Jones Leads Youth Over Experience As Kentucky Takes Down Notre Dame
Mike Brey has plenty of veteran experience to win without Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson, while John Calipari is again relying on youth to lead his team to the promise land. Notre Dame, starting five seniors matched up against Kentucky's young talent featuring two freshmen in the starting lineup (and another playing key minutes off the bench), a senior playing his first significant basketball of his career and two role-playing juniors.
In the first half, the Fighting Irish's veteran players won out. Ben Hansbrough went off for 19 points, hitting five 3s in an eight-minute stretch; he even pulled up from 28-feet out because he was feeling it. That led to a 38-27 Notre Dame lead, but Kentucky went on a run, tying the score up at halftime at 40.
But the second-half was a different story. Terrence Jones took over. There isn't much the 18-year old freshman can't do. He can beat the defense off his drives, pull-up and score from the perimeter or even post up in the low blocks. On the defensive end, Jones has shown his ability to be a dominating rebounder, tying a career-high with 17 rebounds, but also deflecting two shots as well. Jones closed out the game scoring 12 of Kentucky's final 15 points to seal the victory over Notre Dame, the second ranked team the Wildcats have beaten this season. He is one of three players across the entire country to be averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds- the only freshman and the only player in a major BCS conference.
Don't lock him in for the freshman of the year or the number one overall pick in June's Draft just yet, there are some things that Jones still needs to work on: his shot selection and perimeter shooting for one. He can cut down his shots early on in the shot clock and his off-balance attempts. He is better suited taking 3-point shots when given time and has proven he can make these. He can fall in love with the 3-pointer and should spend more time on the wing/high-post given his length, ball-handling and court vision.
By President Corey Ruff - 12-9-10