LEXINGTON — It’s not necessarily about numbers for Kentucky sophomore Terrence Jones.
Jones had a season-best 27 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots at LSU last Saturday before getting 11 points, six rebounds and three assists in Tuesday’s win over Tennessee. However, both coach John Calipari and Jones felt he played just as well against Tennessee.
“The biggest thing is he's being physical. See, you can't negate how we're being played. Hopefully people watched tonight and know that kind of game plan — even if it's not coach-wise, it's player-wise watching us, looking at this and saying, ‘You know, it's hard to play them that way,’” Calipari said after Tuesday’s win. “But Terrence gives us a physical presence. He can score the ball. He's a skilled player. He's got to compete and battle, and that's what he's doing now.”
That’s why Jones felt his play was just as good against Tennessee as LSU.
“A lot of other guys had it going on offense and I didn’t but a lot of things I felt good about. I know I had two good passes to Mike (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) for layups and dunks just like he gave other teammates in the LSU game. It’s was just different guys time to score,” Jones said.
Last season Jones took 10 or more shots in 30 games. This season he’s done it just eight times, one reason his scoring average has dropped to 12.3 points per game.
“With each guy this year being able to score 20 and getting three buckets in a row and having everybody happy for them, it just really doesn’t matter about numbers,” Jones said. “I don’t know yet how good we could be. I just know we have been playing good basketball and it has been showing. Now we just have to keep it going at South Carolina Saturday.
“We just wanted to be able to play through bumps. We have been working on going off the dribble on bigs knowing they could not move with us as much. We have more stuff we can still do, but nobody is worried about their own numbers. We are not that kind of team.”
Future Cats: Kentucky signees Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress have been invited to play in the 2012 Jordan Brand Classic game April 14 in Charlotte, N.C.
Goodwin, a 6-5 guard from Little Rock, Ark., is ranked as the second-best shooting guard in the country and 12th overall by Rivals.com. Scout.com ranks him the third best shooting guard and 13th overall.
The 6-7 Poythress of Clarksville, Tenn., is ranked as the No. 3 small forward by Scout.com and 14th-best overall, while Rivals.com has him No. 8 at his position.
Kentucky recruiting targets Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Bennett and Tony Parker have also been invited to play in the game.