"This game was real physical on post-ups, rebounds, everything. Alabama always plays us that way. For us to just to come out with a win and learn from it, it's all good. Both teams really competed and that's what brought so much physical play, but that's going to keep happening."
It will Tuesday at Georgia. It certainly will when UK?goes to Vanderbilt Feb. 11 or Mississippi State, which won at Vandy Saturday, later in the year.
"I think us going hard the last five to 10 minutes just simulated what we do in practice and lets us show it off in games," Jones said.
Kentucky reached the Final Four last year despite going 2-6 in SEC road games. Kentucky has already won at Auburn and Tennessee and now plays at Georgia and LSU this week before returning to Rupp Arena again.
"These close games are more intense, but they are more fun to play in. The close games are not because we are not doing stuff we should. Sometimes it's how the other team plays," Jones said. "But it is fun to be out there and win these kind of games. That gives you confidence."
Jones admits this year's team is finding ways to win games that the Cats did lose last season before their last season surge.
"The games might not always be pretty, but all it takes is having toughness to gut out the win.?I think that is what we are doing. We are executing down the stretch and really finishing games out strong," he said.
"Alabama made shots, made physical shots. Their guards got in the lane and made tough shots and 3's they don't usually make. A lot of their guys had really good games. Usually, they don't all play that well. Every team comes at us like that because we have a target on our backs. But we just fought through it and won."
He also agrees that last year, or maybe even earlier this season like at Indiana, he would not have had that resiliency himself to overcome a bad first half with a good second half.
"I think what comes with maturity is being able to forget about the first half if you are having a bad one and just play as hard as you can the second one. That's what I try to do for my team now. It's not worry about myself, but remember there are five of us out there and I have to do it for all of us," Jones said.