Momo Jones won’t be enrolling at St. John’s

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When Lamont “Momo” Jones announced he was transferring from Arizona, most pinpointed St. John’s as the likely landing spot for the NYC native.

Turns out that’s not possible.

As Adam Zagoria writes at ZagsBlog, an NCAA rule implemented in 2010 prevents him from doing so because his former high school coach, Moe Hicks, is now on St. John’s staff.

If Jones really wanted to be a Johnnie, he’d have to attend a junior college for a year, then transfer to St. John’s in order to comply with bylaw 11.4.2.

It reads:

“In men’s basketball, during a two-year period before a prospective student-athlete’s anticipated enrollment and a two-year period after the prospective student-athlete’s actual enrollment, an institution shall not employ (or enter into a contract for future employment with) an individual associated with the prospective student-athlete in any athletics department noncoaching staff position.”

If an institution hires an IAWP [individual associated with a prospect] for a noncoaching staff position within two years on either side of enrollment, involved S/A will be permanently ineligible for competition at offending institution.”

Jones, who averaged 9.7 points per game as a sophomore and helped the Wildcats win the Pac-10 title and reach the Elite Eight, has two years of eligibility remaining. His options aren’t limited, but not everyone needs a point guard who can be inconsistent in his decision making.

He’s reportedly considering UConn, Seton Hall, Iona, Hofstra and Siena. Dermon Player, a former college assistant who’s now advising Jones, told Zagoria that Maryland’s also talked to Jones.

“At the end of the day Lamont’s going to make his own decision,” Player told Zagoria. “I’m going to give him my expertise being in the business for 10 years and helping kids for 20 years. At the end of the day I’m going to make sure he gives everybody an equal and fair shot and be honest and direct with everybody.”

(Thanks, Tim Gardner)

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