Gottlieb on Terrence Jones and Reeves Nelson
Terrence Jones is the classic NBA tease right now. T-Jones is putting up huge numbers and will compete when the ball is shot, but he is totally lost on set plays on offense and he can be selfish and lazy on defense. That is why coach John Calipari was on him on the sideline of the Maui Invitational. Keep in mind, T-Jones is getting away with playing the PF slot against inferior athletes, something that will change, as he is in-between positions at the next level. For Kentucky to be a real contender in the SEC, Jones has to understand that his stats are not truly indicative of his positive or negative effect on his team. It is early and he has some "dog" in him that Cal will try to get out of him, but beware of a Donte' Green-type season. Big stats and no defense leads to teams underachieving, despite having a lottery pick at the PF slot.
Aside from Jones' lack of defense and Knight getting trigger happy from the 3-point line, Kentucky must find a third weapon because their freshman look like, well, freshman. Last year was a once in a lifetime deal, and the Wildcats were helped by Patrick Patterson hanging around. This year appears to be a more usual type of freshman class.
Bottom line: This team is better, but at the same time there are things to nitpick on. Malcolm Lee looks much more comfortable off the ball and shooting the ball. Josh Smith looks like he is a year away from being special. Smith is massive and has great hands and light feet, despite needing to drop 30 pounds (he reportedly has dropped 50 already). Guys inside the UCLA program rave at these skills and Smith's IQ. If he continues to lose weight, UCLA will have a star. Tyler Honeycutt continues to improve and show his variety of skills, mostly passing the ball and playing in transition. Reeves Nelson is a fierce offensive rebounder and scorer, however he is one of the most selfish players I have seen play for Ben Howland. He is constantly hunting shots, will turn down Smith in the post and generally the offense ends when he touches the ball. While Nelson shot 64 percent last year and is over 60 percent for this year -- so it doesn't seem like a problem to an outside observer -- remember that when one guy is selfish other Bruins will hunt shots and it is toxic. Nelson is selfish in that he rarely screens for others and is a poor defender. Much like Jones, Nelson's numbers do not show some of the little things he lacks to make the team better. My opinion is that Nelson wants to leave for the NBA, especially with the Weir twins eligible next year, and he is trying to "get his" in front of the NBA scouts. UCLA should be good enough to contend for a Pac-10 crown, but considering the league's struggles and how overwhelmed Lee, Smith and Tyler Lamb looked in comparison to the Villanova guards at MSG, there is still a talent gap in Westwood, Calif.
I hope coach Cal keeps riding him.... Jones could be something special if he is pushed in the right direction.
That article is pure hatred and not an accurate analysis of Kentucky or Terrence Jones at all. I don't think this dude ever watched the games.
This guy just pieced a bunch of rhetoric together and it is going to sound really good to people who haven't gotten a chance to see Terrence Jones play.
First off Terrence Jones is by all means a great kid who came to Kentucky with zero baggage. Terry Jones has no history of slacking off or being selfish.
Kentucky vs UCONN...This is Kentucky's only lose of the season and Jones worse rebounding performance. But during that game Jones fought all night underneath the boards for position. On defense Terrence Jones makes his rotations and is a terror as a weak side shot blocker. Plus he get's his long wing span in passing lanes and comes up with a lot of steals.
On offense the kid is a complete man child. If you think an 18 year old kid averaging over 20 points per game shooting 50 and 40 then the world better watch out when he learns the plays!!!!!! But honestly I don't know what he is talking about Jones looks completely comfortable in Kentucky's offense and get's a ton of plays called for him which he executes fine to the tune of a 5-1 record, and 20.7 PPG.
Just because Terrence Jones can score from anywhere on the floor doesn't mean he is a tweener. Jones is a deadly outside shooter with range who also has post moves and the body to muscle his way to baskets. I didn't even talk about his ball handling and passing abilities both of which are criminally overlooked.
And then we got the Donte Green comparison. That is where I truly understood this guy does not have a clear picture as to what kind of player Terrence Jones is. Donte Green was a 20 year old freshman who despite having the green light to shoot every time down the floor still could only manage 17 PPG. Green didn't rebound well, pass, block shots, or even slash well on offense. he was basically a long range gunner who got fast breaks points too. Jones is still only 18 years old, can shoot, pass, rebound, block shots, post up, and even take his man off the dribble. There is no comparison. But it's cool they hated on Melo at Syracuse too till he dropped a Chip on their head.
Point out a player in college basketball right now who can stop Terrence Jones...
He's not a tweener, he's a legit 6'9" small forward at the age of 18. Meaning he could end up being 6'10. He's a legit cornerman. And from what I've seen, if T-Jones isn't on the court, Kentucky isn't winning. So, I don't know what he means when he says "Jones has to understand that his stats are not truly indicative of his positive or negative effect on his team"
@ bdoody......Do you think he is heading in the wrong direction right now? Terrence Jones is a smart, hard working good kid. He is proving he can compete as the highest level availible to him right at an elite rate and also handle all the hype, pressure, and bright lights that come with playing for Coach Cal.
