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 (Isaiah J. Downing)
(Isaiah J. Downing)

Former Iona guard A.J. English will play summer league with the Golden State Warriors after going undrafted on Thursday night.

The Warriors, who set an NBA record with 73 regular-season wins in 2015-16 before losing to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, headline the list of 24 teams scheduled to compete in Samsung NBA Summer League 2016 from July 8-18 at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion at UNLV.

"He is a big guard with great length who can shoot it very deep and fits the NBA mold," Iona associate head coach Jared Grasso told SNY.tv. "His toughness and work ethic are elite."

Tags: A.J. English, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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CHICAGO -- During his time at the NBA Draft Combine last week, former Iona guard A.J. English couldn't help but notice NBA decision-makers like Larry Bird, Danny Ainge and Jerry West sitting courtside.

"Of course I notice," English told me at the Combine. "It's great. I've been a fan of basketball for a long time, through my dad playing [in the NBA] and stuff like that. So I'm honored to be here, I just want to play as good as I can in front of those people."

The 6-foot-4 English, who turns 24 in July, hopes to continue to impress during workouts this week and beyond. He worked out for Cleveland on Tuesday, just as the organization was preparing for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against Toronto.

Tags: A.J. English, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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In the past two weeks, former Iona guard A.J. English was named the MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational, garnered an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine and has begun working out for individual NBA teams.

The 6-foot-4 English worked out for the Utah Jazz (Saturday), the San Antonio Spurs (Tuesday) and the Houston Rockets (Wednesday).

Next week he will be in Chicago for the Combine May 11-15.

Tags: A.J. English, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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Iona Gaels head coach Tim Cluess during the first half of Iowa State vs Iona in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing)
Iona Gaels head coach Tim Cluess during the first half of Iowa State vs Iona in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing)

Tyrell Williams, a transfer from Western Nebraska Community College, has committed to Iona, he told SNY.tv. 

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Williams chose Iona over the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Stephen F. Austin, Memphis and UNLV, among others.

Williams said he is excited to join Iona and believes his game and style will only benefit the program. 

Tags: Iona, Adam Zagoria
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Iona senior guard A.J. English was named the MVP of the Portsmouth Invitational, which should help his stock heading toward the NBA Draft.

The 6-foot-4 English scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the final 8:12, and seven of his team's final 11 points to lead Roger Brown's Restaurant to the tournament Championship in a thrilling 85-83 victory over Norfolk Sports Club. Roger Brown's trailed by as many as 16 points with less than nine minutes to play and were down seven with 2:30 to play.

English averaged 17.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and a team-high 6.7 assists while shooting 58.1 percent and 64.7 precent (11-for-17) from beyond the arc.

Tags: A.J. English, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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Sam Cassell Jr. is transferring from UConn to Iona. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) (Kim Klement)
Sam Cassell Jr. is transferring from UConn to Iona. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) (Kim Klement)

Former UConn guard Sam Cassell Jr. has committed to transfer to Iona, a source told SNY.tv.

Iona has now added Cassell and Jon Severe (Fordham) as transfers, potentially giving the Gaels the best immediately eligible transfer backcourt duo in the country. Iona plays a four-guard rotation in an up-tempo offense.

Cassell Jr. averaged just 2.2 points in limited time this past season at UConn.

Tags: College Transfers, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- Fordham transfer Jon Severe committed to Iona during his visit Wednesday.

"It's my style of play," he told SNY.tv.

The 6-foot-2 Severe could become immediately eligible for 2016-17 if he graduates from Fordham.

Tags: College Transfers, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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 (Ron Chenoy / USA Today)
(Ron Chenoy / USA Today)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rutgers is now targeting Iona head coach Tim Cluess to fill its men's basketball vacancy, sources told SNY.tv.

Rutgers AD Pat Hobbs hired both Seton Hall AD Pat Lyons and Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard from Iona during Hobbs' tenure at Seton Hall, and they all remain close.

Montverde (FL) Academy coach Kevin Boyle and Stony Brook coach Steve PIkiell remain in the mix, sources said.

Tags: Iona, Adam Zagoria
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DENVER (AP) -- His right shoulder no longer throbbing, Monte Morris felt good about Iowa State's ability to make amends Thursday.

"The shoulder felt great. We've got a great training staff. They did everything for me these past weeks to get me back feeling good," Morris said. "Yesterday in practice it let me know mentally that I could shoot the ball at an efficient rate."

So, after a good night's rest, he let it fly in warmups.

