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University of Louisville News & Perspectives

Getting Through To Terrence Jennings

Why is that a person who spends about half of his waking hours on a basketball court is unable to hit a shot from one to two feet away from the basket?

That’s what goes through one’s mind every time Terrence Jennings hurls the basketball at the cylinder, watching it bound away or missing the target altogether.

He’ll take your breath away on those powerful dunks, nobody does it with more brute force. Opportunities for the thunder dunks are few and far between, however, because he’s rarely in position.

At 6-foot-10, 240 pounds, Jennings is usually the biggest player on the floor in terms of height and girth. He’s also faster than your average big man, bounding down the court in his own inimitable style. His hops are good, his athleticism unquestioned.

Rick Pitino has said Jennings doesn’t practice well, which could mean one or a combination of three  things:

  • He doesn’t put forth the effort.
  • He doesn’t listen to the coaches, thinking he already has all the answers.
  • He is unable to comprehend what they’re trying to teach him.

Whatever the answer is, Jennings is not helping himself or his team much, in effect wasting all that bulk, as well as his athleticism, his potential and his future.

Spending most his time on the bench.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

4 thoughts on “Getting Through To Terrence Jennings

  • January 19, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Got a sport psychologist on this site?
    I have a son who does the same thing – right now I chalk it up to being 12 and not very mature. However, Jennings needs to look at his resources available to him as an athlete and wake up to learning and building his talents.
    ~ Does sitting on the bench make for a good educational tool or is it the only way discipline the undisciplined?
    I hope he steps up to learning and practicing –real soon.

  • January 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Not sure if Dr. Stan Frager, who was the sports psychologist to some of Denny’s team is still around and practicing or not, but we do have an assistant coach by the name of Walter McCarty who was a pretty decent big man in his days at UK under Rick and in the NBA.

    McCarty seems to have gotten Samardo Samuels playing near his capabilities currently. With Jennings, it may simply be a matter of just a slower learning curve and more court time needed. Gotta wonder if Rick is willing to give him additional minutes this late in the season though with the heavyweights on the schedule ahead for the Cards. The time for that was against teams like East Tennessee States, Morgan State and Stetson…not Villanova, Pitt and WVU.

  • January 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Isn’t Jennings problem Samuels? Pitino says they won’t play together. How do you cut Samuels time when he is playing so well?

    Our biggest problem is when Siva and Jennings are in, we have more runs then when they’re not. Not many runs Sat. Runs can cover our lack of BB IQ. The last 10 seconds were played like we were on the playground with no clock, and it beat us.

    • January 19, 2010 at 9:51 am

      Samardo may be a factor but Jennings doesn’t seem to provide much relief when he comes into a game, except against some opponents. He has shown he is more than capable but he apparently has a lack of consistent focus or self-discipline. I really don’t enjoy singling him out but it gets frustrating watching him make the same mistakes over and over again.

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