LAHAINA » Terrence Jones had a former suitor buzzing about another dominant effort at the outset of his Kentucky career.
Jones, the Wildcats’ star freshman forward, went for 29 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks against Oklahoma and coach Jeff Capel, who unsuccessfully recruited the Portland, Ore., native.
The 6-foot-8, 224-pound Jones helped secure the 76-64 win for the No. 8 ‘Cats with a key block of Cade Davis‘ 3-point attempt for the Sooners with 1:27 to play.
On 12-for-17 shooting, Jones put up the second-highest scoring output by a freshman in Kentucky history. He has two double-doubles in three games.
"He has over a 7-foot-4 wingspan. It helps that he’s left handed," Capel said. "He has a skill set that’s very unique. … He truly is a point forward. … When we recruited him, I loved him.
Jones showed a mix of superb toughness and deft ballhandling ability on the fast break. He had three assists and two steals.
"I thought Terrence Jones was the best player in the country in his class. I didn’t see anyone who could have an impact on the game like he could," Capel said. "I anticipate him being able to do that throughout his career at Kentucky."
Kentucky fans don’t disappoint
Coach John Calipari promised a strong showing by Kentucky fans, and legions of blue-clad Wildcats supporters made him true to his word.
"Go Big Blue" chants rocked the 2,400-seat Lahaina Civic Center, with the majority of the seating going to Kentuckians in the second game of the day against a speck of maroon Sooners supporters. Washington and Michigan State fans were tied for a distant second in number and volume during their games.
"It’s a game within a game for these people to find tickets. To get in the building," Calipari said on Sunday. "They all come. Now, there will be more Kentucky fans here than seats in that building. … You just figure out how you get in."
Washington goes off
The No. 13 Huskies justified a four-spot bump in the AP Top 25 yesterday by demolishing Virginia to the tune of 55 points, 64.7 percent shooting and 12 turnovers forced before halftime. UW won 106-63 and became the first team to top 100 points in the tournament since top-ranked North Carolina did so in two of three games in 2008.
Washington had a 67-point first half and 118-point night in its season opener against McNeese State.
Mixing and matching
Michigan State improved to 3-0 all-time against Chaminade. Kentucky is now 3-0 against Oklahoma in meeting the Sooners for the first time in 23 years.
Washington evened its record against Virginia at 1-1, while Connecticut and Wichita State met for the first time.
UConn is now 6-1 all-time on Maui, while MSU is 7-3 and Kentucky is 9-4. UW won its Maui debut.