Kentucky's Terrence Jones in accident
Kentucky sophomores Terrence Jones and Stacey Poole Jr. escaped with scrapes and bruises after being involved in a car accident early Friday, hours before the second-ranked Wildcats' season opener against Marist, according to Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy.
The two players were riding in a sport utility vehicle and were struck by a vehicle near campus at approximately 2:30 a.m. ET. Kentucky student Larry Warren, a friend and former high school teammate of Jones, said he was driving the players in a Cadillac Escalade he had borrowed from a roommate. Warren said he swerved to avoid being hit head-on, but could not avoid the accident.
According to coach John Calipari's website, CoachCal.com, the car that struck the vehicle carrying Jones, 19, and Poole, 20, was an "oncoming vehicle" that was "driving on the wrong side of the road."
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts could not confirm Friday morning whether the other vehicle was "oncoming," as described by Calipari.
The driver of the other vehicle, 22-year-old Scott M. Roseberry, was charged with driving under the influence, according to the Herald-Leader.
Warren said he and the two players were leaving a night club when the incident occurred. The three each drank bottled water and no alcohol, he said. Neither player was charged and no evidence of drugs or alcohol was found, according to Calipari.
Warren said Jones sat in the passenger's seat and Poole was in the backseat.
Jones, the preseason Southeastern Conference player of the year and an Associated Press preseason All-America selection, left the scene in fear of an altercation with the other driver. He was questioned by police before being treated at the hospital and released, according to Calipari.
Warren downplayed the role of the other driver in Jones leaving the scene, citing instead the emotions following the accident.
"We became frustrated talking amongst each other, just like, 'Oh my God, why did this happen?' " Warren said. "There was a lot of frustration. I had to get out some things like, 'Look what stupidity can bring to you when somebody's drinking and driving' and how we could have lost our lives. When Terrence heard me say that, he kind of got angered, but there was no personal conflict with the other driver.
"It was more amongst us than the driver. It was just like us talking and me hollering and screaming, 'That's how quickly we could lose our lives.' I wouldn't call it arguing. Each of us had our own part in being frustrated."
Warren said he told Jones to leave the scene in order to avoid the accident "being blown out of proportion" by the media, and a friend in the area drove Jones away from the scene.
Poole was questioned at the scene and released from the hospital after being taken to the emergency room by ambulance, according to Calipari. Warren said he and Poole experienced minor neck and back pain after the accident. Jones later joined them at the hospital and underwent a medical examination.
"They are both fine and healthy," Peevy said of the players in an email.
Jones and his mother, Linda, did not immediately return requests for comment.
Jones was just 3 of 7 for eight points and nine rebounds as Kentucky won 108-58 on Friday night.
Calipari said in a statement the players broke no rules, but because of their actions, he would impose a curfew on the Wildcats because "this team has showed me an inability to make proper judgment and decisions that they've been given the freedom to make."
"We hold our players to a higher standard at Kentucky," Calipari added. "They must learn that they've been placed in a leadership role and that every action defines this team, this state and its fans. As always, any additional punishment will be handled within the team."
Jones, last season's SEC freshman of the year, is Kentucky's leading returning scorer and rebounder after averaging 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds during last season's Final Four run. The 6-foot-9 forward withdrew his name from the NBA draft this past spring.
"Thanking god for blessing me to live and wake up this morning," Jones posted on his Twitter page following the accident.
Said Warren: "Looking back on it, I won't say we made a bad choice, but I could say we'll probably think twice before we make decisions to go out."
Poole's status with the team remains unclear, as he did not appear in the team's two exhibition games and has been considering a transfer. Calipari has said he would give Poole time to decide on whether he would stay or leave, and support him in either case.
Diamond Leung covers college basketball for ESPN.com and can be reached at email@example.com.
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