MOMO JONES, PG, 6-0, 196, So.
–Not a classic point guard, Momo Jones was the team’s biggest question mark as he inherited the starting job from departed Nic Wise. Jones had some uneven moments early in the season but grew into the role, never lost his New York City swagger, and played his best basketball late in the season.
–The personal highlight of Jones’ season was his career-high 27-point effort in the triple-overtime victory at Cal (video below). He converted a three-point play with 16 seconds left in regulation, made a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining in the second overtime and drove for the go-ahead layup with about a minute to go in the third OT. “To other people it might be something new,” Jones said after the game, “but to me it’s just another day in the life of MoMo Jones.”
–His most complete game might have come against Duke, when he scored 16 points, had six assists and committed no turnovers.
–Jones, after the loss to UConn in the regional final: “It was a heck of a season. That’s the only way to sum it up. It was a heck of a season. .. Of course, you want to go the Final Four, but a lot of people didn’t expect us to get here. We got here.”
–More “scorer” than shooter, he failed to hit a 3-pointer in the first six Pac-10 games. Overall, though, his 3-point percentage of 31.6 (25 of 79) was an upgrade from his freshman season (10 of 53, 18.9 percent). Jones made 45.3 percent of his 2-point shots this season.
–Finished as the team’s second-leading scorer at 9.7 points per game. Also averaged 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds.
–What happens next season when freshman point guard Josiah Turner arrives? Does Jones move back to shooting guard? Coach Sean Miller has talked about using a three-guard lineup in the wake of the departure of forward Derrick Williams. “We’ll see what happens,” Jones said. “I don’t know what the future holds.”
Sophomore forward Solomon Hill says:
“MoMo is the motor to the team. … He makes us go; every day he is there to compete. He pushes everybody else on the court and he’s a verbal leader on our team. He talks to us. Every huddle we bring each other together and he tells us it’s not over, ‘Let’s keep going,’ I appreciate that every time I step on the floor I have a verbal general like MoMo.”
Additional reading: From the start, MoMo Jones welcomed the pressure
Additional reading: Roger Rubin, New York Daily News: Jones earned rep in New York guarding Derrick Rose, Johnny Flynn