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DENVER -- There's always a first time for everything.

On Thursday night at the Pepsi Center, Iona star guard A.J. English can cross off a big first time experience when he starts in his first NCAA Tournament game when No. 13 Iona (22-10) faces No. 4 Iowa State (22-11) in a first-round game in the Midwest Region.

Iona last appeared in the NCAAs in 2013, when English missed the second half of the season with a broken wrist.

Tags: A.J. English, Dennis Chambers, Iona
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Iona forward Jordan Washington (23) celebrates after defeating Monmouth in the MAAC conference tournament finals at Times Union Center. (Mark L. Baer / USA Today Sports)
Iona forward Jordan Washington (23) celebrates after defeating Monmouth in the MAAC conference tournament finals at Times Union Center. (Mark L. Baer / USA Today Sports)

ALBANY, N.Y. -- About three hours before stepping onto the court at Times Union Center for the MAAC Championship game on Monday night, Iona's Jordan Washington learned that a close friend and former teammate of his had been killed in a car accident.

Patrick Parker, a 6-foot-1 junior guard who was Class of 2014 at Queens College, was killed on his way back from the school's women's championship game in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

Iona coach Tim Cluess, who first revealed the news to ESPN's Jay Bilas and later spoke with SNY.tv, did his best to counsel Washington, a 6-8 junior big man from Jamaica, N.Y.

Tags: Iona, Adam Zagoria
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 (Mark L. Baer)
(Mark L. Baer)

Iona senior guard Kelvin Amayo will transfer and seek a waiver at his next school for a sixth year of college eiligibilty.

Amayo, who recently had knee surgery and is seeking a medical redshirt, received permission from Iona to contact George Mason, Hofstra, UMass, Dayton, Loyola Marymount, Xavier, Rhode Island, USC, Towson, North Carolina A&T, LIU, Wagner, Rutgers, Seton Hall, FDU, Drexel and San Diego State.

He was denied permission to contact MAAC rivals Monmouth, Manhattan and Rider.

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Mar 9, 2015; Albany, NY, USA; Iona Gaels head coach Tim Cluess calls in a play against the Manhattan Jaspers during the first half in the championship game of the MAAC Conference Tournament at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports (Mark L. Baer)
Mar 9, 2015; Albany, NY, USA; Iona Gaels head coach Tim Cluess calls in a play against the Manhattan Jaspers during the first half in the championship game of the MAAC Conference Tournament at Times Union Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports (Mark L. Baer)

Jamel Allen, a highly athletic 6-foot-6 senior wing from Brentwood High School on Long Island, committed to Iona College on Thursday morning.

"I feel like me and the coaching staff have a connection like no other," Allen, who also considered St. Peter's and Siena, told SNY.tv.

"The first thing I want to do is make a relationship with my teammates and have them gain that trust in me and once that's done we're going to sit down and talk about this championship that we want."

Tags: Iona, Adam Zagoria
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Feb 19, 2016; West Long Branch, NJ, USA; Iona Gaels guard A.J. English (5) shoots over Monmouth Hawks guard Collin Stewart (30) during the first half at Multipurpose Activity Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Feb 19, 2016; West Long Branch, NJ, USA; Iona Gaels guard A.J. English (5) shoots over Monmouth Hawks guard Collin Stewart (30) during the first half at Multipurpose Activity Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. -- A.J. English and Iona weren't quite ready to hand over the regular season MAAC title to Monmouth just yet - or even a ticket to the Big Dance, for that matter.

The Gaels, who have been the league's top seed in the MAAC Tournament three of the last four seasons, including each of the last two, now find themselves just one game back of Monmouth (22-6, 14-3 MAAC) in the conference standings after a resounding 83-67 win on Friday night.

Iona (16-10, 13-4 MAAC) controlled the 10 p.m., nationally televised affair from start to finish, using a 19-0 run midway through the first half to silence the crowd of 4,522, a single-game attendance record at the Multipurpose Activities Center.

Tags: A.J. English, Iona, Mike McCurry, Monmouth
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UPDATE 1/16: Iona announced Saturday that it had suspended Jordan Washington two games as a result of his slap of Monmouth's Chris Brady. Washington will not play Sunday at Rider and Friday (Jan. 22) vs. Saint Peter's.

"We hold our student-athletes to a higher standard than was displayed last night," said Iona coach Tim Cluess. "We should know and will use better judgment in the future, regardless of provocation."

