Back in the 2013 summer, Doral Moore launched himself from relative obscurity into a national prospect. Prior to that July, Moore did not hold a single high-major scholarship offer; afterward, he grabbed offers from Texas and Ohio State, with more shortly to follow.
Moore's junior year at Locust Grove (Ga.) Luella was uneven. He enjoyed some fine moments but generally underwhelmed at the prestigious Chick-Fil-A Classic, where hopes had run high entering the tournament that he'd step up to McDonald's All-American status.
Following the season, his spring greeted him question marks. He continued to show flashes but perform inconsistently, including at this past June's NBPA Top 100 Camp.
Despite his still-steep learning curve, however, college coaches understood what they were watching as he toured with the Atlanta Xpress. Moore's offer list continued to expand and he claimed new invitations from Illinois, Louisville, Kentucky, South Carolina and others to the compilation.
He entered the fall maintaining a steady recruitment and had seen Wake Forest commit to him as a prime target. Danny Manning and his Demon Deacons earned a pledge from Moore in October, and in preparation for college he transferred to Montverde (Fla.) Prep for his senior season.
Moore is a legitimate seven-footer. That's the starting point and, however far he may need to travel as a prospect, one never can afford to lose sight of the fact that he possesses legitimate NBA center size. In addition to his height, Moore also possesses long arms and high shoulders, functionally making him even taller.
Not only is he tall, Moore actually does hold a promising skill level. He shoots a high release jump shot that looks smooth as he releases it and features nice arch. His ability to fire in shots from the high post and elbow areas could become a staple of his game for the entirely of his career.
|Five years from now, Moore could be a very different player|
He's also a pretty good athlete. While not a mesmerizing leaper, Moore does get off the ground fairly quickly and as such is a capable shotblocker. As he gains strength and experience, that aspect of his game could explode. He just hasn't mastered the defensive end yet, but physically he boasts impressive tools.
At close range on offense, he can score with short halfhooks that need refinement but do already find the net. He dunks easily and already tosses down some tip-slams in traffic.
Moore also is a team player and views himself with a sharper eye than most high school athletes, critiquing his own game and embracing coaching while taking steps to eliminate his his deficiencies.
It's pretty simple. Moore brings potential far more than he does production, and scouting him you have to ignore his quiet play in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There's no guarantee that he'll develop, though, which makes him more of a high risk/high reward talent than the big men atop the rankings.
He may need a few years to cultivate a true back-to-the-basket post game, and of course he must continue to enhance his face-up skills as well.
One area he'll have to address immediately at Wake, however, is his aggression level. Moore can been more passive than a big man needs to be in today's highly physical college game, and the Deacs' coaching staff undoubtedly will implore him to maximize his size and length advantages versus ACC-level foes.
Don't expect big things from Moore his freshman season. The Deacons are taking big strides as Manning has recruited an excellent 2015 class, but even with playing time available Moore may not be ready. Neither he nor Wake fans should take that hypothetical development to be discouraging, however, because he's the kind of big man who historically would develop over 3-4 years of college.
Expectations have changed as some of the top young big guys step into the starting lineup and dominate from day one — it's not surprising, given how much today's prepsters compete against national opposition prior to college — but Moore is tracking along the 1980s timeframe of development.
Even if that assessment proves true, his destination could equal or even surpass those ahead of him right now. Yes, he's high risk and will necessitate an attitude of delayed gratification from fans, but there's a very high potential reward to consider, too.
Moore also will gain tremendous exposure and competitive challenges this season at Montverde, which could accelerate his development timeline.