With a pair of wing players already in the fold (Al Durham Jr. and Justin Smith), it was important for Indiana to land some size this fall.
Not necessarily a true center, not with De'Ron Davis around for awhile, but a true stretch four with length. That checks a key box and Indiana got that Sunday afternoon with the commitment of Clifton Moore.
Out of Hatboro-Horsham High School near Philadelphia, Moore is 6-foot-10 with a nice wingspan and may not be done growing as he's younger than the vast majority of players in the Class of 2017.
His Hoop Dreamz club team coach Jonathan Michels is fond of comparing Moore to versatile former major talents of similar size like Donyell Marshall and Cliff Robinson.
"He’s all of 6-foot-10 and change," Michels said recently. "What he really is a ball-handling, jump-shooting 3-4. He’s really long. He’s a really talented shooter and he can really bounce the ball. He’s a different kind of kind. He’s very loyal and he’s just a fantastic kid to coach."
While he's unranked, Moore truly fits the sleeper, under the radar definition. Besides being young for his class, he wasn't out on the shoe circuits where you find the most of the recruiting gurus.
"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," Michels said.
At the end he chose Indiana over Ole Miss, Northwestern and local programs Temple, St. Joseph's and Lafayette.
Recruiting momentum continues
The Moore commitment comes less than a week after four-star small forward Justin Smith made his call for Indiana.
A nice intangible benefit is both Smith and Moore are excellent students. Moore carries a 4.3 GPA and Smith holds a similar academic standing.
Moore as a player
Because of his skinny frame Moore may need more time to mature as a player. The good news is the skill set is already there, both in terms of ball handling and outside shot. Most high major teams go nowadays with a "stretch four" to play next to a true post player and Moore seems a natural fit for the role.
Rounding out the class
Indiana now has a 6-foot-4 combo guard in Al Durham Jr., a 6-foot-7 small forward in Justin Smith and the 6-foot-10 Moore. Joining Durham and Moore in taking official visits this weekend was 6-foot-8 small forward Kris Wilkes of Indianapolis North Central.
If the Hoosier land Wilkes the Hoosiers could still look to add a fifth commitment given the NBA possibilities for players such as Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby and James Blackmon Jr.
If Wilkes joins the fold it makes sense that the final focus could be on a true big man or true point guard. Deng Gak (Oct. 14 IU official) and five-stars Mohammed Bamba and Nick Richards are still on the big man board. Tremont Waters and David Beatty are a pair of East Coast players being recruited by Indiana as point guards.