Terrence Jones stars at King Holiday Hoopfest
Words. Austin Burton
SEATTLE — Watching Terrence Jones play in-person for the first time, I struggled to find an NBA player to compare him to. A versatile 6-9 lefty who seems to do everything with an effortless grace, Jones is a mix of Joe Johnson and a prime Tracy McGrady, but in a stark contrast, has an outward demeanor and coach-on-the-floor intensity reminiscent of Kobe Bryant.
Showing his entire skill set and basketball IQ while dominating one of the better teams on the West Coast, Jones was the shining star at Monday’s annual King Holiday Hoopfest at the University of Washington’s Bank of America Arena. Leading the Jefferson (Portland, Ore.) Democrats to a convincing win over defending Washington state 4A champion Federal Way (ranked #28 in the country by ESPN), Jones put up 22 points, nine boards and eight blocks. He scored on post-ups, drives to either side, two-hand dunks in traffic, putbacks and jumpers while handing the Eagles their first loss of the season. Jones barked out directions to his teammates as they had little trouble breaking Federal Way’s full-court press, and at times acted as play-caller in Jefferson’s half-court sets. He never came off the floor, and it wasn’t until Jefferson had sealed the W in the final seconds that anyone saw Jones crack even a trace of a smile.
Some onlookers were turned off by the way Jones talked to his teammates and the way he would often walk up and down the court. But to be fair, you could write those off as in-game intensity and conserving his energy knowing he would be playing all night without a rest.
UW is one of the five schools said to be highest in the running for Jones, along with Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma and UCLA. Playing in front of a supportive UW crowd that included a handful of current Huskies — most notably Isaiah Thomas and Venoy Overton — as well as coach Lorenzo Romar, Jones gave the city a potential glimpse into a bright future.
Stephen Madison, a 6-6 senior wing who looks like Steve Blake but plays like Shawn Marion, added 17 points and eight rebounds for Jefferson. Cole Dickerson, younger brother of ex-NBA wing Michael Dickerson, led Federal Way with 18 points. Dickerson is committed to San Francisco. Isaiah Umipig, a guard committed to Cal State-Fullerton, added 15 for Federal Way.
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The day actually belonged to Portland against its Northwest rivals, as the other marquee game saw Grant H.S. take down defending Washington 3A champ Franklin in double-overtime.
Franklin is an entirely different squad from a year ago, having lost most of the players on the state title team to graduation, including Louisville PG Peyton Siva. Sophomore wing Anrio Adams (7 pts, 7 rebs) is the most talented player on the roster, but the best on the court at UW was freshman point guard Arell Hennings, who showed an impressive handle, court vision and a nice little floater in the lane. Hennings is young and needs to build strength, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes Franklin’s next elite point guard in the tradition of Jason Terry, Aaron Brooks and Siva.
Grant was led by guards Kenneth Acker and Anthony Penney, plus sophomore forward Tre Battle. Acker is a touted football recruit in the senior class, a QB/DB getting interest from the likes of Cal-Berkeley and Hawaii. He and Penney (15 pts) were just too big and strong for Franklin’s young guards, and while everybody in this game struggled to hit jumpers and free throws, Acker and Penny’s drives and Battle’s rebounding proved the difference.
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Other notes from the King Holiday Hoopfest:
- While there are rumors swirling that he could return to the court in February, nationally-ranked prospect Tony Wroten Jr. is still sidelined with a knee injury and watched his Garfield H.S. (Seattle) team lose to Skyline in overtime from the bench in sweats. Wroten, a junior guard, was walking with a noticeable limp before and after the game.
- Rainier Beach, the No. 1 ranked 3A team in Washington, knocked off Decatur (Federal Way, Wash.) behind senior forward Lonnie Pearson‘s 15 points and 11 boards. The Vikings forced 29 turnovers, but shot a grisly 8-of-20 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to allow the Gators to stay in the game.
- In a matchup of the #2 and #3-ranked teams in 3A, Enumclaw beat Bellevue. Senior PG Coleman Clyde led the winners with 21 points, while Aaron Bright (Stanford) scored 21 for Bellevue. Nate Sikma, son of Seattle Supersonics legend Jack Sikma, added 10 points and 14 boards.