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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
While Virginia Tech fans are well aware of the leading scorer in Division I men’s basketball, the identity of the third-leading scorer might strike a chord, too.
He almost was one of theirs.
One of Erick Green’s challengers for the NCAA scoring title is his one-time fellow Virginia Tech recruit, Lamont “Momo” Jones.
Jones is scoring 23 points per game for Iona, only the second school for which he has played collegiately but one of four or five to which he has been committed.
Jones, a 6-foot guard from Harlem, N.Y., committed to the Hokies during the fall of 2008 but did not sign during the fall because his mother would be unable to attend the signing ceremony.
“I did think he was going to Virginia Tech,” said Steve Smith, the coach at Oak Hill Academy, the Grayson County boarding school where Jones played in 2008-09. “He stopped talking to anyone else.
“He was committed to [the Hokies] for quite some time. But, then again, he was kind of famous for changing his mind.”
Jones had gone to three high schools, including Rice High School in New York, where, as a sophomore in 2006-07, he committed to Louisville.
Travel arrangements and his mother’s inability to travel to Virginia were given as one of the reasons for Jones’ decision to reopen his recruiting in the spring of 2009, when he eventually signed with Southern Cal.
He never played for the Trojans, however, gaining a release from his letter-of-intent after the sudden resignation of coach Tim Floyd. At that point, he changed to Arizona and was a sophomore on the Wildcats team that reached the final eight of the NCAA tournament in 2011.
Jones, citing family issues, subsequently transferred to Iona and was given instant eligibility for the second time in his career. He averaged 15.7 points last year as a junior.
Jones, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the year, is headed to the NCAA tournament after the Gaels’ 60-57 victory over Manhattan in the MAAC title game. He has no chance of catching Green, averaging 25.4 points going into the ACC Tournament. Creighton’s Doug McDermott is second (23.1 ppg).
Former Virginia guard Mustapha Farrakhan was back in the news this week with the announcement that his one-handed slam against North Carolina State in 2010 had been voted the No. 1 dunk in ACC history.
A monthlong vote on the ACC’s digital network came up with the dunk by Farrakhan, selected as the ESPN play of the day on the night it occurred. What wasn’t revealed was that Farrakhan, a natural left-hander, dunked right-handed on the play.
Boston College and Georgia Tech, opponents in Thursday’s noon tipoff to the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, will be meeting for the second time in five days after not seeing each other until March.
“If we can’t get motivated after the way they kicked our butts, then we don’t really have a heart,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said after a 69-53 home loss to Duke.
“If you can’t get motivated to play somebody that just did what Duke did to us on Saturday, then we’ve got some real problems.”
An on line group that calls itself #BuzzOut paid $260 for an advertisement in the Old Gold and Black, Wake Forest’s student newspaper, calling for the departure of three-year head coach Jeff Bzdelik, whose Deacons go into the ACC Tournament with a 13-17 record.
#BuzzOut founder Bill Bason told the Winston-Salem Journal said the group’s mission mostly was to bring attention to the decisions of longtime Deacons athletic director Ron Wellman, including the cancellation of outside phone calls to Bzdelik’s radio show.
Former Timesland player of the year Tyler Duke, a sophomore shortstop from James River High School, has started the past 11 games fort James Madison University (10-6) and is batting .341. That’s up from .244 in 2012.
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