We Know He Can Play, but Terrence Jones Has Room to Grow Too


In the Times yesterday, Jerry Brewer had a column entitled, Terrence Jones of Portland Jefferson Would be a Gem for the Huskies, and Percy Allen wrote in his blog that Jones “dazzled” at yesterday’s King Holiday Hoopfest.

Jones was clearly the best player on the court during his 22 point, nine rebound, eight block performance in Jefferson’s 62-58 not-as-close-as-the-score-would-indicate win over Washington’s #1 ranked Federal Way.

And I would be THRILLED — dancing in my living room thrilled — if Jones chose to play at UW.

I was most impressed by Jones’ length. At one point, on a Jefferson full court press, he fully extended his arms out and looked like a stalking middle linebacker while cutting off a huge passing lane.

But here’s what the glowing reviews of his play left out. . .

While he dominated the boards, using his Inspector Gadget arms to grab any rebound in his vicinity, the biggest and most talented player on the court (by 2-3 inches) didn’t always make a beeline to the ball when a shot went up either. Maybe others saw it differently, but I didn’t get the sense that Jones at this point is much of a get-your-hands-dirty kind of player.

His effort looked good when going to hole or trying to swat a shot, but I didn’t see quite enough hustle when there wasn’t a potential highlight waiting for him.

Jones also expressed frustration with teammates’ mistakes a number of times, which is something I’m so proud to say you don’t see a lot of out of the Huskies. For Jones, it’s likely a manifestation of being so much more gifted than the players around him, but it’s an unsavory characteristic nonetheless.

This is quibbling, but a college coach will likely tell Jones to either work on his three-point shot until it becomes a strength, or stop shooting it. Jones may fancy himself a guard, but his game says “forward” to me, and his jump shot (beyond-the-arc, and in front of it) needs work.

There’s no question Jones is going to be a great college player, and likely, a terrific NBA baller one day. And, like I said, I hope the Huskies get him.

But the hopeful replacement for Quincy Pondexter (about as likable a player as there is) just didn’t manage to worm his way into my heart in a single high school game the way I thought (and hoped) he might.

I do hope for both Jones and the Huskies that Terrence decides to play at Montlake. Coach Romar is no doubt capable of molding a selfless, humble warrior out of Jones, a player who has all the tools to go as far as he wants to in the game.

In a couple of days, you’ll be able to check out the Jefferson/Federal Way game for yourself on Comcast On-Demand. (Or, at least that’s what was announced at the game.) Would love to hear your thoughts on Jones as well!

Thanks for coming!