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