When Pat Chambers took over as head coach of the Penn State basketball team, he declared that it would be important to establish a pipeline of talent from Philadelphia to State College. Philadelphia had long been off-limits for the Lions, as the best talent from the City of Brotherly Love usually stayed in the city or went to better suitors. Detractors once mocked Chambers’ lofty goal but it has now become a reality, as the team boasts a half-dozen players from the Philadelphia area.
Moore was one of the first players to emerge from the newly-minted pipeline. As a freshman he showed promise early in the season but suffered a broken nose that kept him out for the remainder of the year. He received a medical redshirt as a result. The next season Moore saw limited action in 33 games as he continued to put on weight and gain strength. The 6’10 center now weighs 235 pounds and has the body to play in the Big Ten.
Moore provided depth last season on the low post. He played in all but one of Penn State’s 32 games, starting 12 times. Averaging 15 minutes of playing time per game, Moore contributed a healthy 3.3 rebounds and scored 3.8 points per game.
Jordan Dickerson played center for an average of 18 minutes per game last year, Donovon Jack chipped in 13 minutes at the 5 position. Moore filled in at center when the two were not on the court and also played further from the basket when he shared the court with either of the two. He did so efficiently, averaging less than two fouls per game.
Moore showed the ability to play away from the basket and is developing a mid-range shot that will force his defender to leave the paint occasionally. He showed some nice movement on this pick and roll versus Ohio State.
Role for 2016-17
Moore will play center for as many minutes as he can stay on the floor this season. With only Mike Watkins on the team that is physically capable of playing center, without being out of position, it will be critical for Moore to find a way to play close to 25 minutes per game or more. His ability to stay out of foul trouble will be very important. It’s likely that he will score 8-10 points per game, with 5-6 rebounds, while playing slightly out of position at center.
Next season 7’0” Satchel Pierce, a transfer from Virginia Tech, will be able to play center to help out. Moore has the size to play the 5 but is better suited to play power forward, and with Pierce in the lineup he’ll get that chance during his senior season.
This year Moore’s most important role will be to play productively and stay on the court, to eat minutes for coach Chambers. After Watkins, the next viable option to play center, and power forward for that matter, is 6’7” true freshman Lamar Stevens. There are plenty of true small forwards on the team, and a bevy of talented guards, so the team won’t be looking to play two big men very often, and it won’t have that luxury if either Watkins or Moore are injured or in foul trouble. Chambers will likely err on the safe side this season and play either Watkins or Moore for the most part.