Ex-USC point guard Jones transfers to Iowa State
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa State has already signed a transfer point guard to replace Korie Lucious -- the transfer point guard who will start for the Cyclones this season.
Iowa State said Friday that former USC point guard Maurice Jones will play for the Cyclones. Jones will be eligible for the 2013-14 season, when he'll be a junior.
Jones averaged 13 points and 3.5 assists for the Trojans last season. USC announced in early September that Jones would miss the upcoming season for academic reasons.
The Trojans expected Jones to return in 2013-14. But USC spokesman David Tuttle said Jones quickly announced plans to transfer schools, and he signed a financial aid agreement with Iowa State on Thursday.
"I just felt comfortable. It really wasn't a basketball decision. It was a life decision," Jones told The Associated Press on Friday.
Jones won't be able to play for the Cyclones until at least the end of the fall semester, or roughly mid-December 2013.
But if it all works out, coach Fred Hoiberg has landed what appears to be a strong replacement for Lucious.
Jones, a 5-foot-7 native of Saginaw, Mich., led all Pac-12 players in minutes last season and was voted the team's MVP. As a freshman, he started 25 games for USC and averaged 9.9 points to help the Trojans reach the NCAA tournament.
"Maurice is one of the quickest players with the basketball you will see," Hoiberg said. "He is an experienced player who has proven he can play against top-level competition."
Jones, who led the injury-ravaged Trojans in points, assists, steals and 3-pointers in 2011-12, is the latest in a long line of high-profile transfers at Iowa State under Hoiberg.
Last season, Division I transfers Royce White, Chris Allen and Chris Babb all started for the school's first NCAA tournament team since 2005. In addition to Lucious, the Cyclones will likely start former Utah star Will Clyburn this season. Clyburn averaged 17.1 points a game for the Utes in 2010-11.
Iowa State opens the season at home against Southern on Nov. 9.
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