Basketball: Jones still unsigned as deadline nears

Terrence Jones, the highly rated forward from Jefferson HS in Portland, remains unsigned as of this morning, and the spring signing deadline is a week from today — May 19.

Will he sign — either with Washington, to whom he gave a verbal commitment, or to Kentucky — or will he wait?

And if the deadlines comes and goes without Jones’ name on a letter-of-intent, what does that mean?

Not much, actually. At least in Jones’ case. He still can choose to sign scholarship papers with a school, but cannot sign the binding LOI, which only really benefits the school, anyway.

Check out Seattle Times beat writer Percy Allen’s latest blog post, explaining all the various factors.

This situation will be interesting to follow because you wonder if it could become a trend among the real high-end recruits. I’ve long thought if you’re the next Shaquille O’Neal coming out of high school, there’s little or no benefit to signing a letter-of-intent. It’s a one-way contract that binds the player to the school.

Let’s say Jones signs a LOI with Kentucky, then John Calipari leaves to coach the Chicago Bulls. Coach Cal gets big money (even bigger than he gets now), but Jones is stuck in Lexington, or must sit out a year if he transfers. The elite player can dictate things and sign the scholarship papers, but decline the LOI, keeping his options open.

The regular recruit won’t be able to get away it — schools will insist he also signs the letter-of-intent so there is commitment from the player.

But if you’re a Junior John Wall, you make the rules, and most schools still will welcome your arrival.

We’ll see if Terrence Jones views himself that way.

Jeff Faraudo

  • uh oh.

    Good stuff, Jeff.

    One could also argue that the longer a recruit waits before making his announcement, the more press he gets, and the more people out there get to know who he is, which of course is the objective of any marketing campaign.

    If the player ends up being a good NBA player, he’s already got name recognition to do all sorts of marketing gigs for various brands, not to mention the fan recognition that comes on draft day.

    So, why not work it?