Wow’ and then after he went with his parents. But I didn’t see it all. I mean I didn’t watch it, but it was unique. I don’t mind that Washington fans are upset and upset with me. That is part of what we do here but the reality is that I think, Lorenzo knows and their staff knows this was not our doing. I mean it was this young man and at the end of the day it is about him. It is about him reaching his dreams. It is about him making a decision that was best for him not for fans and teammates. It is about what is best for Terrence Jones and being selfish in that. I think at the end of the day that is what he tried to do.”

— In the wake of the Jones-to-UK drama, it should come as no surprise Oregon assistant Kenny Payne, who built a close relationship to Jones, visited Kentucky last weekend and is one of of three finalists for a job on Calipari’s coaching staff.
— One last Jones item and then we’re done … for today. It seems Calipari is working to secure a homecoming game for Jones and is tweaking the schedule to play Portland at the Rose Garden on Nov. 19.
— As it stands, USC will open the season with just nine scholarship players on the roster and four of the players are incoming freshman. Newcomer Jio Fontan becomes eligible for the second semester.
— Kansas will play four Pac-10 schools next season: Arizona, UCLA, USC and Cal.
— There’s speculation Michael Jordan’s son Jeff , who is leaving Illinois and has one year of eligibility remaining, will transfer to Arizona. The Tucson Citzen, however, debunks the rumor.
— In case you missed it, California added point guard Justin Cobbs, who transferred from Minnesota. He’ll have to sit out next season.
— In its final 2010 recruiting class rankings, puts Kentucky No. 1. UCLA is No. 16, Standford 18 and Cal 24.
— It’s not UW or Pac-10 related, but here’s an interesting story on the Oklahoma basketball team which appears to be in a world of trouble, according to Gregg Doyle at

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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