In today’s day and age of high school basketball it is tougher than ever to find a true sleeper who slips through the cracks. However in the 2017 class that might be the exact case with Clifton Moore. Playing on a smaller AAU team, many college coaches didn’t know about Moore until the very end of July or still don’t know about him, but his stock is currently soaring.
According to Moore’s AAU Coach Jonathan Michels, it was a tremendous July in which Moore figured out how good he is.
“When we went into the summer all the shoe company teams tried to pull Clifton, so we had an idea of what he was, but nobody else did,” said Michels. “He had a good beginning of July, and as July went on I don’t know that he really got better, but he started to realize how good he was.”
Michels continued, “We played 18 or 19 shoe company teams, and he just realized that he was as good as any of the players who were ranked highly, and I think that made him more confident and assertive.”
According to Michels, Moore is a legit 6-foot-10 going on 6-foot-11 with long arms and he is a big wing or stretch forward who prefers to play on the perimeter.
About his recruitment, Michels said, “Indiana, Ole Miss, Temple, St. Joe’s, Lafayette, and Northwestern is coming in today. On Sunday it is getting down to a final five. Honestly we thought it was already at that point, but Indiana intrigues him a little bit.”
While Indiana is the most recent offer, Ole Miss is the one who has maybe put themselves in the pole position heading into their visit which is set for the weekend of September 24.
When asked about the Ole Miss interest, Michels said, “They actually saw us by accident on the Saturday of the final July period. Clifton didn’t play great, but he made a couple of ‘wow’ plays that really intrigued them.”
Michels continued, “Ole Miss has a few big five-men which is good because that isn’t Clifton at all. Also he is intrigued by the SEC. His cousin is Taylor Ellis-Watson who went to Arkansas and just ran track in the Olympics. Clifton knows what kind of opportunities after basketball are presented by going to the SEC.”
With Indiana, Moore is interested in their tradition, and the Hoosiers have been communicating for a little while.
“The assistant talked to me in July, but Coach (Tom) Crean didn’t have a chance to see him,” said Michels. “When he saw him (Thursday) night he was blown away that the kid was as tall as he is and is a 38-40 percent three point shooter who can handle the ball like a true 6-foot-5 wing.”
Michels continued about Indiana, “Coach Crean just said that there aren’t many kids who can do things like that, and offered him. Clifton likes that they play a four-out system where he wouldn’t have to play on the block.”
The next step for Moore is narrowing down his list which will happen on Sunday, and then making visits. After that it will be a decision.
About Moore’s decision process, Michels said, “Clifton is an incredible student. He has a 4.3 GPA. So if he was going to school without basketball he would be a kid who does a great job and gets his Master's degree. Now I think he is looking at this as a basketball decision, and he is looking for a place where he feels comfortable. He is a little different than most kids because he is focused on relationships and comfort more than some other things.”null