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Jeff Eisenberg

Terrence Jones to Washington? Not until pen hits paper

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When Terrence Jones slipped on a purple and black cap on Friday and announced he would attend the University of Washington in the fall, it appeared his tortuous recruitment was finally over.

Turns out the suspense surrounding Jones' college choice is just beginning.

According to the Seattle Times, Jones has yet to sign his letter of intent with the Huskies. The highly touted 6-foot-8 forward appears to be experiencing cold feet after spending 15 minutes on the phone with Kentucky coach John Calipari soon after making his announcement and meeting with the media.

That Jones is wavering shouldn't come as too huge a surprise considering his recruitment has dragged on longer than any other top prospect in the class of 2010. He teared up several times while thanking his coaches and family during his news conference on Friday and insisted afterward that he hadn't decided between the six schools on his final list until the moment he reached for the Washington cap.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of Jones' decision to Washington and Kentucky because both programs desperately need him next season.

The addition of Jones and guard Terrence Ross would make Washington a heavy favorite to win the Pac-10 and a threat to advance deep into the NCAA tournament, but the Huskies could struggle to replace all-conference forward Quincy Pondexter if Jones goes elsewhere. And Kentucky already missed out on NC State-bound power forward C.J. Leslie earlier this week, so the Wildcats would need to lower their sights to someone like ex-Clemson signee Marcus Thornton if Jones opts to spurn their scholarship offer.

Washington already lost one elite recruit to Kentucky several months ago when Turkish big man Enes Kanter reneged on his commitment to the Huskies and decided he wanted to play for Calipari instead.

If it happens once, Washington fans can live with it. If it happens again with Jones, it's probably going to sting for a while.

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