College Basketball: Momo Jones Deciding to Transfer, 5 Potential Landing Spots
In a decision that was a little bit surprising to myself and other Arizona fans, the Wildcats' 2010-2011 starting point guard Lamont "Momo" Jones has decided to transfer, in order to be closer to his ailing grandmother, who lives in New York.
“I would like to thank my coaches, my teammates and all of the U of A fans for making my two years at Arizona very special,” said Jones. “After much thought, I have decided to pursue my goals at a school closer to home. My desire to be closer to my family, and in particular my grandmother, is the reason I am transferring. I want it to be known that I love this program, my coaches and teammates. I appreciate everyone for supporting me through this tough time.”
Jones averaged nearly 10 points a game for Arizona last season and was a key reason why they were able to advance all the way to the Elite Eight. Without him, it is unlikely that the Wildcats would have had nearly the success they did.
While Jones grandmother might be the main factor in his decision to transfer, it is not the only one. Head coach Sean Miller is bringing in a top 5 recruiting class next season that features two five-star guards, Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner.
Jones would have likely received significant less playing time and realized that if he wanted to make the most of his college career, Arizona was no longer the place to do so.
What all this means for the rest of the college basketball world is that there is a talented and experienced point guard looking for a school to attend next season.
The NCAA may allow Jones to play immediately, rather than be forced to sit out a year, as they are usually lenient to players who transfer due to family health matters.
Fans of the school Jones chooses to attend can expect a fiery point guard with plenty of swagger. If you are unfamiliar with his game, check out what he did against Cal last season.
Here are five potential schools that could land Momo Jones.
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St. John's is perhaps the most likely destination for Jones, who grew up in Harlem. While head coach Steve Lavin has put together a massive 2011 recruiting class, I'm sure he would love to add a point guard who has two years of college basketball under his belt.
It is unclear whether St. John's has any more open scholarships available for this upcoming season but if they do, they will almost certainly want to offer one to Jones.
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Rutgers is another reasonable destination for Jones, considering their proximity to his grandmother and the fact that they play in the Big East. However, the Scarlet Knights are already bringing in a talented point guard named Myles Mack and if playing time is a major factor in Jones' decision, Mack might prevent Rutgers from landing him.
If Jones did go to Rutgers, he would fit well under Mike Rice's offense and would get the opportunity to compete and play with many guys who also played high school basketball in the NYC area.
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Seton Hall is another Big East program that would love to have a point guard like Momo Jones. The Pirates have been struggling for quite a few years but Jones is the type of player that could spark enthusiasm back into the fans and maybe even lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament.
The Pirates are also losing their leading scorer from last season, Jeremy Hazell, and if Jones is allowed to play next season instead of sitting a year, he could provide instant help for Seton Hall's offense.
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Virginia Tech is a possible destination for Jones because that is the first school he committed to. That obviously doesn't mean a whole lot now but one would have to figure that Jones would at least be interested in playing for Seth Greenberg. Following the departure of Malcolm Delaney, the Hokies are in the need of an experienced point guard.
The most likely reason why he would not go to Virginia Tech is because the school is still pretty far away from Jones' family.
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Perhaps Jones would rather play for a weaker school so he could get more minutes. That may not seem likely but many players transfer from high major programs to teams in much lower conferences, in order to make a more significant impact.
If Jones has that mindset, Hofstra would be a good landing spot for him, as they are in driving distance of Harlem. This would allow Momo to visit his grandmother on a regular basis, but he could do the same if he was at Rutgers or St. John's.