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.
Lamont “Momo” Jones and the person handling his recruitment have yet to hear from St. John’s about his future.
“I can say he’s interested [in St. John’s] but he’s heard from a lot of schools,” said the person handling the recruitment, who requested anonymity until Jones returns to the New York area this weekend and they huddle up. “We have not heard from them [St. John’s].”
The person added: “He definitely wants to be close [to home in the] East.”
The New York Post reported Thursday that Jones “will transfer to St. John’s and could be eligible to play this upcoming season under NCAA hardship rules.”
Jones, a Harlem native, announced Monday that he was transferring from Arizona in order to be closer to home.
“After much thought, I have decided to pursue my goals at a school closer to home,” he said. “My desire to be closer to my family, and in particular my grandmother, is the reason I am transferring. I want it to be known that I love this program, my coaches and teammates. I appreciate everyone for supporting me through this tough time.”
Jones could potentially land a hardship waiver and be eligible to play immediately this season, assuming the NCAA signs off on it.
Jones spent two years at Rice High School under former coach Moe Hicks, now the Director of Basketball Operations at St. John’s, before leaving Rice for American Christian (Pa.) and finishing up at Oak Hill.
Without Jones, St. John’s would have a mix of players at the point this upcoming season, including JUCO guard Nurideen Lindsey, returning guard Malik Stith and incoming frosh D’Angelo Harrison.
Harrison may be in New York this weekend to play with Real Scout and future St. John’s teammates Maurice Harkless and JaKarr Sampson in the iS8 semifinals Saturday.
If Jones came to St. John’s and were eligible, he could contribute a solid presence right away after averaging 9.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season at Arizona.
St. John’s currently has nine incoming players plus Stith and Dwayne Polee for this season, leaving them with two scholarships.
Jevon Thomas, a 2012 point guard from Our Savior, has verbally committed for 2012.
The Johnnies are also involved with former N.C. State point guard Ryan Harrow, who is expected to decide within the next two weeks after a recent tour of schools. His mother, Fern Matthews, previously said “St. John’s is our home” because she and her husband grew up in Queens.
St. John’s is also involved with 2012 players Kyle Anderson, a point guard from St. Anthony who said Seton Hall and St. John’s are doing the best job recruiting him, and 6-8 forward Ricardo Gathers of Louisiana.
Power forward Jamari Traylor, who never seriously considered St. John’s, committed to Kansas Wednesday.
**Kyle Anderson likes Seton Hall, St. John’s
**St. John’s signees repping big at iS8
**Momo Jones transferring
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.