Doral Moore: Junior Primer

Years may pass before we learn exactly where Moore situates as a player, but chances are the landing spot will be in a prosperous locality.

Doral Moore absolutely has flaws as a prospect, but anyone who demeans his potential due to those imperfections is unable or simply unwilling to see the big picture.

Moore's talent, and his limitations, became evident upon our first viewings. He didn't emerge nationally until last summer, when he toured with Atlanta Xpress and set the stage alight at the Peach State Showcase. Playing before a mass of college coaches, he blew up on day one and hasn't taken a step back since.

Incredibly for a seven-footer, Moore did not hold a high-major scholarship offer prior to Peach State. That void became filled immediately thereafter, however, by Ohio State, Texas and a growing number of others. By the time decision day arrives, he will not suffer from a lack of options.

Moore makes for an interesting evaluation. His primary talent at his juncture — shotblocking — can be detected by the least perceptive person in the gym. Not only is he very tall, he has long arms and the desire to safeguard the rim. He anticipates shot attempts well and, though I've seen him unnecessarily bite on fakes, he's reasonably disciplined for a young center.

His trajectory actually follow that of an elite senior: Myles Turner. Like Turner, Moore is first making his name with defense while gradually adding offensive wrinkles. He possesses a surprisingly smooth and accurate turnaround jump shot that's practically unblockable, the catch being that he doesn't yet have the footwork to set up the shot easily. That should come with experience.

Meanwhile, his hands are sure as a rebounder and touch finisher even when he doesn't have his feet underneath him. His greatest hindrance in traffic is a lack of muscle, as one might guess.

He's very thin and lacks lower body strength, prohibiting him from establishing low block position consistently and also hampering him against very physical opponents defensively. He has the kind of wispy frame that may require several years of training and natural maturity before that's less of a problem.

One question I'm hedging to answer, for the time being, is how his athleticism will evolve. He clearly has not fully grown into his body, and thus it's possible he may become more explosive than he is at present. Moore possesses greater agility and coordination than he does quickness and leap, and there's no guarantee that will improve.

Of course, the obvious rejoinder is that a seven-footer doesn't require as much athleticism, and that's true. Moore appears to be more athletic than he actually is because of his reach. He plays above the rim almost at a standing position, mitigating the need for him to have elite springs in order to become an elite player.

By my estimation, it's strength, rather than athleticism, where he must focus his attention. Along with that, he will continue to develop his skills and especially footwork. But many of those issues should dissolve over time, and maybe not as much time as many assume.

We likely will have to guess a little on Moore in terms of rankings, because his game is unlikely to blossom until later. To what extent do you rank a prospect ahead of those who are consistently more productive than him? There's certainly no assurance his progress will continue.

But however he slots relative to his Class of 2015 companions now, don't be surprised if he surpasses nearly all of them in the future.

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