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Calipari Says Jones Helped His Cause By Returning To UK

This time last year, Kentucky hoopster Terrence Jones decided to pass on the NBA and return to Lexington for a second year.  He said he wanted to capture an NCAA championship.

Clearly, the second goal was met when UK cut down the nets in April.  But John Calipari says Jones accomplished more than just winning a title:


“Oh, yeah.  We had a good idea where he would have gone last year, and he’s in a better position.  He knew he wasn’t ready to go, so he helped himself.  He came back and now he’s mature.  He helped himself, no question.”


According to Jones, his decision to return “wasn’t for the (draft) stock” but was tied completely to winning.  Maybe so, but if he earned himself some extra cash from an NBA team in the process, well, who’s going to complain about that?

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Report: UK’s Jones To Declare For NBA Draft

This year’s NBA draft is expected to be littered with Kentucky underclassmen.  Today, Dan Rieffer of Lexington’s WTVQ-TV is reporting via Twitter that Terrence Jones will be the first Wildcat to make his plans officially known:

“Not that we don’t already know, but ABC 36 had confirmed Terrence Jones will declare for NBA draft.  Announcement could be as early as tmrw.”

If Jones does declare, we’ll have more coverage tmrw.  (What hath Twitter and texting done to Shakespeare’s English?)

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UK’s Jones Playing Better ‘Cause He’s “Not Thinking As Much”

Kentucky forward Terrence Jones didn’t get off to the start many expected this season.  National media members wondered why a kid with so much talent didn’t seem to bring the same energy and emotion from night to night.  Big Blue fans fretted.

John Calipari said that his All-American candidate simply needed to start having fun on the basketball court.  And that has made all the difference.  Jones came close within one rebound against Arkansas on Tuesday of recording his first double-double of the season (he had seven last year), and his play has improved overall in recent games.

Jones knows why:

“I’m just not thinking as much.  Just being less conscious about my (injured) hand.  Worrying about messing up because I wasn’t playing like I was (as a freshman).  Just thinking too much about every little play.”

This season, Jones is averaging 11.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.  In 2010-11 he averaged 15.7 and 8.8.

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UK’s Jones Could Play With Dislocated Finger Tomorrow

Kentucky forward Terrence Jones has missed the last two days of practice with a dislocated pinky finger, but that doesn’t mean he won’t play tomorrow against Samford.

“I don’t know yet,” John Calipari said.  “We’ll see.  I don’t expect him to start if he doesn’t practice today, but I don’t know. … He’s still swollen and black and blue.  The doctor said he thought he may be able to practice today, but he looked at it and said, ‘I’d keep him out another day.’”

Wildcat guard Darius Miller has seen the finger and his opinion is as follows: “It’s pretty nasty.”

If it’s that nasty, that black, and that blue, then there’s probably no need for Jones to risk further injuring the finger against 3-6 Samford.  The third-ranked, 9-1 Wildcats can probably survive without its sophomore All-America candidate.

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UK Hoopster Poole To Transfer

Kentucky sophomore guard Stacey Poole Jr. will transfer from Kentucky’s basketball team.  This just days after his father — former Florida hoopster Stacey Poole Sr. — said he would make the final decision.

John Calipari broke the news on his website yesterday:

“… Stacey and his family felt it is in his best interest to play somewhere else, and I fully respect the family and their decision.  I want to wish Stacey nothing but the best in whatever and wherever he chooses to go.  He will always be a part of our family and the Big Blue Nation.”

Poole — along with teammate Terrence Jones — was involved in an early morning car accident in Lexington last week that resulted in the entire UK team being hit with a season-long curfew by Calipari.  Neither player was seriously injured in the wreck.

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Calipari Drops Curfew On Cats After Early Morning Car Wreck

Where were you at 2:30am this morning?

Kentucky basketball players Terrence Jones and Stacey Poole were involved in a car accident in Lexington at that time.  Both players received minor injuries when the SUV they were riding in was struck by a man eventually charged with DUI.

