Before you go too haywire in the comment section, this post is merely to spark the discussion. Has Terrence played his way into the discussion for National Player of the Year? He has certainly made it into the race for Frosh PoY, and with Kyrie Irving now out for – potentially – the remainder of the season, it is certainly a possibility that Jones takes home the honors.
A couple points to think about:
(1) Right now Terrence Jones is averaging 20 points per game and 10.5 boards. And honestly those have come against some pretty decent competition – Washington, UConn, UNC and Notre Dame. It’s clear that he will need to become more consistent – to avoid games like the North Carolina one – but apparently all he needs to do is stop taking naps and that’s taken care of. For comparisons sake, the two recent PotY’s that I think have the most similar style to T Jones averages were:
— Evan Turner – 20.4 ppg, 9 rpg, 6 apg
— Kevin Durant – 25.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg
(2) While Kentucky certainly has more difficult games ahead on it’s schedule, the games will likely only get easier for the wildcats. The game last night looked a lot like the game againt UConn, but instead of getting selfish and rolling over, the young Cats played tenacious defense and found a way to win by 14. Pretty solid. Not to mention the toughest non-conference game left is likely against Louisville, – and the SEC has been putrid outside the state of Tennessee. This sets up a pretty favorable run for Kentucky, and a chance for TJ to shine.
(3) Enes Kanter may still suit up. While it may be a little less of a long shot than it was a week ago, it’s still somewhat unlikely we ever see Kanter check in at the scorers table in Lexington. But should Enes be able to, it can only help Terrence’s campaign out. By adding a legitimate scoring monster down low, Jones will be able to rack up assists and drive to the basket more comfortably. It should also free him from needing to play defense on any huge 5’s if Vargas and Harrelson get in foul trouble again.
(4) Us. The Media. We love winning teams, and we love to pin it on a super star. Right now, Terrence Jones is Kentucky’s super star. If they keep winning Terrence will keep making head lines, simple as that.
So, is Jones the front runner for National PoY? Not at all. Not yet at least. That still belongs to our friend Kemba Walker (who is averaging 28, 5, and 4,) but he has at least earned being in the discussion.
And I think even Goodman can agree – it’s not going to be Harrison Barnes.