For a kid who clearly dislikes the recruiting process, Terrence Jones isn't doing the most efficient job of ending his own.
As Diamond wrote on Friday, Jones -- an uber-skilled 6-foot-9 small forward who ranks No. 2 at his position and No. 9 overall in ESPNU's class of 2010 -- decided he would be playing his college ball for Lorenzo Romar at the University of Washington. Jones had narrowed his final two choices to Washington and Kentucky, where he was recruited by John Calipari. The commitment gave Romar his best recruit in the class of 2010, a versatile big man who should help Washington replace forward Quincy Pondexter, and compete for the Pac-10 title, immediately.
There's only one problem, though: Jones didn't sign a letter of intent. He still hasn't. And if the rumblings from the press conference are any indication, Calipari isn't turning off the full court press just yet. The Seattle Times' Percy Allen said Jones called Calipari after Jones announced. The conversation lasted 15 minutes; Jones looked "pained." This conversation may have been innocuous. There's nothing to say that Calipari wasn't merely expressing how upset he was that Jones was going to go elsewhere, and there's no real evidence to suggest that Calipari was doing anything more sinister than that. But that doesn't mean Huskies fans won't be a little bit freaked out by Calipari's persistence. Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley expressed that worry Sunday:
Then after their announcements, according to reports, Jones showed enough class to call Kentucky coach John Calipari to tell Calipari he was going to Washington. Calipari reacted like a coach who hadn't heard the final buzzer. Jones still hadn't signed his letter of intent. To Calipari, that meant the game was still on, and there's no quit in Coach Cal.
Who knows what Calipari told Jones? Who knows what suggestions and promises were made? Who knows what game-changing strategy Calipari was employing? Temporarily, at least, Jones postponed his decision to go to UW. Instead of allowing Friday's news conference to be celebratory, Calipari cloaked it in confusion.
There's only one way for Jones to end the speculation, and to end the process that he said forces you to "hurt thousands of people just as much as you make people happy." He has to sign his letter of intent. (Or a financial aid acceptance form.) After that, the worry can be over. In the meantime, Huskies fans will have plenty of opportunity to practice their most efficient nail-biting techniques. Isn't recruiting fun?