John Calipari: Terrence Jones ‘gave us zero’

Indiana University, University of Kentucky, basketball, wildcats, hoosiers, Bloomington, Assembly Hall, Terrence Jones

Terrence Jones struggles for the ball in the first half of UK's loss to Indiana University on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 in Assembly Hall. Photo by Latara Appleby | Staff

This was the moment John Calipari got fed up with Terrence Jones.

With 6:28 left to play, down seven points, Jones was subbed out.

UK made a 6-0 run to close within one. Jones was subbed back in at the 3:14 mark.

He was promptly beat by his man on a layup and subbed back out at the 2:59 mark.

Heading back to the huddle, Jones asked Anthony Davis where the help defense was. Davis held up four fingers, signifying his foul trouble. He couldn’t be fouling to save two points. Even as Calipari talked in the huddle, Jones was still talking with Davis about the play.

But it was simple: Jones got beat, just as he got beat all night.

“That just showed it wasn’t his day,” Calipari said. “That’s where I said, that’s it. I’m not even going to try. We gotta try to win this game, we’ll deal with you when we get home.”

That was the unlikely best strategy for UK: to park Terrence Jones on the bench and try to win the game without him.

Calipari reminded us that he’s not a machine or a computer, and everyone has bad games, and this is true.

But if you’re supposed to be a top-three player in the nation, as Calipari has proclaimed, and you’ve changed your habits and focus, as Calipari has proclaimed, your “bad” game should not look THIS bad: three shots, four points, one rebound and six turnovers in 28 minutes.

“He absolutely gave us zero today,” Calipari said.

Jones was weak going for rebounds. He broke off plays and tried to do his own thing. He just wasn’t there. UK’s leading scorer was non-existent when it needed him most.

“Like I said, everybody struggles a game or two,” Darius Miller said. “You have a game you struggle, you bounce back. I know Terrence will, because I know the type of player and person he is.”

He will. But a disappearing act — a complete and utter vanishing act — like that is not a good sign. You know why some pundits prefer Kansas’ Thomas Robinson over Jones? Because Jones can lack that motor, that energy, at times. Against Indiana was certainly one of those times.

I don’t know why Jones didn’t play well. Maybe some outside issue was gnawing at him. Maybe it was just one of those weary days. Maybe he took a nap before the game.

“You’d have to talk to him,” Calipari said when asked what was wrong with him.

But Jones wasn’t available, so what did you see from him?

“I didn’t see a whole lot,” Calipari said. “I saw turnovers. Not a lot of rebounds.”

UK might be able to withstand a “bad” day that consists of eight points and three rebounds. Not four points and one rebound.

“It’s good to know you can win without him,” Calipari said.

But UK didn’t win.

Jones’ disappearance was a big reason why.


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Jones did have a horrible game, something had to be wrong. I don’t know what it was, but there was a problem. But even if Jones didn’t show up, there’s enough players on this team that we still should have won. The question everyone needs to be asking is why? Forget about Jone’s performance, there’s 5 or 6 other guys on this team AND a Coach to blame. I believe the Cats stuggled in this game for the same reason they struggle in many games, because Coach Cal doesn’t teach fundamental ball (free throws, hard pick-and-rolls, etc.). The Dribble-Drive is not an offense a team should run ALL GAME LONG! You have to mix it up. And with a young team it’s even more important that the coach provides them with stuctured plays that will create opportunities where individual play fails. It’s easy to disappear in the DD. However, with fundamental ball (plays) there’s much more accountability which provides a team with opportunities to improve. With the DD the all you can do is blames the players for “lack of effort”.

Whenever things don’t come easy for him, Jones exhibits the character of a spoiled 12 year old. In sports, as in life, success is ultimately defined by our actions in the face of adversity. However, he should fit in well in today’s NBA… which, to a significant degree, is a gang of ill-educated, self-centered street thugs.

Terrence Jones gave us a big zero,is right.My thought’s are more about Cal’s road record.Yea,I know we are everybody’s super bowl and we are Kentucky.Cal’s road record at Kentucky,is now 10 wins and 11 losses at true road games.It looks like are team will go as far as our free throw shooting or lack of,will take us.Not looking to get bashed on here,but what’s your thoughts.Go CATS!!!

Jones is a good player and he is going to have a lot of good games for UK. If UK loses a game because one player is having a bad game then something is wrong. How about poor FT shooting, they got out rebounded, inability to guard against the 3, Indiana played hard in the game. He was not the only player not having a good night.

UK lost that game on FT’s (again) and no help rotation to Watford…TJones put us in a position to watch UK scramble back from a deficit, only to get beaten on one play…but other members of the squad (Darius Miller not hitting open shots or not even taking open shots is a prime example) are just as much to blame for the one point loss…again, learning time…and we have seen (like last year) where UK will lose the tough game on the road, but learn from it and move on…hopefully there won’t be too many more of these types of games, because my blood pressure can’t take much more…ha…they will be back in the saddle shortly if I know the kind of Coach Cal is…

Jones was an embarrassment in the Indiana game and had shown signs of this kind of play in recent games when he just disappears for minutes at a time. Wiltjer needs more playing time in the next 4 games. We have very little backup with size and skill.

I hope the gamblers didn’t get to Jones. He looked like he wanted the Cats to lose. Coach Cal may need to let him ride the pine for a while until he grows up. The team looked much better with Jones on the bench and five guys that wanted to play. Jones appears to be one of those guys that could be a real problem celebrating after a good play etc. if coach didn’t control him. He should not even think of putting the ball on the floor in the paint because 9 out of 10 he loses it, but maybe Saturday he wanted to lose it.
Larry R.

If it wouldst been someone else, I would of said he threw that game.he didn’t just get best, he wasn’t there

I use to be a Louisville fan until I saw Jones play! Yesterday’s game made me think otherwise,after all if I wanted horrible,selfish play I would still root for the Cards! Mr. Jones stop whining and start playing they way you know how to! I wonder if he stayed out late again last night?! Big ups to everybody down in Paintsville!

Unfortunately for him he did not disappear. He sleep walked the intire game contributing nothing to his team,school or fans. Watching him sitting on the bench with that scowel on his face blaming everyone but himself while throwing an F bomb here and there,made his poor performance complete. Not exactly an exhibition you want NBA scouts to witness.

Terrance Jones is still a kid in a man’s body. He is still maturing and it’s a good thing he didn’t bolt to the NBA where he would have faded into obscurity. With time, he can be a great player. BUT, it’s gonna take time, perhaps another year.