Iona’s Lamont Jones has been known as a scoring guard throughout his career. He got buckets when he was at Oak Hill and then running with Tyreke Evans at American Christian, produced at Arizona, then finished 3rd in the nation in scoring at Iona. At 6’1 though, he needed to prove that he could run a team and that’s what he was looking to prove at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas. “MoMo” was effective running the pick and roll, scored at will, and showed surprising poise distributing the rock. With 12 workouts set up with NBA teams, he will try to convince NBA GM’s that he is able to run the show at the next level.
Here is our full interview with MoMo touching on his past, what he learned from Scott Machado, and what he’ll bring to an NBA team:
CityLeagueHoops: One of the biggest knocks that people have on you has to do with your transfers and verbal committments to colleges. Let’s hear your side of the story.
Lamont Jones: They were all decisions that I had to make to better myself to better my life. Going from USC to Arizona, then Arizona to Iona, I just had to make the best decisions for myself. At SC, I was ready to go and then Tim Floyd resigned. He was the coach that I was going to play for. At Arizona, with my Grandmother getting sick, I just had to travel home so much to see her…which brought me to Iona. I think being at Arizona helped me out as a point guard. It helped me be more of a vocal leader and learn to play point guard. Then going to Iona helped my scoring and allowed me to put it all together.
CLH: Playing alongside Scott Machado, you were forced to play off of the ball until your senior year. What positives, if any, were you able to take from playing shooting guard?
LJ: It helped me learn how to read double teams, but also let me play off of the ball. Playing the point, I was doubled a lot because I had to score the ball. I also learned how to be more of a vocal leader, be more positive than negative, put people in the right spots, and act more calm on the court instead of screaming at guys. Certain players need to be talked to in certain ways, and that’s what I learned the most.
CLH: What did you learn from Scott?
LJ: I can say that he really showed me how to use all of my teammates and knowing where to get them the ball at. I think that he did a great job of getting guys where they could be successful.
CLH: What are you looking to improve on out here at Impact?
LJ: I’m just trying to get better day in and day out on the screen and roll. I think a lot of what the NBA is today is pick and roll, and out here, I’ve learned how to make the right reads. Sometimes I feel like I need to be a little bit less aggressive scoring the ball, but that’s my natural mentality. I think I’m starting to make a great combination of scoring the ball and getting my teammates involved.
CLH: What do you think that you’re going to surprise teams with in workouts?
LJ: My motor and ability to run the pick and roll. I think that a lot of people feel that I only want to score the ball; That’s not the case. When I have guys around me who can score the ball as well as I can, that makes my job easier. When I was at Arizona, I had Derrick Williams and Solomon Hill, so I didn’t have to score. I just had to get everyone in the right place, pass them the ball, and then they did the work. It’s the same thing in the league with guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony. I am willing to pass the ball and want to pass the ball, but the situation that I was in forced me to score.