Honestly if you can point out a weakness in this kids game let me know. He does everything well and Kentucky is winning because of it. It's not like North Carolina and Mr. Super Intagibles And Winning Mentality Impact Player Harrison Barnes and their .500 record. Now that's a dude that looks completely lost in the offense, and he is also melting in the bright lights of Carolina Blue
Completely agree with Mr. 19134.
That UCONN game shows exactly how T-Jones plays, the kid scrapped and scrapped until the final seconds. And like I said in my previous post, if Jones isn't on the court, Kentucky isn't scoring nor are they winning.
@Tongu Out....again with this cornerman term what does that mean? And thank you for having common sense about this. I have no idea what Gottlieb means at all. He said Jones needs to understand the difference between getting stats and having a positive impact...WTF!?!?!?!?! Like what does that even mean. Usually that applies to a gunner who shoots a bad percentage but gets his points ::cough, cough, brandon knigh, cough, cough:::: But Jones shoots a high percentage and like the Oklahoma game, he takes the game over with his scoring and rebounding ability. Does this dude think Terrence Jones goes out there and sees a guy shoot the ball and thinks to himself, "I'm about to block this shot it'll look good in the boxscore.?" No he blocks shots on instincts and he competes on both ends because he is a competitor who wants to maximize his potential which is enormous. And I am tired of people saying he is a tweener just because he can play both forwards spots effectively like that makes him a bad player.
Completely agree with you.
A cornerman is a forward who can play either forward position effectively.
i.e. Lamar Odom, LeBron James, Josh Smith, Andrei Kirilenko, Shawn Marion etc.
It's basically the exact opposite of a tweener.
Its funny how different basketball talking heads have different opinions about T.Jones. Gottlieb is so so in my book, sometimes he hits the nail on the head about a player and other times he couldnt be anymore wrong
I do not think he is "hating on Terrence Jones". Listen, I have never been a big fan of Gottlieb, and think his analysis can be completely off the wall at times, but I actually understood him here. The words he used were "selfish" and "lazy", which automatically bring up an attitude, but he just used them to describe an area he needed improvement on. Basically, I felt like he was saying that while Terrence has played great, which he has, he still has room for improvement and question marks. Is that not a fair assessment? I certainly think it is. I did not fully understand the whole "NBA Tease" deal, but he is raising valid and I feel constructive (though poorly worded) criticism. Terrence has been the most impressive freshman in the country thus far statistically, but he does have room for improvement. I for one really want to see how he plays against his peers on an athletic level. Plus, I think if he had to guard a guy like Jared Sullinger, he would get killed.
He played against a UCONN team with very few legit bigs (Oriakhi was not guarding him, and has a long way to go), but the thing Terrence is doing that a guy like Harrison Barnes is not is putting up consistent numbers. That being said, I find that they play on radically different teams in radically different set-ups. NC's guards have been, for lack of better word, awful. They may be McDonald's All-Americans (Strickland, Drew, Marshall, Bullock), but they are not on the level of Kentucky's guards at this point, or their wings for that matter. I have seen Terrence and Harrison play, and while Terrence impressed me greatly, Barnes looked like the better player to me at the time. Things change, that is for sure, but I could see the SEC being tough for Terrence Jones, maybe bringing his numbers down slightly. Even before the season began, I had Terrence at 7 in my mock draft, and while he might go higher, I do not know if I would take him over Harrison Barnes or Perry Jones, I still want to see how they all handle the season. Also, comparing Terrence Jones to Melo seems to be extremely premature. I think Terrence is a great prospect, but Kentucky has issues that Syracuse most definitely did not as a basketball team when Melo lead to an NCAA title. Knight and Jones are both looking like probable lottery picks, but Kentucky still has legitimate concerns and definitely needs to find that third guy to step up.
