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Maurice Jones Rides Into Transfer Junction

Players ride into Ames, players ride out of Ames. USC's Maurice Jones is the newest cowpoke to stop by Transfer Junction.

Well, howdy pardner! Welcome to Transfer Junction, home of the rootin'est, tootin'est basketball program in the Midwest! Put your feet up, stay awhile! Let me pour you a drink, friend. What's yer brand a' sasparilla?

So what's yer name, stranger? Jones? Any relation to the Oklahoma Jones? No? Well, just thought I'd ask. We get quite a number a' new faces here in Transfer Junction, you know. People comin' and goin' all hours of the day. Hard to keep 'em all straight sometimes.

Why, earlier this year we had a regular exodus of folks, thought maybe there was a posse a' bandits ridin' on the town. Turns out it was just the end a' the basketball season. That's the time a man'll get all antsy in his britches and start lookin' for greener pastures.

Let me see now, who all left? Well, there was the big feller, White. He was in town for a spell, just about two years, came down from the snowy northern country. Let me tell you, sir, people round here thought he was the greatest thing since the Monroe Doctrine. Strongest man in town they say. Folks'd come from miles around to see him chuck a ball through a hoop. But, he got too big for ol' Transfer Junction. Set off to make his fortune down Houston way.

Then there was the little feller, name a' Sledge. Came from the big city, New York, seems like just a year ago. Good folks, just a bit too crowded for him here, iffen' you know what I mean. Never really found his place. But, that's the way things go sometimes.

And why, later that month the OTHER big feller up an' left! Let me see, think his name was Railey. Blew into town from the Oregon Territories a little over two years ago. Tall feller. Skinny. Loved his whiskey though. He'd be in the saloon from sun up to sun down, a hootin' and a hollerin' about how he was all set to stake his claim on the world. Well, he never did do much more'n talk, as you can imagine. In fact, most people remember'm, iffen' they remember'm at all, was for the time he ran his horse an' buggy into the ditch last winter. Consarn'd fool. What kind a' feller goes out a'ridin' at two in the mornin' anyhow?

Now where'd you say yer from, cowpoke? What! The California Territories! Why, that's two weeks ride from this here neck a' the woods. What brought you all the way out to the prairie?

Well, don't that beat all. ANOTHER basketball star. Here'n we lose three players in the last year and you show up unannounced. Dadgum, the world sure is a funny place sometimes. And I'd be lyin' if I didn't say I warn't glad you came. Transfer Junction's full'a fine, upstanding citizens, but the population was startin' to dip a bit lately, you see.

Say now, you ain't THE Maurice Jones, is you? Well I'll be ga'damn'd, Mr. Jones! I read about you in the papers! Said you made a big splash last year down in Southern California! Well, I don't need to tell you that you can make it big here in Transfer Junction. Just look how popular Mr. White was!

And hell, we got two more fellers ready to stake their claim this year, names a' Clyburn and Lucious. You should fit right in with them. 'Specially Lucious; he's in yer line a' work.

And let me tell you, from the bottom a' my heart, I am sorry to hear about yer problems in California. Sometimes a place just ain't right for a man, you know? I think you'll find that Transfer Junction is a little more accommodatin' than some places out there. We don't judge folks fer past mistakes round here. Iffen' you've atoned fer yer misdeeds, we forgive you. Takes all kinds to make this crazy world go round.

But listen to me, jabberin' on. You probably want to get all settled in. First thing to do is go down and speak to the mayor. Goes by the name a' Hoiberg. Handsome feller, honest as the day is long. He's prob'ly expectin' you.