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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / January 18.
  • Momo Jones Talks USC; Villanova Reloads

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    NEW YORK – If you’re an available point guard in this recruiting market, you are a hot commodity.

    Only a few elite point guards are still on the market and they are in high demand: John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, James Beatty and Malcolm Armstead.

    Another such floor general is Lamont “Momo” Jones, a 6-0 point guard from Harlem who played at Oak Hill Academy.

    Jones is in New York for Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic (8 p.m., ESPN2) and is coming off a visit last weekend to Southern Cal.

    “It was a great experience,” Jones, who previously decommitted from both Louisville and Virginia Tech, said Thursday at Jordan practice. “It was just a family-oriented atmosphere. It was a great school all around. The kids, the coaches, the campus, everything about it.”

    USC’s star trio of freshman forward Demar Derozan, junior guard Daniel Hackett and junior forward Taj Gibson have all declared for the NBA Draft. Neither Derozan nor Gibson has hired an agent, meaning they can pull out by June 15, 10 days before the draft.

    That means Jones has a golden opportunity to come in and run the point on a reloading team under Tim Floyd. The other options are Donte Smith, a community college transfer, who struggled as Hackett’s backup and Mike Gerrity, a transfer from North Carolina Charlotte who won’t be eligible until conference play.

    “It is exciting to me but right now I can’t worry about that,” Jones said. “I have a game to play Saturday and I still have a decision-making process to make.”

    Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said the only other realistic possibility for Jones would be Arizona, which has New York native Book Richardson on its staff. Arizona is trying to get Jones on a visit, but none has been set.

    Jones said he had “no timetable” for deciding.

    Asked where Jones will end up, Smith said, “Most likely USC.”

    VILLANOVA RELOADS

    Check out my feature from the Jordan Brand Classic on Villanova recruits Dominic Cheek of St. Anthony and Mouph Yarou of Montrose (Md.) Christian.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • Norm Roberts should be pulling out all stops to get MoMo to St. John’s…

    • @ pgrady…Maybe he has and it’s been to no avail? I’m sure this recruit was on his radar.

      In any event, It would be pretty sweet if he signed with UA.

      @ Adam, why are reports out saying he(MoMo) was set to announce today but you says he has no timetable? I hope Book can get him down to UA before he makes his decision. Also, what are this kid’s interest? First, he shakes Louisville, then he shakes Virginia Tech…what exactly is he looking for?

    • Why in the world is RU not throwing the kitchen sink at this kid? Beatty seems like a long shot and Bledsoe was never even a possibility. Not to mention SJU is bringing in 2 other point guards whom RU has yet to have visit!

      Why does Freddy consistently put ALL of his eggs in 1 basket!! The list goes on. . . .

    • From all accounts that I have read on this kid, he is pretty much all over the place with his recruiting. I personally think he would have best suited to have stayed committed to Virginia Tech. Seth Greenburg is a year or two away from finally breaking through in the ACC.

    • Define “breaking through in the ACC”. From where I sit, Greenburg is a so-so recruiter and an average game coach. Malcom Delaney had a breakout year but Jeff Allen has so much potential but doesn’t seem to be developing. And Vassallo is a senior. Unless someone in their imcoming class is big time underrated and turns out to be an impact player I don’t expect much improvement next season from Va Tech. In fact I don’t think it’s too presumptuous to think he may be one chair away from the hot seat.

      • Greenburg is a quality recruiter– To your point Allen and Delaney were both rivals 4 star kids. He also has another 4 star kid in Jarell Eddie signed in 2010. He was also in on Demarcus Cousins for a period of time this year, was a finalist for Tyshawn Taylor who ultimately signed at Kansas last year after being released from Marquette, and had a verbal from Momo Jones… Considering he is at Virginia Tech, I would consider that to be above a ‘so-so” recruiter.

        I would consider breaking through in the ACC to be a top 4 finish.

    • As far as Momo, I got no indication he was set to announce today. I spoke with him yesterday and he said he’s focused on the Jordan game…Steve Smith said it will likely be USC unless Arizona gets in the mix. I don’t know that Rutgers was ever involved.

      Thanks

      • Zag,

        The West Coast had MoMo making his decison on Friday.
        It is all over the various papers.

        Maybe we were too overly wishful.

        But, it does look good for MoMo.
        He will get playing time next season.
        We do not have a starter coming back.
        There will be 2 other point guards which will compete with MoMo.

        Plus, MoMo and mother had a great visit.
        And USC is a safe place to live.

        Will MoMo decide on Saturday night?

        How close is Arizona?