#3 / Guard / Washington St. Cougars
Rainier Beach H.S.
Brewster Academy (Wolfesboro, N.H.)
This is the first in our series of WSU basketball player profiles, a new one of which will hit the site every couple of days until the season officially starts on Nov. 13.
Scouting Report: One of the biggest questions surrounding this Cougar basketball team is just who is going to replace Taylor Rochestie -- a mainstay with the ball in his hand for roughly the past two and a half seasons -- in terms of distribution, scoring and also those vague and indefinable qualities like "leadership" and "toughness." Although it's likely to be a point guard by committee approach in the early going with Bone sending players in waves at opponents, of all the newcomers Moore possesses the greatest potential to step into Rochestie's former role full time by the end of the year.
Moore is a "freak athlete" -- Daven Harmeling's words, not mine -- who brings the sort of skill set to Pullman as a guard that we haven't seen in a long time (if ever). In fact, I can't really think of a player since I've been a Coug (about 15 years) whom Moore would be comparable to. Maybe another Moore -- Marcus -- but he was never really an above the rim kind of player. Perhaps someone else can think of a comparison, but quite frankly, Reggie Moore's the kind of guy we've watched play on the other side for a long time.
Offensively, although he did have a game last year where he made five 3-pointers, that's not his strength. He's much better near the rim than he is away from it, and that is a huge plus for him: With a shooter like Klay Thompson spotting up on the wing, the ability to penetrate and either kick it out or make a defender pay for cheating in the passing lanes by finishing at the cup makes him a valuable commodity to Ken Bone. For a team that was 337th out of 343 teams in free throw rate last season (and which loses its top free throw rate player, Aron Baynes) that's incredibly welcome news. He's also an excellent passer who can "wow" you with that ability from time to time -- Harmeling even invoked the name above all names in WSU passing -- but consistency will be key.
Best Case Scenario: Moore is ready not just to contribute right away, but to lead. It becomes clear that he's become an even better basketball player than he was at Beach during his year at prep school, and he entrenches himself as the mainstay next to Klay Thompson in the backcourt by feeding Klay with regularity. He proves to be the perfect leader for Bone's push-the-ball offense, playing with control. We all can't believe our good fortune in finding the point guard of the future, as he plays 25 minutes a night.
Worst Case Scenario: You can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid. Focus becomes a recurring concern, as turnovers and poor shot selection cancel out any positive contributions. As young players are wont to do, he takes his offense on defense with him, and get repeatedly torched by Pac-10 guards. He stays in the guard rotation, but only at around 10 minutes a night. We know he's going to be good, but he doesn't help much this year.
Likely Scenario: Moore's talent is evident, and he quickly shows that he's the most Pac-10 ready point guard on the roster. Yeah, he still has his mental lapses -- he is, after all, a freshman -- but the solid-to-spectacular moments far outweigh those. We can't believe our good fortune in finding the point guard of the future, as he plays around 20 minutes a night.