LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Terrence Jones said he worked hard to show he was a leader on the court this season for Kentucky. He's the reason the second-ranked Wildcats will have less free time off it.
Jones, a sophomore, came off the bench for eight points in Kentucky's 108-58 season-opening win over Marist on Friday night after the university said he was involved as a passenger in an early morning car accident.Coach John Calipari said earlier in the day that he would institute a curfew for the Wildcats."I felt I was doing a great example on the court. I still believe that way," said Jones, who like the rest of his teammates will be forced to be back in their rooms at 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. "I take blame for being out that late, but I mean, it's just something that happened to cause all that."Anthony Davis had 23 points and 10 rebounds to join Jones and Sam Bowie as the only freshmen in Kentucky history with 20-10 games in their debuts.Davis attacked the rim in the opener, finishing 10 of 13 with eight dunks as Kentucky shrugged off a slow start with a dominant second half that turned a single-digit lead into a 50-point blowout in their first game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off tournament.Fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 15 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals in his Rupp Arena debut."If Michael wasn't out there and Anthony wasn't out there, we're down at half," Calipari said.Kentucky's next stop is New York City, where the Wildcats will face No. 13 Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday before heading to Uncasville, Conn., for two more games as part of this early season tournament."I really think we'll be fine," Calipari said. "I just don't know if we're ready to play a team like Kansas."After Kentucky took a 45-36 lead in the first half, Doron Lamb found Jones under the basket for a slam as the Wildcats scored the first six points of the second half. Davis had consecutive slams as the Wildcats pulled away with a 21-2 run that made it 72-42 with 12 minutes left. Kentucky's biggest lead was the final margin.Jones had 25 points and 12 rebounds in his debut last season and Kentucky went on to the Final Four, losing in the national semifinals to Connecticut. Bowie established the first such performance in 1979."For me to be in that category is just awesome," Davis said. "Terrence and Sam, they're great players and I'm just glad to be in that category with them."Jones returned for his sophomore season and the Wildcats have another impressive freshman class that includes Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer. Teague had 16 points, Lamb had 15 and Wiltjer added 14 for the Wildcats.Calipari said early Friday that Jones, the Southeastern Conference preseason player of the year, and teammate Stacey Poole had been involved in a car accident, but neither was seriously hurt."He'll be fine. He made a mistake. I don't throw kids under the bus," Calipari said.The Wildcats won their first two exhibition games by a combined 124 points, but Marist kept it close thorough the first half. Isaiah Morton scored 13 points and Dorvell Carter finished with 12 for Marist."I thought we had a good game plan, spread them out," Marist coach Chuck Martin said. "But they are the No. 2 team in the country."Martin, who was on Calipari's staff from Memphis from 2006-08, has gone 7-56 over his last two seasons. But Carter's 3-pointer gave the Red Foxes an 18-17 lead before Jones entered the game.Kentucky built a 32-23 lead, but Adam Kemp's floater cut Kentucky's lead to 38-34 before the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run capped when Jones hit a 3, then grabbed an offensive rebound on the next possession and dunked over Manny Thomas.Morton hit a jumper that made it 45-36 at the half, cutting Kentucky's lead single digits for the final time."We played with them in the first half," Carter said. "The only thing we can learn is always come out and play hard the whole 40 minutes."