On Tuesday, Linden High (N.J.) big man Quadri Moore became Cincinnati’s second commit for its Class of 2014.
Earlier in the day, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv reported that Moore had given his commitment to the Bearcats, though at that point the Cincy coaching staff had yet to hear from Moore. Just before 5 p.m., Jon Rothstein, CBS Sports Network College Basketball Insider tweeted that the coaching staff had received word from Moore. CBS Sports College Basketball Writer Jeff Borzello followed seconds later with the same information.
The 6-foot-9 Moore is ranked as the No. 103 overall player in the Class of 2014 by Rivals. He also held offers from Georgetown, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall and St. John’s. According to many, it came down to Cincinnati and Seton Hall. Jerry Carino of MyCentralJersey.com noted that a long relationship with Mick Cronin, and especially assistant coach Darren Savino — a Jersey native who played under Hall of Famer Bob Hurley, Sr. at St. Anthony High — played a big role.
This past season at Linden High, Moore averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He also connected on 19 3-pointers as a junior.
Moore joins Hutchinson Community College (Kan.) center Coreontae DeBerry in Cincy’s 2014 class.
With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.
Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.
“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”
Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.
As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.
Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.
“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.
“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”
Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group. Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.
As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.