Tag Archives: Terrance Jones

My 2 cents on T-Jones

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.



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A Spark or Just False Hope?

This last week has been one of the most frustrating weeks I can remember as a sports fan.  Since last Friday’s win at Tampa Bay, the Mariners’ had gone on a 5-game losing streak in which they lost 4 of those games by one run.  Two of those games were walk-off wins and this 5-game skid doesn’t even count the 8th inning collapse in Baltimore last week.  We could see that the M’s were playing better than they had during their 8-game losing streak but the results weren’t there to prove it.  Unfortunately for this team, results are all that matters.

On top of this, 5-star recruit Terrance Jones ended his recruiting roller coaster by signing with Kentucky Wednesday.  I’ve watched a Husky football team go 0-12, I watched the ’08 Mariners and I’ve watched so many other Seattle sports teams collapse but this was my mountain top of frustration.  These were my teams.  The 2010 Mariners were supposed to remind Seattle that it was truly a baseball city.  The 2010-11 Husky basketball team was going to be the one who finally made it to the elite eight, led by a mix of experience and great young talent.  But on Wednesday night, the lights were shut off on these hopes.

Then came Thursday.  I don’t watch the Mariners because I think they’ll make the playoffs.  Sure, I hope they’ll make the playoffs but I watch the M’s because they’re my team.  Same goes for the Huskies.  Because of this, I faithfully took my place on the couch and turned on yesterdays afternoon game.  I didn’t expect to win but I watched anyway, again because they’re my team. 

The game went like so many had before.  The Mariners’ kept it close but looked as if they’d come up just short.  But, this time they had a rally that didn’t end in disappointment.  With one swing of the bat by the most respected man on the team (yes, Griffey is the most respected player on that team) Mariner fans were allowed to do something they hadn’t done in a while.  Smile. 

The question is whether this was a spark or just a good moment in a disappointing season.  The frustration of this week is still lingering even with the relief that yesterday brought.  Terrance Jones is still a Wildcat and the Mariners are still 8.5 back in the West.  But instead of the room being pitch black Griffey stumbled around to plug a night-light in.  Yesterday, he was the hero and I couldn’t think of a better way for this team to win than to mob the teammate they look up to the most.  But now, it’s a brand new day.  This team needs a winning streak and needs it to happen soon or this season will be all but over by July.  Today is not a must-win but it’s pretty dang close.  It’s time to see if this was a spark or if the room is still black. 


A few random notes after the jump Continue reading


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The Rights of Fans

Sports teams and players and their fans have always had a complicated relationship, and that won’t change anytime soon.  Athletes are often the most visible and popular people in a city or region, and at least in the professional ranks, fans are indirectly responsible for their salaries.  Combine that with the role sports teams and athletes play in fans’ personal lives, as entertainment and vicarious dream fulfillment, and fans tend to develop a sense of ownership over their favorite athletes and teams.

Seattle fans currently find themselves in a couple of messy situations.  One involves a high school student from Portland who happens to be one of the best basketball players in the country.  The other centers around a 32-year-old man with a big bat and seemingly even bigger personal troubles.  The stories are probably familiar to everyone by now.  Terrence Jones, maybe the top uncommitted basketball player in the country, held a press conference on Friday to announce his choice of college.  He picked the Huskies, but has yet to sign a letter of intent, which would make the choice official.  There are next to no facts about the situation, but that hasn’t prevented fans and media alike from throwing accusations and judgments, at Jones for delaying the commitment, and at Kentucky coach John Calipari for trying to change his mind, and at anyone else involved, including Jones’ family and friends.

Meanwhile, Milton Bradley, a man with a well-documented history of blow-ups and suspensions, stormed off the field Tuesday night after striking out, and upon seeing Don Wakamatsu had removed him from the game, left the stadium.  Wednesday, he met with Jack Zduriencik and Wakamatsu and later the team.  He reportedly told them he was dealing with some very difficult personal issues and asked for their help.  He’ll sit out for the forseeable future while the team tries to get him whatever help he needs.

The situations are very different, except that they both have more to do with off the field (or court) issues than anything to do with performance.  That’s not totally the case, of course.  If it were, fans would not be at all interested.  Bradley’s issues affect his play and the rest of the team; Jones is a huge talent whose presence could lift any team to the next level.  And so fans find themselves stuck between caring about their team and respecting the personal life of the athlete.

It’s a difficult place, but mainly because we as fans do not have a personal relationship with Jones or Bradley or any other athlete.  They are the athlete who entertains us, but that’s all, and we don’t give anything back.  Nearly any of us, if faced with a colleague or friend or family member who was asking for help or making a difficult decision, would try to help them any way we could.  We wouldn’t deride them or criticize them.  We might be disappointed in their choice or think occasionally about our interests in the matter, but usually we can set ourselves aside and be supportive of those we love.