The players weren’t breaking a team rule by being out at 2:30am.  But that’s about to change according to John Calipari:

“Because of the actions of a select few, this team has showed me an inability to make proper judgment and decisions that they’ve been given the freedom to make.  Therefore, going forward, this team will now have a curfew for the rest of the season…

We hold our players to a higher standard at Kentucky.  They must learn that they’ve been placed in a leadership role and that every action defines this team, this state and its fans.  As always, any additional punishment will be handled within the team.”

A third, unidentified person was driving the SUV when it was hit by the alleged drunk driver.

UPDATEThere is some debate as to whether Jones — who’s still underage — was drinking at the time of the accident.

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SEC Headlines – 10/26/11 Part Two

1.  Some Florida players still hold a grudge from Georgia’s unsportsmanlike touchdown celebration way back in 2007.

2.  The Gators know how much this game means as they try to improve upon UF’s 18-3 mark against UGA since 1990.

3.  This writer says the Dawgs will have to be calm to tame the Gators.

4.  Rather than put all the focus on Florida, Mark Richt continues to talk to his team about winning the SEC East.

5.  Receiver Malcolm Mitchell suffered a setback in practice and may miss Saturday’s game due to a hamstring injury.

6.  When the hometown team is as bad as Kentucky, it’s no wonder the media continues to buzz about the school’s new black uniforms…

7.  And it’s basketball team.  John Calipari says Terrence Jones is more focused this season.

8.  South Carolina held a players-only, team meeting on Monday to remind themselves that an East Division title can be won with victories of Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida over the next three weeks.

9.  In discussing Justin Worley — the Carolina native who’ll start at QB for the Vols on Saturday — Steve Spurrier makes it sound like he has no idea who his program recruits.

10.  The Volunteers have got to overcome their second-half woes.

11.  They’ll have a chance to do that against a team that’s still recovering mentally from the loss of Marcus Lattimore.

12.   Tailback Zac Stacy could be Vanderbilt’s first 1,000-yard rusher in 16 years.

13.  Arkansas’ players have noticed Vandy’s “improved and energetic play.”

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Preseason Media Poll Tabs UK As SEC Champs

The SEC announced today that a “select panel of both SEC and national media members” has tabbed Kentucky as the likely SEC champ in this year’s preseason poll.

Divisions will no longer exist in SEC basketball this winter, so the poll lists teams from 1 through 12:

1.  Kentucky — 282 points (18 first-place votes)
2.  Vanderbilt — 265 (4)
3.  Florida — 235 (1)
4.  Alabama — 219
5.  Mississippi State — 191
6.  Arkansas — 154
7.  Ole Miss — 119
8.  Georgia — 108
9.  LSU — 91
10.  Auburn — 80
11.  Tennessee — 71
12.  South Carolina — 57

Kentucky sophomore forward Terrence Jones was picked as the preseason Player of the Year.

First Team All-SEC Team
JaMychal Green, F, Alabama
Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky
Dee Bost, G, Mississippi State
John Jenkins, G, Vanderbilt
Jeffery Taylor, G/F, Vanderbilt

Second Team All-SEC Team
Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky
Doron Lamb, G, Kentucky
Darius Miller, G, Kentucky
Kenny Boynton, G, Florida
Erving Walker, G, Florida
Festus Ezeli, C, Vanderbilt

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SEC Headlines – 6/22/11 Part Two

1.  Trey Thompkins’ NBA draft stock is dropping.

2.  Brandon Knight looks to be in good shape because teams are always chasing point guards…

3.  And John Calipari says he likes his ex-guard’s “swagger.”

4.  Terrence Jones got advice from his coach and his mom before returning to UK for his sophomore season.

5.  Here’s a list of the SEC’s top safeties.

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SEC Headlines – 5/10/11 Part One

1.  Florida is one of many schools that have learned you can make a buck by conducting a women’s clinic for female football fans.

2.  Washaun Ealey’s release from Georgia is unconditional.

3.  A few tickets to this year’s UGA-Boise State Kickoff Game are still available.

4.  Terrence Jones decision to return to Kentucky could lead to him being overshadowed next year – both at UK and in the NBA draft.

5.  This writer believes Phillip Fulmer could handle Tennessee’s athletic director gig if given the chance.

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