Pressure increases without Jones

Now that MoMo Jones has gone, the rest of the Arizona squad will have to step up. Can the freshmen come in and contribute? Will Mayes continue to progress?

Arizona suffered a hit Monday as the team was informed that sophomore guard Lamont Jones will transfer. The New York native took a risk going to play school out west and now undoubtedly will move closer to home to continue his college basketball career.

Jones committed to the Wildcats in 2009 after being committed to USC along with Derrick Williams and Solomon Hill. A coaching change caused the trio to look elsewhere and they landed at Arizona.

In what could be one of the most influential recruiting classes in the history of the Arizona program, that claim took a hit with now the second player to exit Tucson. Derrick Williams recently declared for the NBA and now Jones has decided to transfer.

But what does this mean for Arizona and specifically what does it mean for the backcourt depth? The coaching staff asked a lot of Jones this past season as he was the starting point guard as a sophomore.

Jones is more of a combo guard, so being the floor general of the team was a year long of learning for Jones. However, he grew as a player and helped lead the Wildcats to an Elite 8 appearance. In the history of Arizona, a true point guard is necessary on the court.

In the fall of 2010, head coach Sean Miller landed a commitment from Josiah Turner. The true point guard was essentially the elite level missing piece in a team otherwise productive at every other position on the court.

It was no doubt thought that as long as Turner proved himself in practice to the coaching staff, he would be the likely starting point guard in the fall of 2011. This was something that Jones and the staff was going to have to adjust to.

Without Jones, Arizona still has a lot of talent at the guard position. The question will come into play of whether or not the freshmen players coming in can step in right away and not only give solid minutes, but contribute.

Along with Turner, Arizona first landed his AAU teammate Nick Johnson, who has seen his game take off to an elite level. Together, this freshmen duo has a chance to be special and make an instant impact.

One of the leaders of next year's team will be shooting guard Kyle Fogg, who has become a key player in Arizona's success on the court. Fogg found himself a starting spot midway through his freshman year and due to his hard work has kept his spot.

Along with Fogg, another senior on the roster will be Brendon Lavender, who will need to have a big senior year to help with a scoring load that should be spread out with the loss of Williams. It is still a confidence matter with Lavender and his senior season would be the perfect coming out party.

Jordin Mayes is also in the mix and is projected to backup Turner at the point guard position. Mayes was able to shoot the ball well late in the season and showed signs of being a better floor general.

If the situation ever arises, Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill both can play the shooting guard position, which may be necessary. They play well together on the court and still can work on their continuity together.

It's not a good thing that Arizona lost Jones, but the Wildcats should be fine as long as the freshmen can come in and contribute early. Arizona's backcourt could end up being what puts the Wildcats over the edge.

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