College Basketball: Momo Jones and the 10 Most Influential Transfers for 2011-12
Transfers are a fact of life in the college basketball. Every year, dozens of young athletes decide to bid farewell to one program and say hello to another...after sitting out for a year, of course.
Their reasons for doing so can and often do range from family health issues to a desire for more playing time.
This year's college transfer market isn't quite as star-studded as it has been in years past, though it still features plenty of solid contributors, including Arizona point guard Lamont "Momo" Jones.
With that in mind, let's have a look at the 10 transfers out there who could have the biggest impact once they are eligible to play.
Eric Wise Leaves UC Irvine for USC
The most recent transfer news to hit the wire came out of southern California, where UC Irvine forward Eric Wise announced that he would be moving on up to Pac-12 play at USC.
The 6'6" Wise was lightly recruited out of Riverside King High School but quickly proved that he deserved much more attention after averaging 16.3 points and 8.1 rebounds as a junior for the Anteaters.
Wise will have one season of eligibility left once he's available to play for Kevin O'Neill's Trojans during the 2012-13 season, and he seems poised to take full advantage of the opportunity to play at a big time Division I program, even if only for a year.
Ari Stewart Wakes Up, Heads West to USC
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Wise won't be the only transfer playing for USC in the near future.
Ari Stewart presumably did not play quite as much as he had hoped while at Wake Forest, and thus sought out a school to transfer to, yielding his upcoming move to Los Angeles.
This, despite averaging a respectable 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds for the Demon Deacons as a sophomore.
Either way, the Trojans will be adding a versatile forward to the mix when the 2012-13 season rolls around.
Bryce Jones No Longer a Trojan
Of course, with so many players coming in to USC, there must be someone else on the way out, and that's exactly the case with Bryce Jones.
Jones began his career at USC as a starter before being relegated to bench duty once Jio Fontan became eligible to play midseason.
It didn't take long for Jones to see the writing on the wall, which led him to announce that he would be leaving USC and seeking a new home for his basketball talents.
Jones currently has his sights set on three destinations—UNLV, San Diego State and Gonzaga.
Momo Jones Leaves Arizona for the East Coast
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As with Jones at USC, it became apparent to Momo Jones that his (playing) time at Arizona was up after head coach Sean Miller signed five-star point guard Josiah Turner to come on board for the 2011-12 season.
Momo averaged 9.7 points and 2.4 assists while serving as the emotional leader of a Wildcats club that reached the Elite Eight, where they fell to the eventual national champion UConn Huskies.
Jones had hoped to transfer to St. John's to be closer to his ailing grandmother, but an NCAA rule barring schools from contacting players with connections to non-coaching staff members killed that dream for Momo, thanks to the presence of Moe Hicks, his high school coach, as the director of basketball operations for the Red Storm.
As such, Jones has since turned his attention to Connecticut, Seton Hall, Iona, Siena and Hofstra as likely destinations.
Olu Ashaolu Shuffles North to Oregon
Oregon is another of several Pac-12 schools that will be impacted by transfers this coming season.
That's when the Ducks will be welcoming Olu Ashaolu into their midst. The 6'7" forward from Toronto averaged 14.2 points and 9.4 rebounds as a junior at Louisiana Tech.
Unlike most players on this list, Ashaolu will be eligible to play immediately for Ducks coach Dana Altman thanks to an NCAA rule that allows players who graduate early to transfer to another school to pursue a graduate degree and still play basketball, assuming that player still has a year of eligibility left.
Juwan Staten Jumps from Dayton to Penn State
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Enough with the Pac-12 for now.
Juwan Staten enjoyed a productive freshman season at Dayton, putting up 8.5 points and 5.4 assists per game for the Flyers.
However, Staten didn't feel that coach Brian Gregory's program was the right fit for him, as he told the Dayton Daily News, "I don’t feel like I could reach my full potential if I stayed at Dayton."
Staten will be in search of a fresh start at Penn State, where he'll have three years of eligibility to become the player he feels he can be.
Garrick Sherman Ditches Michigan State for Notre Dame
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While Staten is on his way in to the Big Ten, Garrick Sherman is just on his way out.
The sophomore center didn't get quite the opportunity he had hoped for at Michigan State, thereby opening up the possibility that Sherman would seek more playing time elsewhere.
Notre Dame was kind enough to oblige his request for a new home, where Sherman figures to play a significant role for the Fighting Irish going forward.
Korie Lucious Follows Chris Allen to Iowa State
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Tom Izzo has seen an inordinate number of players leave Michigan State prematurely for other schools in recent years, with Shermand and Korie Lucious as just the latest to renounce their Spartanhood.
Lucious will follow in the footsteps of former MSU teammate Chris Allen by transferring to Iowa State with one year of eligibility remaining after being dismissed from the Spartans basketball program.
Izzo will miss Lucious, who would have been the natural replacement for graduated senior Kalin Lucas at the point, but his loss will be Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg's gain once Lucious is allowed to play during the 2012-13 season.
Will Clyburn to Spend His Senior Season in Ames
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Joining Korie Lucious at Iowa State for the 2012-13 season will be Will Clyburn.
The 6'7" swingman led the Utah Utes in scoring (17.1 points) and rebounding (7.8 boards) as a junior during his first season after transferring from Marshalltown Community College.
Clyburn's move to Ames represents his Midwest roots, and he should play a tremendous part in Fred Hoiberg's plan to revive the long-dormant Cyclones program.
Wally Judge Joins Rutgers as an Instant Impact Player
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Wally Judge ran into some legal trouble in his later days in Manhattan, Kansas, but he insists that such was not the reason for his departure from Kansas State.
And rightfully so. Judge, a McDonald's All-American in high school, struggled to live up to his considerable potential while playing for Frank Martin's Wildcats.
Judge will have a new lease on life, and two seasons of eligibility left, when he joins Mike Rice's Rutgers Scarlet Knights for the 2012-13 season.
Ryan Harrow Trades Tobacco for Blue Grass
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I would be remiss (especially among Kentucky fans) if I didn't pay a few words to Ryan Harrow.
The 6'1" guard averaged 9.3 points and 3.3 assists as a freshman at North Carolina State before taking off for Lexington after Sidney Lowe's departure.
Harrow will be eligible to play for John Calipari once the 2012-13 season rolls around and will likely be stepping in for Marquis Teague after he sets college basketball on fire as a freshman.