Cat Scratches
Interactive Twitter Facebook

Pit stop in hometown Portland the highlight of Jones' road trip

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
34_UK_Pikeville_24_cw.JPGTerrence Jones has places to go, people to see when he gets home, according to his current head coach, John Calipari.

What he may need to remind himself in the immediate future is that he has a game to play against Portland on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT in the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

"This is a dangerous game because now (Terrence Jones) thinks he is on vacation," Calipari said. "He doesn't know we are playing a basketball game because he has never done this before. He has already lined up what he is going to do by the minute. He probably hasn't listed the game at 7:30 on Friday night, so you have that issue."

While the rest of Jones' teammates have had the EA Sports Maui Invitational circled on their respective calendars for some time, Jones has been looking forward to the one-game pit stop in the Northwest the most.

A Portland native who struggled with the decision to play at home (Oregon), close to home (Washington) or to leave home (Kentucky or Kansas), Jones is anxious to go home and play in front of friends and family.

"It will mean a lot," Jones said. "It's always good to have the chance to play in front of my mom and grandma and show them me as a college player and how much I've improved since high school and how much harder I play."

Jones said he isn't homesick or longing for a little change in weather, but he is excited about showing his fellow Oregonians how much he's improved at UK.

"I just really want to play and show them the whole team, not just me," Jones said. (I want to show them) me playing with a new team, new faces and show them where we are as a team."

It isn't all that uncommon for teams to schedule games around a veteran's hometown, but this is uncharted territory for a freshman like Jones.

"He and I talked about that," Calipari said. "He came in and I told him that I have never had a player go home and play well, so good luck. I mean, naturally, he is just happy we are going."

Jones, who has played in the Rose Garden before, said he hopes to prove Calipari wrong and build on his 25-point, 12-rebound effort in his debut last week.

"(Calipari told me) to stay focused on the game and not worry about the little things like who is in the crowd and just playing different just because I'm playing in front of people I know," Jones said, while noting that Calipari was exaggerating a bit on what he has planned for his trip.

Jones said he doesn't know how many friends and family will be at the game, but he's not expecting any boos for his decision to leave home.

"It's going to be real fun," Jones said after the East Tennessee State win. "You know how Jarrod (Polson) gets that little (eruption of cheers from the crowd) every time he touches the ball? Hopefully I get that next game."

As for the Portland team that UK plays Friday, Jones is all too familiar with the 3-0 Pilots.

"Coach Cal has pretty much explained (how good) they are in practices and told us not to take them lightly," Jones said. "I know (how good they are), but I think all of our players get that, too. I haven't seen them this year, but most of the games I went to see, they usually won."

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment

Recent Comments