UK Basketball Q&A: Wildcats are 'feeding' off Terrence Jones, Anthony Davis says
Terrence Jones, right, says he¿s back having fun and playing better, partially because he no longer feels any pain in the finger he dislocated in mid-December. (AP Photo)
“Yeah, everybody feeds off of it, you know. When he’s playing hard, trying to dunk everything, finishing runs, getting ‘and-ones’, making free throws, making jumpers, you know everybody else gets pumped. When he’s playing like he’s supposed to play, everybody feeds off that,” said Davis.
Jones has averaged 18 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per game in the last three outings, all one-sided wins for No. 1 Kentucky. He’s had just one turnover in those three games. He’s also shot 56.3 percent from the field and 90 percent (18-for-20) at the foul line.
He’s now averaging 12.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game going into tonight’s game with Florida and is within 131 points of joining teammate Darius Miller in UK’s 1,000-point club. Jones shared his thoughts on Florida, his play, his recent finger injury and UK’s lofty ranking before practice Monday:
Question: What do you know about Florida?
Jones: “I know they are a tough team and they are going to come and challenge us at home.”
Question: How well do you know Florida sophomore center Patric Young?
Jones: “Real well. We have been roommates before at Hoop Summit when we were in high school. We text. That is one of my friends. Nice kid. Fun to be around. Real good player. Rebounds hard. Real strong. Good player.”
Question: How big an emphasis will there be on stopping Florida’s 3-point shooting considering Florida leads the nation with 10.3 3-pointers per game?
Jones: “That is a big part of their game. He (John Calipari) said if they make a lot of them, it will be a tough game for us. We have to play with high hands (on defense) like we have been the last few games.”
Question: What about comments from coaches Darrin Horn of South Carolina and Kevin Stallings of Vanderbilt that Florida does a lot of things to create open 3-point shots?
Jones: “I have not been doing the scouting. That is what Coach does. I¿don’t know what they do to get open.”
Question: How scary is it knowing a team shoots 3-pointers that well?
Jones: “It is an OK way to play. You can live or die by it. For us, we just have to play like we have been the last few games. We have been building off that. That’s what gets us going. We just have to make them drive and use high hands and contest. If they are going (in), they are going.”
Question: Why was North Carolina (11 3’s) and Indiana (9 3’s) successful from 3-point range against Kentucky?
Jones: “There were two different ways and two different games. North Carolina got a couple with us digging (inside on the post) and some loose balls just coming to players at the right time off blocked shots. Indiana was more off penetration and set plays. It was two different games. This will be its own game.”
Question: Do you position for rebounds any different against a team that shoots a lot of 3-pointers?
Jones: “The elbows (foul line) are usually the guards’ responsibility. When there are a lot of balls like that, Coach gets on them to come in and rebound at the elbow. For us, it is the same.”
Question: What does it do when Florida puts four players on the court that shoot the 3-pointer, including power forward Erik Murphy that you might have to guard?