A week has passed since Husky hearts were broken over the news that Terrance Jones is headed to Kentucky, and not Washington. My initial reaction of frustration has subsided some now, so rather than vent, I think I can convey some thoughts.
In hindsight, this had a bit more drama than most recruiting battles, but similar scenarios play out in college recruiting every year, and Washington has been in the middle multiple times. Consider these recent episodes:
1- Lorenzo Wade verbally committed to Washington, but ended up at San Diego State. This left an open scholarship. That scholarship went to Quincy Pondexter. That kinda worked out.
2- Venoy Overton verbally committed to USC, but ended up at Washington. I can’t imagine having to watch Venoyance make life hell for UW guards twice a year.
3- Abdul Gaddy verbally committed to Arizona, then de-committed, then re-committed, then finally de-committed once again and ended up at Washington. Gaddy has not lived up to the hype of being a top recruit, but his sophomore year could be a big one.
4- Enes Kanter verbally committed to Washington, but ended up at Kentucky. Kanter had not taken the required tests to be able to make an official visit to UW, thus the school was never able to showcase itself to Kanter. As his stock began to rise, his options increased and similar to Jones, Kanter couldn’t pass up Kentucky. Boo Kentucky.
The bottom line is that 17-18 year old guys change their minds all the time, sometime it benefits Washington, sometimes it doesn’t. Would Washington have been better off with both Terrances heading into 2010? We can speculate that yes, the team would have been better. Certainly they would have had more talent, but one can only hypothesize whether Jones would have been the difference maker in UW making a deep tourney run. Consider 2006, when everyone thought the Huskies would be major players with Brockman and the 2nd rated center in the country coming in, Spencer Hawes. That team failed to make the NCAA tourney.
I wish Terrance Jones would have stuck to his word, and signed on to be a Husky. I don’t like that he was in Montlake the day before changing his commitment, and he basically embarrassed himself with the whole press conference thing. But in the end, I can hardly blame him. Kentucky gives Jones top exposure, and in the past 2 years, Calipari’s star player, Derrick Rose and John Wall, have gone on to be the #1 pick in the NBA (assuming Wall is picked #1). T-Jones is a 1 and done player in all likelihood, so you can understand why this would appeal to him.
UW would have loved to have had Jones for the 6 months or so that he plays college hoops. There is still an outside chance, if Calipari goes to the NBA, that Jones ends up back at UW. But I highly doubt it, and at this point, Romar may just say no thanks. He indicated as much in an interview last week with Kevin Calabro. The Huskies will be good next year, and upperclassmen will lead the team. My prediction is the Huskies come out just fine from all this. Given how everything played out, Washington might even be better off without Jones. Time will tell. And besides Husky fans, would you rather have Locker or Terrance Jones this coming year? You can’t win them all, but we haven’t lost them all either.