Iona Basketball: Arizona Transfer Lamont 'MoMo' Jones Cleared to Play by NCAA

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2011

Lamont Jones will have two years of eligibility with the Iona Gaels.
Lamont Jones will have two years of eligibility with the Iona Gaels.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Iona was already the favorite to win the MAAC, but now the Gaels have the addition of Lamont "MoMo" Jones. Jones, originally from New York City, played his first two years of college basketball at the University of Arizona.

After a solid freshman season, Jones boosted his numbers up as a sophomore. Last year, he averaged 9.7 PPG, 2.4 APG and shot 83 percent on free throws for the Wildcats, who took a trip to the elite eight in the NCAA tournament.

Jones chose to transfer to a school closer to home due to his grandmother battling an illness. In addition to Iona, he considered transferring to Seton Hall, Hofstra, and St. John's.

Following months of waiting for a hardship waiver, Jones was finally cleared by the NCAA on October 20 to play immediately for Iona.

Jones expressed his pleasure for the situation earlier today by tweeting, "It aint nobody in the country more happier than me right now!!!"

The addition of Jones has the potential to take Iona to the next level among mid-majors. Before Jones was cleared to play, the Gaels already had a very solid backcourt with Scott Machado, Sean Armand, Kyle Smyth, and Jermel Jenkins. Plus, Iona has NBA prospect Michael Glover in the frontcourt.

With MoMo, the Gaels will have more depth and talent in the backcourt than any other team in the MAAC. They will also have arguably one of the top backcourts among all mid-majors. 

Also, Jones adds some versatility to the backcourt.

"I can see him being the point guard, I can see him playing off the ball. I think he'll be a combination of both for us during the year," Iona coach Tim Cluess told SNY.

After finishing No. 2 in the MAAC last season, Iona now has the talent to be No. 1 in the MAAC in 2011-12.

 

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