From all I have heard and seen, Terrence seems like a great kid and he is playing assertive basketball. The only issues are his defense, which is an issue for nearly any freshman, especially seeing that Terrence has to make up for the fact that Kentucky defense in the low block is weak. I do not think the Donte Greene comparisons are fair, or very accurate, but they kind of were in the same situation. Donte had to play 4 at Cuse, which was not his optimal position regarding his skill set, plus he still stuck to the outside far too much on offense. Terrence seems to be doing just fine with his role and also seems to be a great deal more efficient than Greene was on offense. But they are both 6'9-6'10 (Greene is actually listed at 6'11) players who were very skilled but still need to find out which forward they will defend on the next level. I definitely take Jones at the same stage, but Donte Greene was after all a very highly rated prospect who had a great start to his freshman year and struggled in conference play. I am guessing Gottlieb believes Jones might do the same, though I am hoping he will rely much less on his 3 point shooting than Greene did, which will lead to better shooting numbers in general. Jones might indeed put up better numbers than Greene's 17.7 and 7.2 in his only year at Cuse, and justifiably be a higher pick than Greene was. However, I still feel that the context of what Doug Gottlieb said was slightly misinterpreted, at least I believe so. I will be very interested to see what happens when NC and Kentucky play, so far of course UK looks much better. Still, will Harrison Barnes finally come to the party? I hope so, I do not think he is even close to as poor a prospect as people are making him out to be after a slow start. Luckily it is on before Oregon plays the Civil War, so I should be able to check it out :)
I literally agree with 100% of what Gottlieb was saying. I don't think you guys are really watching games if you think that Jones isn't a tweener. He's not a pure PF and he's also not a pure SF. And he hit the nail on the head about the guys on UCLA too. I'm not as impressed with Tyler Honeycutt as alot of scouts are. Especially if he's supposed to be a 2011 prospect. It's early though, but those are my 2 cents.
as for reeves nelson, ben howland said the other day that the wear twins were his best two players in practices so far. SO nelson probably is thinking about trying to get out of town and showcase himself.
I'm not sure if he's reach Donte Greene's status. It looks like he was playing hard out there. I'd have a better guage of that when a couple more tough games are played and when conference play starts, when the going gets real tough. Donte didn't care about playing D, just was jacking 3's and playing with the NBA in his mind. How does a 6'9 kid shoot 41% from the field, in college! Donte was horrible, did nothing for Syracuse basketball, and we saw how his play and percentages just deteriorated as the Big East season went on. He looked real selfish out there. I just didn't get that sense when watching Jones however, but its still early, I'll keep my eye on it, as Gottlieb sure has more "sources" than I do.
scoutguru, the only source you need is your eyes.
Just watch the kid.
Greene early on was killing the competition early on, to the tune of 22 point 9 boards 50 percent from the field 44 percent from 3, and a steal and block a game. I watched every early season Cuse game that year, and he dominated smaller 4 by shooting over all the smaller defenders he faced. Cuse had lost their core senior class and Greene was overworked and over aggressive early. And don't sleep on Greene's size and weakside defense. He played selfishly and became more 3 point happy as the season went on. His overall number arent indicative of how he played in either half. He was spectacular the first half, and terrible the second, primarily because he couldnt hit the broad side of a barn, and his overall game suffered from it. Not to mention he looked terribly tired the second half. For the first ten games, other than Beasley and maybe Gordan, no frosh was more impressive than Greene, maybe in all of college, dont get it twisted.
Everything else, I feel mikeyv expressed how I feel about it.
And Tongue out, a tweener isn't the opposite of a 'cornerman'. Cornermen are tweeners that have improved to the point that they can play both effectively. Most of the players you named started out being called tweeners because they haven't proven to play both positions effective at the NBA level.
Greene must have been in bad shape because The cuse play zone defense which is the best defense to get rest in compared to man to man
Terrence Jones can play either forward spot well in the same mold of Thad Young, Jeff Green and Josh Smith. He is far from a tweener. T. Jones has more then enough athleticism to play small forward and I keep hearing people talk about his questionable foot speed...?....They said that about Kevin Durant and Battier both who started at shooting guard during a time of their rookie year. T. Jones has too much skill, talent, size, and athleticism not to be able to grow into an all star role at either spot. At the Nike Hoop Summit he measured in at 6/9 in sneakers with a 7'1 wingspan and he came to Kentucky weighing 244.
So are you telling me that 6'9, 244 lb forward with over a 7 foot wingspan, strength, and post moves wouldn't be able to play power forward in the pros?
"as for reeves nelson, ben howland said the other day that the wear twins were his best two players in practices so far. SO nelson probably is thinking about trying to get out of town and showcase himself."
Nothing like a player being afraid of competition for a role at the NCAA level to get me excited about his chances as a pro.
Wasn't there a similar claim from Wake Forest when Jeff Teague left early so that he wouldn't get pushed off the ball by Ish Smith? That has worked out well.
"Terrence Jones can play either forward spot well in the same mold of Thad Young, Jeff Green and Josh Smith. He is far from a tweener."
All 3 of them are classic tweeners. Young is more stuck as a tweener than Green and Smith, but your statement is extremely contradictory. Smith plays the closer he is to the rim so he's more of a PF than SF, and Green functions best from the mid-range so he's more of a true SF than PF.
Green really is not a tweener he is only a power forward by size, but plays like a true small froward the only reason he plays power forward because Durant cannot play the 2 so in order to play the best starting 5 players on the Thunder Green players power forward. Green can play 4 out of neccesity but it does not play to his strengths.
why you all talking about being tweener??? everyone knows he will play sf and it's his natural position just becuase he can rebound and is over 240pounds doesn't mean he is a tweener, it's actually his pluses