Kentucky vs. Kansas Predictions: Terrence Jones Will Be Huge in Kentucky Win

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25:  Terrence Jones #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts against the Baylor Bears during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Final at the Georgia Dome on March 25, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

While most of the talk surrounds Player of the Year Anthony Davis or his high-character, high-talent teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the secret to a Kentucky victory will lay in the hands of power forward Terrence Jones.

Why, you might ask? Well, consider the following excerpts provided by Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports, who got scouting reports from three different coaches who all played Kansas this year.

Teams that have four-men that can step out and make shots cause them problems. Look at Ryan Kelly at Duke, or Purdue. It puts Withey in a tough situation and makes Thomas Robinson have to guard.

It's an easy enough strategy to pull off:

Make Robinson and Withey guard ball-screens. Bring both of them away from the basket, where they aren't comfortable. That way Withey isn't a rim protector anymore.

Certainly, Anthony Davis is capable of hitting jump shots, but this strategy should be better suited for Terrence Jones, a big man who is capable of banging inside but also can be effective from the perimeter in the mold of a Lamar Odom.

No, he's not a guy that will take many threes, but he can be effective with his mid-range shot and is capable of slashing to the basket. With Kansas likely to put Withey on Davis, Thomas Robinson is going to have to come out and defend Jones.

Kentucky would be wise to make Robinson work on the defensive end, and if they could get the star power forward into early foul trouble, Kansas would be in deep trouble.

Besides the matchup, when Jones gets going offensively, Kentucky is all but impossible to beat. He's streaky, yes, but he is capable of putting up huge numbers and making the Wildcats all but impossible to defend.

Keep an eye on No. 3 tonight—he'll be the surprise key to Kentucky's national championship victory tonight.

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