It truly was a tale of two halves for Baylor's star sophomore as the Wildcats routed the Bears to advance to the Final Four.
In the opening period, Kentucky mounted a 20-point lead, thanks in large part to just four Baylor baskets after the under-16-minute media timeout contrasted by a potent, seemingly never-missing Kentucky offensive attack. Forward Perry Jones was critical as Baylor missed bucket-after-bucket- he was just 1-of-5 from the field, all on jump shots, with three turnovers during this time frame.
It was Jones' downfall- a rangy, 6'10" forward that runs the floor like a guard with superior athleticism and surprising quickness. But too often, he plays like a guard- standing around on the perimeter, lofting jump shots as he sees fittingly. It's this talent that has scouts moving Jones down their Draft board seemingly on a nightly basis.
But then Jones erupted in the second-half. You could see the fire in his eyes as he demanded the ball in the low post. He drove into the chest of SEC Defensive Player of the Year and future No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis. When he found himself in inopportune scoring position, Jones then used his dribble to back out of the post and sink a 12-to-15 foot jumper. On the defensive end of the floor, he pressured Davis like his life depended on forcing the next turnover. And not coincidentally, Baylor climbed back into the game.
In the second-half, Jones was 5-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the foul line for 15 points. He also collected 7 total rebounds, including three as he attacked the offensive glass. It's this talent, this effort and this aggressiveness that Jones played with that has front offices in a state of disorder- do they spend a lottery pick on Jones and if so, which player do they expect to show up? The one that hid in the first-half or the potentially-dominating force that showed up in the second?