 

Tags: Iona, Monmouth, Adam Zagoria
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Half a dozen NBA scouts are expected at Iona Friday night for the big MAAC showdown between Monmouth (12-4) and Iona (9-6). The game is set for 9 p.m. on ESPNU.

All 30 NBA teams have scouted senior guard A.J. English, including the Knicks earlier this season.

English is a 6-foot-4 senior point guard who is averaging 23.3 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds despite missing five games last month with a dislocated finger on his left hand that required surgery on Dec. 14

Tags: Iona, Monmouth, Adam Zagoria
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Iona guard Kelvin Amayo (2) is out with a torn quadriceps. (Mark L. Baer / USA Today Sports)
Iona guard Kelvin Amayo (2) is out with a torn quadriceps. (Mark L. Baer / USA Today Sports)

Iona has lost senior guard Kelvin Amayo for the season due to a torn right quadriceps, he told SNY.tv.

"I don't have [any] personal reasons, I'm still in school," he said. "I left the team because of torn quad."

Amayo who will remain at Iona and pursue his graduation requirements.

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) -- A.J. English made a career-high 13 3-pointers and a scored a career-best 46 points to lead Iona to a 101-77 rout over Fairfield in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener on Tuesday night.

English, the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, was 15 of 25 from the floor and had eight assists and two steals. He surpassed his previous highs of 37 points, eight 3-pointers and 11 field goals.

NBA scouts have attended every single Iona game, and the Knicks watched him last month, as we reported here.

Tags: A.J. English, Iona, NBA Draft, Adam Zagoria
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Iona continues to add talent for the future.

The Gaels on Monday landed a pledge from E.J. Crawford, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard?from St. Thomas More (CT).

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Jaylen Brown has?cut Kansas from his list, leaving four schools with Michigan the only Adidas school remaining

The news was first reported by Matt Scott of TheShiver.com.

The 6-foot-7 wing from Marietta (GA) Wheeler is now down to Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina and Cal, with the latter three all being Nike schools.?Brown has previously said he would prefer to play for an Adidas school.

Tags: Articles, Duke, Iona, Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA, Adam Zagoria
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Aaron Rountree, a 6-foot-8 transfer from Wake Forest, has committed to Iona and will be immediately eligible next season.

? Aaron Rountree III (@DeaconTREE33) April 19, 2015A Wilson, N.C., native, Rountree averaged 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds last season at Wake Forest.

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Jordan Washington, a 6-foot-8, 275-pound forward from Queens, committed to Iona on Monday.

Washington, a sophomore at?Indian Hills Community College, chose the Gaels over Seton Hall, Oregon State, Western Kentucky?and Northern Illinois. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

"I just want to put on my for my city, that's all," he said of picking Iona.

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Iona College has extended the contract of?head coach Tim Cluess through the 2019-20 season.

"Coach Cluess continues to lead our men to tremendous success," said Iona College President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre. "We have always believed he is the right man for Iona basketball."

"Five straight 20-win seasons and postseason appearances has never happened in the rich history of men's basketball at Iona College" said Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr. "Tim Cluess remains committed to Iona athletics' mission of building champions both on and off the court and we're proud to have him as our head coach."

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I highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch this documentary from?Adya Beasley of NJ Advance Media?on Iona star?Isaiah Williams, who has lost 24 friends to gun?violence in his hometown of Newark. Matt Stanmyre also wrote this great story.

This documentary is about as good as anything you'll see on the off-the-court life of an inner-city basketball player.

Tags: Articles, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Powered by a game-high 26 points from A.J. English and the return of defensive-minded elastic man Isaiah Williams, Iona beat arch-rival Manhattan for a second time this season and could be a problem come March.

With their?79-75 victory, Iona has won 11 straight overall and improved to 13-0 at the Hynes Center?this season. They were already?locked in as the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MAAC Tournament and ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Gaels (24-6, 17-2 MAAC) as a 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

"I think Iona does things that nobody else in the country does, and that's why they're so dangerous in a tournament, one game, no preparation," said Manhattan coach Steve Masiello, who would just as soon avoid a third meeting with the Gaels in the MAAC Tournament. "I think we do things that no one else in the country does, that's why we could be so dangerous in a one-game, but it's all about the matchup.

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Iona junior guard Isaiah Williams is expected to return to the court for Friday's home game against rival Manhattan, and should be a critical piece going forward as the Gaels hope to get back to the NCAA Tournament and cause a stir.

The 6-foot-7 junior from Newark hasn't played since Jan. 13 because of a broken fifth metatarsal that required a screw be put into his right foot.

