Momo is on this way to Iona!
After ending the 2010-11 season at 25-12 but with two heartbreaking losses, one to St. Peters in the finals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for an NCAA berth and a second to Santa Clara in the finals of the CollegeInsider.com tournament, things just got a whole lot better for Tim Cluess and the Iona Gaels, landing a premier point guard from a team that made it deep in this year’s NCAA tournament.
Outstanding New York City school boy point guard Lamont “Momo” Jones, a bi time player who recently left the University of Arizona at the end of his Sophomore season to be closer to his grandmother near his home in Harlem, is coming to New Rochelle.
With the Arizona Wildcats, Jones averaged 9.7 points per game and played a major role in helping the Wildcats advance to the Elite Eight in this past season’s NCAA Tournament. In the last 10 games of the season he shot .481 (37-of-77) from the field in the last 10 games to go with a 2:1 (22:11) assist:turnover ratio. Five of his nine games in double figures came in the last 10 outings.
Jones is a major talent, slotted to be starting point guard at Arizona, a school known at Point Guard U for its history of producing top point guards including Steve Kerr (Chicago Bulls), Damon Stoudamire (Portland Trailblazers), Mike Bibby (Vancouver Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks), Jason Terry (Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks), Jason Gardner, Jerryd Bayless (Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers), Khalid Reeves (Miami Heat), Miles Simon (Orlando Magic), Gilbert Arenas (Golden State Warriors), Salim Stoudamire (Milwaukee Bucks).
Zagsblog broke the news:
After taking visits to the local schools I felt a good connection with Coach [Tim] Cluess] of Iona,” Jones said in a statement sent by his adviser, former Seton Hall and St. John’s assistant Dermon Player. “I want to thank Seton Hall, Hofstra and UMass as well as South Florida and Marquette for their interest. I want to thank my family and my adviser, coach Dermon Player for helping me in the process.
In order to play this season, Jones will need a hardship waiver from the NCAA. Iona coaches were confident Jones would get the waiver.
ADDENDUM: University of Arizona Player Bio for Lamont “MoMo” Jones
General: Nickname is “MoMo” … Leadership and improved perimeter shooting will boost his chances of being the next point guard at Point Guard U. … Proved to be one of the most productive Cats down the stretch, averaging 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists, while shooting .481 (37-of-77) from the field in the last 10 games to go with a 2:1 (22:11) assist:turnover ratio … Five of his nine games in double figures came in the last 10 outings.
Sophomore guard Lamont “MoMo” Jones
Freshman (2009-10): A key member of the guard rotation in the last half of the Pac-10 season … Scored seven points vs. UCLA on 3/11 in Pac-10 Tournament … Hit 5-of-8 FGs and equaled career highs with 16 points and four assists on 3/4 vs. UCLA … Knocked down the game-winning FG at the buzzer – a 17-foot runner – at Stanford on 2/27, where 11 of his career-high 16 points came in the second half … Posted 10 points, five boards and four assists on 2/25 at California … Hit 5-of-8 FGs on the way to 11 points to go with a career-best six boards on 2/11 vs. Oregon … Equaled a season-high four assists on 2/6 at Washington State … Hit 7-of-10 FGs en route to a team-high 14 points at Washington on 2/4 … Finished in double figures for the fourth time this season with 10 points (3-of-6 FG) on 1/31 vs. California … Equaled a season high with four assists on 1/28 vs. Stanford … Hit 5-of-6 FGs to finish with a season-best 13 points in just 12 minutes vs. Washington on 1/10 … Suspended for 1/2 game at UCLA for team policy issues … Tallied 12 points on 12/21 vs. Lipscomb … Posted his first double-figure scoring game on 12/12 at San Diego State with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting … Scored nine of his season-best 12 points in the OT (3-of-4 treys), as UA prevailed over Lipscomb on 12/21 … Collected two boards, an assist and a steal on 12/9 vs. Louisiana Tech, and earned praise from Miller for his defensive effort … Posted season-high totals of nine points, five boards and 32 minutes vs. UNLV on 12/2 … Hoisted 10 FG attempts in 28 minutes vs. Wisconsin on 11/23 … Collected eight points and two steals in his college debut vs. Northern Arizona on 11/15. High School: Ranked as the No. 68 overall prospect in the country and the No. 11 point guard by rivals.com to go with a scout grade of 88 by ESPN … First Oak Hill product to play at Arizona since Ben Davis (1994-96) … Averaged 21.3 points and 8.0 assists per game as a senior in leading Oak Hill Academy to a 41-1 record for coach Steve Smith … Oak Hill was the national runner-up at the National High School Invitational and finished the year ranked No. 2 in the final USA Today prep top-25 poll … Named to inaugural ESPN RISE all-tournament team and earned MVP honors of the Iolani Classic in Hawaii after pouring in 40 points in the double OT championship game win … A 2009 Jordan Brand All-American and a McDonald’s High School All-America nominee … Averaged 25.4 points and 3.0 assists per game as a junior at American Christian School in Aston, Pa. … Attended Rice High School in New York City as a freshman and sophomore … Participated in the Steve Nash Skills Academy and the LeBron James U.S. Academy in 2008 … An honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society.