The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

51° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Momo Jones: A man of his word

Guard Momo Jones struggles to take in a loss against the UCLA Bruins in the first round of the Pacific Life Pac-10 tournament last year.
Guard Momo Jones struggles to take in a loss against the UCLA Bruins in the first round of the Pacific Life Pac-10 tournament last year.

LOS ANGELES – Exactly a year ago on Friday night, Arizona freshman Momo Jones sat at his locker in Staples Center, trying to explain why a program that had made the NCAA Tournament 25 years straight wouldn’t be invited that year.

He felt the dreadful pain of being part of the team that broke the historic streak that generations of Wildcat players had fought for year end and year out to keep alive.

Jones’ legacy at Arizona began with a disappointment that hadn’t been felt by over a quarter century’s worth of players — he was a part of the team that broke that streak.

On the same day, Jones concluded the interviews by guaranteeing that this team would be back in the dance the following year.

As he came off the bench as an energy guy while Nic Wise started at point guard, most probably couldn’t understand how a kid who didn’t start could promise a NCAA Tournament the following year.

Jones’ guarantee was comparable to a 5-year-old saying he would be a firefighter when he grew up.

It could be true or could be just talk; only time can tell.

Friday night, Jones’ again sat by his locker in Staples Center, reflecting on the past and what’s to come next.

“”Last year, we we’re sitting right here,”” Jones said after the Wildcats defeated Southern California 67-62 in the semi-finals of the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament. “”Different locker room, and we had a terrible feeling, one that nobody wants to have, one that personally, I don’t want to have again.””

This year, Jones won’t have to worry about the dreadful feeling. Instead he will start at point guard for Arizona in the Pac-10 Tournament Championship game.

The guarantee that probably wasn’t taken very serious a year ago has proved to be much more than lip service.

“”When I made that guarantee I meant it,”” Jones added.

The sophomore only had seven points in defeating USC but left Staples Center on Friday with a feeling that was completely opposite than the terrible feeling from year ago.

“”Here we are today. We will play tomorrow,”” said Jones. “”Right now, the feeling is just on top of the world.””

 

Michael Dickerson honored at Pac-10 Tournament

Including former UA standout Michael Dickerson,the Pac-10 honored 10 former of the conference’s basketball standouts into its hall of fame.

Dickerson, 36, who was a member of Arizona’s 1997 National Championship team, averaged 18 points helping bring Arizona its first and only NCAA title.

“”It was a great honor,”” said Dickerson following the ceremony. “”Anytime you get honored for Pac-10 Hall of Fame, it’s a great honor. I’m sure that were more guys that could be honored but they honored me tonight.

“”I have to give this credit to Lute Olson and all the players I played with at Arizona.””

Dickerson, who now resides in Toronto, is sharing his NBA knowledge with others after serving brief stints with the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets, his career cut short by a rare hip injury.

“”My career was cut short, so I’m just giving back to other guys.””

 

 Vincent Balistreri is communications senior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

More to Discover
Activate Search