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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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Tuesday / February 20.
  • Iona Hoping Jones Brings ‘New York Swagger’

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    Iona coach Tim Cluess believes Lamont “Momo” Jones will be a difference-maker as soon as he steps on the floor for the Gaels.

    And he hopes that happens in 2011 instead of 2012.

    “He can bring a high level of leadership and talent to our team, toughness, a guard who can play at a pace that we like to play,” Cluess said Thursday in his first public comments since broke the news of Jones’ transfer from Arizona. “He has a New York swagger to him.”

    Iona has already begun the process of applying to the NCAA for a hardship waiver for the 6-foot Jones, whose grandmother lives in Harlem and is battling a liver ailment.

    “My grandmother is going through chemo right now so just getting back to come see her whenever I can see her is real special to me because we don’t know how much longer it is that she’s really going to be here going through that stuff,” Jones said last year in a video produced by Arizona entitled “Home in Harlem.”

    Added Cluess: “She went on chemotheraphy last year. It was supposed to be a six-month protocol but they had to pull her off of it because she almost died from the treatments. But now she’s in a stage where they’re just getting her strength back to kind of recover from the treatments before they decide whether it’s going to be chemo or something different from that.”

    If Iona obtains the hardship waiver for Jones, he would be able to suit up for the 2011-12 season. If not, he would have to sit out a year and would be eligible in 2012.

    A New York tabloid initially reported that Jones would definitely land at St. John’s, and one national pundit put his reputation on the line backing that report.

    Yet in choosing Iona over Big East and other BCS schools, Cluess believes Jones showed how appealing the MAAC school is.

    “It’s a statement about our program being on the rise and that players want to play our style and want to be a part of what we’re doing here,” Cluess said.

    Jones averaged 9.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 38 appearances as a sophomore at Arizona.

    His addition to an Iona team that reached the MAAC championship game before losing to St. Peter’s should be a huge bonus. The Gaels already return top scorers junior forward Mike Glover (18.4 ppg, 10.1 rpg), junior guard Scott Machado (13.2 ppg, 7.6 apg) sophomore guard Kyle Smyth (10.1 ppg) and junior guard Jermel Jenkins (9.2 ppg)

    “I think we have a chance to be a pretty good team,” Cluess said. “With him, I think it elevates to another level. Without him, I still think we have a chance to be very good.”


    Former DePaul forward Devin Hill said he’s transferring to Loyola-Marymount…Former Syracuse big man DaShonte Riley has enrolled at Eastern Michigan and joined former Orange assistant Rob Murphy, per the Syracuse Post-StandardScott Smith moved up to assistant coach at Wagner from Director of Basketball Ops.

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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.

    • Hope MoMo gets the hardship waiver and is aloud to play this coming season so I can pull for Iona to upset a team from one of the big six conferences.

    • From what I am hearing, the MoMo waiver will be approved ,if presented correctly.

      Iona is not known for being in the Know with the NCAA and its rules. I hope Iona seeked more experienced assistance.

      A New York tabloid initially reported that Jones would definitely land at St. John’s, and one national pundit put his reputation on the line backing that report.

      WHO are these FOOLS!
      Everyone in the WEST is LMFAO.
      Both getting BLASTED, on a daily basis.

    • Virg is close to home.
      Any word on Brandon Ashley and his Top5 list.
      Work the east coast talk on his public release.

    • Lamont Jones leaving Arizona to Iona makes no sense at all like ESPN Insider has said. Really MoMo should wait the year for sure because if he thinks he will fool people that he left UA because he wanted to be closer to his sick grandmother he is surely mistaken. The only reason he left UA is because of the great two rookie guards coming to UA this up coming season and that’s the only reason way he left and the media don’t have to tell us that at all to know that was the main reason he left. Sorry MoMo but you will wait one year for sure so get ready to be watching TV then playing this up coming season for sure.