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Jeff Eisenberg

For Kentucky, the Terrence Jones saga was worth the wait

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As the sun set on the last day of the spring signing period, Terrence Jones finally rendered the above screen shot obsolete.

Jones, the last remaining elite unsigned prospect in the class of 2010, reneged on the commitment he'd made to Washington at a news conference three weeks ago and chose Kentucky instead. He reportedly signed a financial-aid agreement instead of a letter of intent, meaning that he would have the freedom to leave Kentucky should coach John Calipari bolt for the NBA later this summer.

Adding Jones to an already loaded recruiting class gives Kentucky a group of incoming freshmen talented enough to rival the star-studded crop that led the Wildcats to the Elite Eight this past year. Point guard Brandon Knight, Turkish big man Enes Kanter and the versatile 6-foot-9 Jones are each consensus top 10 recruits, while guard Doron Lamb, wing Stacey Poole and junior college big man Eloy Vargas are capable of contributing immediately as well.

It's too early to say whether the freshmen will make the same seamless transition as this past year's group did, but Kentucky fans are clearly excited considering Jones was trending on Twitter around midnight ET. And why not? Between Jones, the other newcomers and returnees Darius Miller and Darnell Dodson, the Wildcats have a strong enough to nucelus to solidify their status as preseason favorites in the SEC.

For Washington, it's difficult to overstate the significance of losing Jones. Adding the Portland product and his high school teammate Terrence Ross would have made Washington a heavy favorite to win the Pac-10 and a threat to advance deep into the NCAA tournament, but the Huskies now have nobody to replace the scoring and rebounding of all-conference forward Quincy Pondexter.

What's surely extra galling for Washington is that this is the second top recruit the Huskies have lost to Kentucky in the past few months. Kanter already reneged on his commitment to the Huskies earlier this year and decided he wanted to play for Calipari instead.

The lone piece of good news for the Huskies is that they may get an opportunity for revenge next season on the court.

Washington and Kentucky are scheduled to participate in November's Maui Invitational. The draw hasn't been released yet, but how much you want to bet that tournament organizers find a way to make sure this matchup happens?

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