I don’t see any reason why that should be different with athletes.  I want to see Jones and Bradley playing and playing well in Seattle, and if they don’t I’ll be disappointed and maybe mad.  But I won’t boo them or write insults and racial slurs on their Facebook pages.  Rivalries and “sports-hate”, as Bill Simmons terms it, have a great place in sports.  There’s nothing wrong with booing the Oregon band when they run into Husky Stadium.  They know we’re booing because they’re from University of Oregon and anyone involved with the Ducks should be booed.  They’ll boo us right back.  The difference is that we all know that if we were Mariner fans and went to a game together, we’d probably have a great time.  Or we might not, but it would be because we didn’t get along, not because they’re Ducks and I’m a Husky.  If a rivalry is full of hatred to the point where that’s no longer true, it’s gone too far in my opinion.

So keep the the affection or lack thereof based on the field.  Boo A-Rod when he comes to town, but don’t boo Milton Bradley because he’s going through some tough times, and don’t give Terrance Jones a hard time because he isn’t sure what to choose in the biggest decision of his life.



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Happy Walter Jones Day!

If you haven’t heard, Seahawk great Walter Jones announced his retirement yesterday.  It was certainly not unexpected after he missed all of last year after surgery.  He was one of the best left tackles to ever play in the NFL, legitimately in the discussion with just two or three others as the greatest ever.  It’s incredibly doubtful we’ll ever see anyone on the Seahawks offensive line come close to the dominance Jones showed.  I heard this morning that he gave up nine sacks in his career, which is just one sack every season and a quarter, and happened to be the same amount of quarterbacks that he blocked for.  The Seahawks were just as likely to have a new quarterback as Jones was to give up a sack.  His #71 jersey will be retired immediately.  Good luck to Walt in the future and thanks for the memories!

The governor has declared today to be Walter Jones day.  I don’t really know what you do with that, other than reminisce and listen to sports radio, but I guess you could try to eat 71 hot dogs or something.  Luckily, there are plenty of other sports things going on today, so if you’re not into hot dogs, watch for these instead:

3:30 Terrence Jones and Terrance Ross Announce Their Commitments

Jones and Ross are probably the two best remaining basketball recruits on the west coast, and they are both considering the Huskies along with a host of other schools.  Classmates at Portland’s Jefferson High, they will announce their choices at a 3:30 press conference with two other teammates.

Ross is rumored to have committed to the UW Monday on a visit, but is delaying the announcement so he can do it with his friends.  That’s not for sure, but I’m about 90% positive he’ll be a Dawg at this point.  He’s a 6′ 5″ wing with great athleticism and an excellent shot.  He wasn’t able to play at Jefferson this past year due to transfer rules, but as a sophomore in 2008 he was the Oregon player of the year, and now can be found as high as the top 30 in recruiting rankings.  He’d be a huge add, with his size and offensive talent playing in nice contrast to Isaiah Thomas’ small and slashing game.  There are concerns with both players about getting into school, but Ross himself has said that he’ll qualify, so there’s no reason to doubt him until he doesn’t get in.

Jones is not as clear of a lock for UW as is Ross, but he’s an even higher ranked prospect and arguably a better fit for next year’s team.  A 6′ 9″ forward, Jones is an inside-out type player who reportedly can do a little of everything offensively with good defensive to boot.  Honestly, I’ve heard a little of everything about Jones skills, including that he does or doesn’t have a low post game, shot, or premium athleticism.  It’s clear he’s more of a three four swing guy than a true post-up four, though.  Think a bigger Pondexter rather than Brockman, I guess.  Whatever the case, he’d be a huge get and would likely step right into Pondexter’s starting spot.  Kentucky and now Kansas seem to be his most likely landing spots if not UW, but I’d say there’s a better than even chance he’s a Husky.

Keep your fingers crossed.  Getting both guys could mean the Huskies are Pac-10 favorites (if they’re not already) and a big threat to go to the Final Four.

6:30 Husky Spring Game Under the Lights

This is the first time the spring game is being played at night, and I’m really looking forward to it.   The spring game is always a little weird to watch since it’s all Huskies (see Andrew’s post below), but it’s a lot of fun if for no other reason than it’s a chance to watch some football again.  Plus, it can give an idea of how the team and individual players have progressed, especially the non-linemen.  Look for Deontae Cooper to put on a show, and hope that the back-up quarterbacks show anything.  I think parking’s $7 but the game’s free, so come on out!

7:00 Cliff Lee!

Lee finally makes his Mariner debut against the Rangers tonight, and there’s a definite sense that the season is finally starting for real.  He won’t help the offense, but if they start to come around, this team could come together quickly.  This is also the first series where the opponent has to face both Felix and Cliff, which will be a lot more fun for us fans than it will for the Rangers.  Snell goes to the bullpen, but I haven’t heard who is being taken off the roster yet.  Candidates would be Colome or maybe Kelley or Texeira.  The Mariners are just a game back of the division lead, and a sweep could really get momentum going in their direction.

It should be a fun day and weekend.  Hope you enjoy it!


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