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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


NCAA Tournament – Jones reflects on game that got away

Terrence Jones wouldn’t even look at reporters in the locker room after Kentucky’s 56-55 loss to Connecticut Saturday.

He kept his head down as they quizzed him about the reasons his Kentucky Wildcats loss to UConn by one point in the Final Four.

Jones is barely 19-years-old and just endured the worst loss of his career. He isn’t the most eloquent speaker to begin with; having cameras, lights and recorders shoved in his face during such a fragile moment didn’t really help.

In front of an audience of reporters, Jones had not yet come to terms with the conclusion of his first, and possibly his last, season at Kentucky, but had no choice but to answer questions.

“I thought we were going to win until the buzzer went off.” Jones said. “We worked hard all season and everybody fought. It’s just tough having a tough shooting night.”

Kentucky shot a miserably 21-of-62 from the field (33.9 percent) and 9-of-27 from three.
It is a harsh reality for the AAU star that has seen nothing but success and praise during his prep career and is a likely high lottery pick in this summer’s NBA draft.

His sentences are constructed with pauses as he thinks of the right things to say without breaking down, but it is obvious that he is upset with the result of the game and has not yet come to a conclusion of how he feels. He’ll answer some long-winded questions with such short answers as, “yeah”.
The Wildcats shot a horrid 4-of-12 from the free-throw line, Jones struggled going 0-for-5 mark from the stripe.

In a game that was decided by a point, he acknowledged that any one of his free throws could have been the difference. In his answers, he deflects attention away from his faults and instead praises his teammates.

“We got back in the game because of DeAndre (Liggn)’s defense, Doron’s shooting and Brandon’s penetration and that’s a great way to fight to get back in it,” Jones said.
Jones’ answers were short. He isn’t used to this sort of probing and his answers show a bit of shock at the game’s final result.

“The shots just didn’t go in that normally go in,” Jones said.

Jones talked about how UConn only scored 56 points, which was a number that head coach John Calipari had talked about being a number that would guarantee victory, but UK’s own shooting woes sabotaged that plan.

“We did a great job on defense,” Jones said. “ We got them to a number that coach exactly wanted us to, 56. It’s hard to win shooting 33 percent.”

Jones said the Wildacats seemed tired at times and that having a little more fight to get to the rim might have benefited them.

Jones was no slouch in the losing effort, grabbing 15 rebounds in 38 minutes and accruing four steals, while shooting 5-of-8 from the field, but his efforts at the line were noticeably lacking and he knew it.

As reporters poked and prodded him like a science experiment, it felt wrong to continue this questioning without acknowledging that Jones was a human being, but the media continued. As they trolled for their inside scoop and perfect lead, Terrence Jones was just trying to come to terms with what had happened.

— Joshua Siegel

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