Sophomore Arizona Wildcat Lamont “MoMo” Jones has decided to transfer from the program.
This blow comes as a great shock to most every Arizona Wildcat fan across the nation, as MoMo was a team leader, floor general, and a great energy booster for the Wildcats. He took over the reigns as starting point guard this past season and though he went through some learning curves, he excelled and grew into his role quite well, most notably leading the Wildcats to a triple-overtime thrilling victory against the California Golden Bears with 27 points and a demonstrative victory over the defending national champions, Duke, in the NCAA Tournament putting up 6 assists without a single turnover.
MoMo brought a level of toughness and New York nastiness to the team that was essential to some of the hard-nosed slugfests that took place during conference play and the NCAA Tournament this year. His leadership and “swagger,” as those kids say today, will be deeply missed.
Possible programs he might end up at that have been alluded to are St. Johns, Virginia Tech, and some other Big East schools. A point guard with two years experience in a successful program like Arizona’s, with starting point guard Elite Eight experience is a highly valuable commodity.
As for the future of the Wildcats, they will be just fine. With the highly touted top-five recruiting class coming in that includes, Josiah Turner, a top-three point guard in the country and NBA ready talent, Nick Johnson, a phenomenally athletic scoring guard and a couple impact-ready big men, the back court is already crowded even with MoMo’s departure. Folks expect Turner to start from the get-go in Tucson with his naturally gifted true point guard skill of distribution first mentality. He averaged double-digit assists as a prep player and over 15 points a game. He is ready to make a big splash in the conference and within Miller’s system.
The crowded back court is something to discuss too. The two incoming freshman, Johnson and Turner, join a to-be Sophomore Jordin Mayes, who proved he has the chops and acumen to perform on the big stage, as well as Senior shooting guards Kyle Fogg and Brendan Lavender. Fogg is expected to maintain his starting position, but cut a substantial amount of time for Johnson to light up the billboards with highlight reel dunks reminiscent of the great Derrick Williams.
So long MoMo. We, as Wildcat fans, will always support you and thank you for helping resuscitate out program while it rested in cardia arrest in the wake of such tumultuous coaching changes. You were a great player no matter how much our fanbase ragged on you at times for not being the true point guard we were used to. We wish you nothing but the best and remember you are welcome in Tucson anytime you want.
Update: 3:00pm May 19th, 2011
It looks like MoMo’s transfer to St. John’s is everything, but official. It is interesting that he heads to former UCLA head coach Steve Lavin’s new program. We wish him and his family the best, with well wishes in particular for his grandmother. Best of luck MoMo.