Jones commits to Kentucky

Updated: May 20, 2010, 1:00 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Kentucky coach John Calipari landed the final elite player in the class of 2010 Wednesday night.

Terrence Jones, out of Jefferson High in Portland, Ore., had previously verbally committed to Washington. A 6-foot-9 small forward and No. 9 player in the ESPNU top 100 is now headed to Kentucky.

The news was first reported by Scout.com Wednesday night.

Calipari and Washington coach Lorenzo Romar both confirmed to ESPN.com later Wednesday that Jones had signed a scholarship aid agreement, which isn't as binding as a national letter of intent, with Kentucky. Both coaches, who spoke with Jones Wednesday night, expect this to be his final decision.

Jones, a two-time Oregonian Class 5A player of the year, won three state titles while playing at Jefferson.

Three weeks ago, Jones held a news conference and committed to Washington but didn't sign a national letter of intent. Wednesday was the last day of the month-long spring signing period.

Jones' signing clinches what could be the top recruiting class in the country for the second straight year.

A year ago, Kentucky signed John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe to go along with Billy Gillispie's recruit Daniel Orton. The four of them helped lead the Wildcats to 35 wins, an SEC title and an Elite Eight appearance with returning junior Patrick Patterson. All five players are projected to go in the first round of next month's NBA draft after each one of them declared for and stayed in the draft.

According to ESPNU's rankings, Calipari's 2010 class includes the second-best point guard in Brandon Knight (No. 4 overall), the third-best center in Enes Kanter (No. 25 overall), who originally committed to Washington as well, the sixth-best shooting guard in Doron Lamb (No. 29 overall) and the 16th-best shooting guard in Stacey Poole (No. 51 overall). The Wildcats also added former Florida forward Eloy Vargas out of Miami Dade Junior College and got a backup point in Jarrod Polson.

"You can't compare this class," Calipari said of trying to say the 2010 class is equal to the 2009 class with four first-round draft picks. "We were fortunate. We filled a lot of needs. We didn't get everyone we wanted. And we missed as many as we signed. It was hard. And you've got to be lucky to have kids available this late again this year."

Calipari said Jones fits well into his dribble-drive motion offense. He should allow the Wildcats to use players interchangeably at various positions. Calipari also said the Wildcats may add one more player.

Romar said he hasn't ever witnessed a situation where two players committed to Washington and then signed with another school, the same school and in this case Kentucky.

"It's a unique circumstance," Romar said.

Andy Katz is senior writer form ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com