Throughout his two-year career with the Arizona Wildcats, MoMo Jones never lacked confidence. If you didn't sense that with his play, he told you so.

Among other things, Jones has said he wasn't worried about losing playing time to 2011 recruits. He even hosted Josiah Turner last fall for his official recruiting visit, and Turner's mother spoke highly of him for doing so.

Now, Jones is gone. He cited family reasons for leaving.

"My desire to be closer to my family, and in particular my grandmother, is the reason I am transferring," Jones said in a UA statement. "I want it to be known that I love this program, my coaches and teammates.  I appreciate everyone for supporting me through this tough time.”

Jones' move is somewhat of a surprise, in that Sean Miller had discussed playing three guards next season and it appeared that Jones would be a big part of that scenario. 

Jones' departure trims the Arizona roster down to its NCAA-sanctioned limit of 12 scholarship players for next season. Since he was a junior to be, it also opens up a much-needed spot for a 2012 player.

Jones may be able to get a waiver to play immediately if the NCAA finds he left for a significant family issue, though such waivers have been more difficult to obtain recently.

At the same time, Jones will leave UA a void in swagger and performance under pressure. Jones often had his highest scoring outputs when the Wildcats struggled the most -- he had 20 points against BYU and aat Oregon State -- and his signature game might have been the clutch 27-point effort he had in the Wildcats' triple-overtime win at California.


Sportswriter for the Arizona Daily Star covering Arizona Wildcats basketball