Tomorrow is officially the last day that a player can sign a L..."/> Tomorrow is officially the last day that a player can sign a L..."/>

Terrence Jones situation could remain in limbo until the Fall. Can this impact the 2011 class?


by Paul Jordan
Tomorrow is officially the last day that a player can sign a LOI for the 2010-2011 school year, but don’t expect to hear any news from the Great Northwest on Terrence Jones tomorrow. I have been hearing for a while that this Jones saga may drag on until Fall and the people I have been talking to still think that there is a very good chance that Jones will “show up” on the Kentucky campus in the Fall and will still be a Wildcat.

Washington fans are equally optimistic about Jone’s being a Husky but even they are starting to realize that he probably will not sign a LOI intent tomorrow. The common thought is that instead of signing a LOI, Jones may sign a financial aid agreement ala Brandon Knight. In this particular case, Jones may sign a financial aid agreement with BOTH schools and then make his decision over the summer. All this would do is guarantee Jones a scholarship to either school while the recruitment drags on over the summer.

Remember last year when everyone threw a fit when John Calipari inserted a clause in DeMarcus Cousin’s LOI, allowing him to change schools if the coach left Memphis? Unfortunately, that practice was abolished after the mock outrage, and now Terrence Jones has two schools future at his disposal.

Both Washington and Kentucky stand to have very solid teams next season and adding Jones will undoubtedly make each team a Final Four contender. So yes, Jones is very much worth waiting for. I don’t fault Jones for his delay in deciding … the recruiting process has been especially tough on him and I have heard that even his parents do not agree on which school he he should go to. Jones taking the summer to decide allows him to simply show up at Lexington in the Fall while the resulting drama will rage thousands of miles, and Jones will bask in the adulation of the BBN. While I am sure Kentucky fans will welcome Jones, his delaying his decision until the Fall could have some implications on Kentucky’s 2011 class.

As of right now, with the addition of Eloy Vargas and the news that Darnell Dodson will be returning, Kentucky has 10 players on scholarship for next season. If Jones decides to come to UK, that will be eleven scholarships, leaving two spots for Calipari to save for the 2011 class. This would put Kentucky in the perfect situation. Granted Jarred Polson may be on scholarship this season on a one year ride, but Kentucky would still have two open spots.

Unfortunately, Calipari must still recruit as if Jones is not walking through that door and the odds are pretty good that Kentucky adds another PF soon. This would give Kentucky with just one free scholarship for 2011 if Jones does eventually join the Cats. Like I said, no coach is going to give up on a talent the caliber of Jones, but this can put UK in a scholarship bind for 2011 having to pick up a player they would not add if Jones signed a LOI.

So with unnamed PF and Jones coming in the Fall, Kentucky has just one spot available for 2011. Josh Harrellson will graduate, which leaves two spots. So far, Kentucky has gotten commits from Marquis Teague and Michael Gilchrist. Unless there are other roster spots opening, this would be UK’s 2011 class. As of now, this is the scenario we face. But things can and probably will change. is projecting 2011 to be an insane year for the one and dones as Enes Kanter is already number two on the board for 2011. Brandon Knight is also projected at number six, although I don’t think Knight is a typical college player and he may not be a one and done. Call me delusional? OK, I’m delusional. No other UK players are projected in the 2011 draft, although we know very well how quickly this can change. So even if Knight stays, let’s just play the odds and say that another Kentucky player (maybe even Jones) declares for the NBA Draft.

This would open up four spots for the 2011 class, which is room for a another number one recruiting class, but not big enough for all the 2011 studs that want to come to Kentucky. Of course, there could be more players to declare for the NBA draft if UK manages another 35-3 season. Or the still unnamed PF could be one a one year scholarship and become a potential walkon.

But for now, Kentucky must recruit as it Jones is not coming to Kentucky, which should mean adding another player to give much needed frontcourt depth. If Jones stays in Washington, Kentucky still has a potential top 10 team. If he shows up at UK, Kentucky has a very real shot at #8 and will just have to let the chips fall where they may for the 2011 class.

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