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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mouth of Momo

Mouth of Momo

Point guard Momo Jones dropped a season-high six assists against ASU on Sunday, shot 0-for-6 from the field and scored zero points.

It probably wasn’t the type of performance to illicit a “”just another game”” response, nor would Jones reference himself in saying that “”big-time players make big-time plays”” had he been available to the media after the game.

Jones used those phrases to answer Daily Star reporters after Arizona’s triple-overtime victory against California two weeks ago, and head coach Sean Miller wishes the perception of Jones wasn’t so different game-to-game

“”A lot of people may take a lot of the things I say to heart or the wrong way,”” Jones said last week. “”To me, it’s not trying to be that way or trying to be cocky or things like that. It’s just speaking how I feel.

“”At the same time, I’ve got to understand who we have to deal with, and sometimes as players we have to cut down on the things that we say, whether we like it or not.””

With the recent surge in Jones’ grasp on his point guard duties, Miller has asked Jones to orient his comments more toward the team and winning.

“”What he should say is, ‘I’ve worked hard all the way, and I’ve taken the bumps in the road,'”” Miller said.

Jones’ comments have sometimes been taken out of context, Miller said, with the public labeling him as selfish. Rather, his head coach believes he’s been misunderstood while learning how to communicate his emotions — those emotions, Miller said, stem from the sophomore’s desire to improve.

After all, being the point guard at Point Guard U does have its critics.

“”Nobody recognizes that he’s been criticized more than him,”” Miller said. “”Part of Momo (Jones) is he wants to do better. He wants to not prove people wrong but really play a role on a team that can help us get all these things that we’re after. Be part of the solution, not be pointed out as, ‘Boy, if he was a better player Arizona would be better.’

“”As he’s played better,”” Miller added, “”he doesn’t mean to come across as this self-centered player, this cocky and brash, arrogant guy, as much as to say, ‘I’ve believed in myself all along even though some people didn’t.'””

It’s a common theme in Jones’ life, having grown up in a rough burrow of Harlem, New York. Being misunderstood, he said, isn’t the end of the world. All he can do is work hard, and the results will come.

“”You’re not always going to be understood in life,”” Jones said. “”That’s what you have to accept. If you let that get in the way of what you’re doing and the person you are, a lot of people aren’t going to be successful in this life.””

 

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