"We're leaning towards playing him," Iona coach Tim Cluess told SNY.tv by phone Thursday. "We really have to see how he feels tonight and [Friday]. He's started going?a little bit the last two?days and?we want to see how he's feeling after being on it today and how he warms up [Friday]. It's really going to be a game-time decision."

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By JEREMY FUCHS

Iona junior guard A.J. English has received visits?from a dozen NBA scouts, according to Iona officials.

Entering today's game at George Mason, the 6-foot-4 English is the leading scorer in the nation?averaging 24.4 points per game. He is also the son of former NBA player A.J. English II, who played a few seasons with the Washington Bullets in the early ?90s.

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By JEREMY FUCHS

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.?-- In his first game back from a?one-game suspension for a?reported misdemeanor assault charge, Iona forward David Laury showed why he was awarded the preseason MAAC Player of the Year award.

In 37 minutes of play, Laury led all scorers with a career-high 30 points, along with 11 rebounds and three assists in Iona?s 91-84 win over Indiana State Saturday.

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Missouri transfer Cameron Biedschied is headed to Iona.

The 6-foot-7?Biedschied will arrive at the MAAC school at the semester break and will apply for a hardship waiver.

"[They have] great teammates and staff and [it's a] real brotherhood,"?Biedschied told SNY.tv. "It's a new great opportunity to showcase my talent and help us win games."

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- On the last day of the spring recruiting period in 2012, Iona associate head coach Jared Grasso showed up at St. Thomas More in Oakdale, Conn., to watch a prospect named A.J. English.

Although Dayton and La Salle were interested, the 6-foot-4 English didn't have a single scholarship offer at that point even though he had averaged 18 points a game in his postgraduate year at St. Thomas More.

"We heard he could score the ball and he had a big reputation as a scorer," Grasso recalled Tuesday at Iona. "I walk in the gym and he made just about every shot the whole day. And I was shocked the kid was still available."

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Four days after landing a commitment from Kai Mitchell?for 2016, Iona on Thursday picked up a commitment from 6-foot-2, 175-pound Spring Valley (N.Y.) combo guard Rickey McGill for 2015.

Mitchell and McGill are best friends and Spring Valley teammates.

"What made me pick Iona was that I wanted to stay close to home," McGill told SNY.tv. "I love the coaching staff. When I get to Iona, they are going to be hard on me to be successful, not only as a basketball player but as a person in life."

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Kai Mitchell, a 6-foot-6 2015 forward from Spring Valley (N.Y.), gave a verbal commitment to Iona on Sunday and will arrive on campus in 2016 after spending a postgrad year.

"The best thing about Kai are his feet and his hands," House of Sports coach Andy Borman told SNY.tv. "He moves like a 'big' guard and really fits the mold?of a point forward.

"He's an excellent finisher around the rim and can shoot the ball?consistently out to 17 feet. He is a tremendous rebounder of the basketball on the offensive and defensive end."

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Jeylani Dublin, a 6-foot-6 forward from Longwood, will transfer to Iona and be eligible immediately in 2014-15 as a graduate transfer.

The Brooklyn native has one year remaining.

He averaged 10.4 points and 4.2 rebounds last season.

Tags: Fairleigh Dickinson, Iona, Monmouth, Adam Zagoria
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Iona landed a commitment Monday from 5-foot-10 point guard Schadrac Casimir, a Connecticut native who did a postgraduate year at South Kent (Conn.)

Casimir also considered N.C. Central, Sacred Heart, Fairfield and Cal State-Bakersfield.

"They were recruiting me the longest and had faith in me when people had doubts I was a D-1 player and it fits my playing style," he told SNY.tv.

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A week from tonight it is entirely possible that two New York-area teams involved in a bitter rivalry will play an exciting game with an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

And if that Iona-Manhattan game happens in the MAAC Conference championship, it will take place in Springfield, Mass., some 140 miles from the Big Apple.

That same night, another New York-based team will play a fellow bottom-feeder under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.

Tags: Articles, Iona, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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By JADEN DALY

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK -- Who says the MAAC is a one-bid league?

Tags: Articles, Iona, Manhattan, Adam Zagoria
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By JADEN DALY

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.?--?Playing archrival Manhattan for the first time since defeating them for the MAAC championship last March, Iona fed off a sellout home crowd to take the first meeting of the season between the two teams considered conference favorites, with five Gaels in double figures en route to an 85-73 win at the Hynes Center.

