Moore Fulfills Own, Team Expectations

JC transfer Steve Moore is affectionately called by his teammates "Score Moore." As the second leading scorer on the team, that nickname is befitting to say the least. It is no secret that the Sun Devil coaches and fans expected Moore to fill in the big void left by departing senior Curtis Millage. After a handful of games, this mission is well on its way to being accomplished.

Steve Moore, who averages 18.6 points per game, while shooting 48.1% from the field, is not surprised by his early season success. For him, it was just a matter of getting a stage to display his skills. "Those were my expectations," he said. "I knew what I could do. I just wanted an opportunity to show my talent, and coach Evans has given me that opportunity."

"I'm just hitting my open shots," Moore continued. "I have great point guards in Jason Braxton and Kevin Kruger. Great big man in Ike Diogu, who's been making my life a whole lot easier."

While life may be treating Moore well these days, it wasn't too long ago when he was downright miserable. It has been well documented that he was so unhappy at Eastern Oklahoma State (despite averaging 17 points a game) that he asked ASU for his last season's stats to be omitted from the school's media guide. This experience was a far cry from the national championship team he played on at Dominguez High School three years ago.

Therefore, his success in Tempe is proof of Moore's ability to adjust to his surroundings on and off the court. "I'm playing defense a lot harder now than I did in junior college and high school (smile)," exclaimed the guard. "Conditioning is different too. As far as my offensive game, I always knew I had that. I have a lot of confidence in my offense."

"School has been OK," Moore continued. "Classes are a lot bigger, they're like movie theaters (smile). Other than that it's cool. I have a lot more friends than I thought I would have." The JC transfer and his teammates are in the midst of final exams, and judging by Moore's words the coaches aren't the only ones anxious for the four-week period where everyone can gear 100% of their efforts on the game. "We can't wait until everybody is done with finals, and we can get that weight off our shoulders and concentrate on basketball."

A 4-1 season record thus far has exposed some areas of concern for the Devils. Moore concurs with that notion, and lists some of those factors, which have hindered the team. "Getting the ball into Ike more, and giving him a lot more touches. We have to open the perimeter game up, so players won't double down on Ike. We need to put a full game together, instead of just a second half. If we do all that we'll really show everybody that ASU can play some ball."

Due to his skills and professional demeanor, one may expect Moore to be tagged as one of the team's leaders. However, he still remains one of eight new faces on the team, which makes it easy for him to defer the leadership duties to the squad's veterans. "I'm always out there for my teammates," claimed Moore. "But I'm not the rah-rah type. As far as me stepping up, I try and lead by example. I'm new myself, so I'm not the one that's gonna get on somebody. If the next year I have the honor of being a team captain, then I can do it next year. As far as right now, I'll leave that up to Jason Braxton, Brandon Goldman, and Ike Diogu."

In his Sun Devils' media guide bio page, he proclaims that nobody knows how much he loves to smile. Suffice to say that the secret is out now. Those who have seen him in person, can attest that there aren't too many Christmas trees in town these days that shine brighter than Steve Moore's infectious smile. "Rain and losses don't make me smile," he said. Tempe's 300 plus days of sunshine a year can take care of the first reason for possible discontent. Steve Moore's play can not only eliminate the second cause of his grumpiness, but also help Rob Evans' team fulfill the year's biggest expectation – a return to the NCAA tournament.

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