Momo Jones coming to Iona

Well, it’s official. Arizona transfer Lamont “Momo” Jones is heading to Iona. He has two seasons of eligibility and with the Gaels ready to win now it looks like Tim Cluess and his staff are going to try and have Jones eligible to play for the 2011-12 season.

There’s a good possibility that it will happen too. Jones’ grandmother is ailing currently and returning to New York to be with her could certainly qualify Jones for a hardship waiver from the NCAA. It’s a delicate process, but one that compliance departments live for and I’m sure the Gaels are already working on the paperwork.

For Jones getting to play this season would probably be the best possible outcome. He’ll be playing on a team that should be considered the conference favorite, even in a loaded MAAC, and won’t have to shoulder all of the point guard responsibilities due to the presence of Scott Machado. It’s quite possible that Machado and Jones could play on the court together with Jones taking on an increased scoring and defensive role that would free Machado to be the playmaker.

Of course this move also gives Iona a bunch of depth in the backcourt. While I think Jamal Coombs-McDaniel will ultimately end up being the more valuable transfer, Jones provides the thing Iona needs now: immediate help.

This is a great move for Jones. Yes, he’s leaving an Arizona team that made the Elite 8 last season, but the Wildcats already lost Derrick Williams and are due for a backslide in the expanded Pac-10. The MAAC isn’t the Pac-10, but it is a very competitive mid-major school that seems like a good fit for a player with Jones’ skills.

This is the kind of move that makes sense for all parties involved, which is a rare thing in collegiate athletics. Let’s hope it works out as well as it looks on paper for both Jones and the Gaels.

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