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- While Mike Poole was helping his new team win in a rout on Saturday afternoon, his old team was getting beaten by an unlikely opponent.

Yes, Poole appears to have escaped Rutgers in the nick of time and now he's looking for a positive ending to his college career at Iona.

"It's great," the 6-foot-5 Rosedale, N.Y., native told SNY.tv after putting up 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists as Iona crushed George Mason, 89-73.

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Ever since losing by 20 points to Andrew Wiggins and Kansas on Tuesday, Sean Armand wanted to get back on the basketball court.

The 6-foot-5 Iona guard was unhappy with his -- and the team's performance -- in Lawrence and wanted to get back on the winning track.

Armand did that by dropping 30 points -- 2 shy of his career-high -- as Iona smacked George Mason, 89-73, Saturday afternoon at the Hynes Center in a game that was not as close as that score indicates.

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Iona senior guard Sean Armand isn't shy about expressing his plans for the Gaels' Tuesday night tilt at No. 2 Kansas.

"Yes, I'm going into the game expecting to win, just like every other game we play," the Brooklyn native told SNY.tv Monday.

You might wonder how Iona, a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier out of the MAAC, came to play Kansas, a perennial Final Four contender featuring the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in Andrew Wiggins.

Tags: Andrew Wiggins, Articles, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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Iona's Mike Poole has received an NCAA "legislative relief" waiver to play immediately this season upon transferring from Rutgers.

"I am really excited to have a student-athlete of Mike's caliber join us this season," Iona coach Tim Cluess told SNY.tv.

"His leadership and toughness in summer workouts have been tremendous and he will be an integral part of our program."

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Former Iona and Arizona standout Lamont "Momo" Jones has been invited to the Portland Trail Blazers mini-camp as a practice player, his agent confirmed to SNY.tv Friday.

Jones leaves Sunday and if plays well, there is a chance he and the other practice players could join the team in the Las Vegas summer league.

The 6-foot Harlem native averaged 22.6 points and 3.4 rebounds last season at Iona and won the Haggerty Award as the best player in the New York metropolitan area.

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Iona has signed 6-foot-11 Daniel Robinson, a former FIU commit who decommitted after the coaching change there.

Robinson said he chose Iona for one reason.

"To summarize into two words: Coach Cluess," Robinson told SNY.tv of head coach Tim Cluess.

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Iona has added another athletic piece to its roster with the addition of Shack Scott, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound wing from The Robinson School in N.J.

"I just committed to Iona," the Paterson, N.J., native told SNY.tv, adding that he also considered Marshall and LIU.

"I?just got my scores back from the ACT and I'm eligible," he added.

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By JOSH NEWMAN Special to ZAGSBLOG

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -?Reigning MAAC Player of the Year and former Rice High School star Lamont "MoMo" Jones worked out for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, then made his way to New Jersey to work out for the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.

Before the Harlem native got to his hotel Wednesday evening, he spoke with his best friend, who informed him a familiar face, Kevin Parrom, would also be at PNY Center working out for new Nets head coach Jason Kidd, General Manager Billy King and Assistant General Manager Bobby Marks.

Tags: Arizona, Iona, NBA Draft
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Transferring Rutgers big man?Derrick Randall?is headed to the ACC.

"I committed to Pittsburgh," Randall told SNY.tv Sunday evening.

"It felt like a new home and a new start and I need to get away and start clean."

Tags: Iona, Pittsburgh, Transfers, Adam Zagoria
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Iona College is less than 60 miles from Rutgers University, and the former now stands to benefit tremendously from what recently transpired at the latter.

With five Rutgers players transferring following the Mike Rice firing, Iona could end up landing two of them -- or 40 percent.

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ATLANTA -- Tim Cluess isn't headed to Hofstra after all.

The Iona coach has recommitted to coaching the Gaels for at least the next five years, the school announced.

Reports earlier Saturday had the Hofstra alum and Long Island native as a done deal to his alma mater. Hofstra pays about twice what Cluess makes at Iona, sources told SNY.tv.

Tags: Articles, Hofstra, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- David Laury isn't exactly B.A. Baracus or Royce White when it comes to airplanes, but he certainly isn't a big fan.

"I just don't like it, I feel like I'm not in control of what's going on," the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Laury, who has flown reluctantly many times, told SNY.tv Monday following practice at Iona.

On Wednesday afternoon, Laury and the No. 15 Gaels will board an airplane at Westchester County Airport for Dayton, Ohio in order to meet No. 2 Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Tags: Articles, Iona, Adam Zagoria
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