UNC Target Wendell Moore Continues To Strive

UNC offered the in-state sophomore earlier this year.

LAS VEGAS — For a player like Wendell Moore, a rising sophomore who already holds major scholarship offers, the stakes are higher each time he steps onto the court.

It would fair to say that  Moore has not been a dominant performer this travel season, but clearly he has been an effective one.

And that's all the more impressive given that he's playing up an age division with the CP3 16-under squad. And even that takes on greater significance because he's very young for his class.

After a relatively slow start to the travel season, Moore has pivoted into a consistent mid-range shooter. He has yet to gain his full complement of athleticism and thus typically finishes below the rim, but by shooting from 8-14 feet he has discovered a reliable scoring game.

Meanwhile, he's always an unselfish passer, instinctive rebounder and solid ballhandler for his size. In addition to competing at the Las Vegas Classic this week, CP3 already recently tackled fierce competition at the Peach Jam.

"The Peach Jam was some of the hardest basketball I've ever played in my life," Moore said. "I know it was for my teammates, too. It's just great competition at these events."

Playing up in age has presented challenges, which the versatile young player has embraced in order to boost his effectiveness.

"When I play down with my regular class, I'm much bigger than everybody," Moore said. "And I'm much faster and much stronger. Up here, everybody is my size and I've had to adjust my game."

That adjustment may have surprised some national observers expecting to see a powerhouse athlete posting huge numbers, but for his part Moore is taking the process in stride while also understanding the attention that surrounds him.

"It's been like this all my life," he said. "From being the top guy in the class, to top five, top 10, I've always had that target on my back. And especially with all the offers, too.

"My main focus is to just try to be better than everyone I play against."

Obviously, a rising sophomore holds no incentive to fast track his recruitment. Moore has no immediate plans to make a serious move on that front, but that hasn't kept the college coaches on his trail — including Roy Williams — from attending his team's games this week in Sin City.

"The two biggest schools (in frequent contact) are Wake Forest and Carolina," Moore said. "They're at all our games and are constantly texting me and my coaches. They just like to check and see how I'm doing."

The Tar Heels offered months ago and remain a presence as he navigates both high school and travel team competition. Moore has a point man on staff, but it's a team-wide recruitment.

"The coach I talk to most is Coach (Steve) Robinson," he said. "We get a lot of messages from him and also a lot of messages from C.B. (McGrath). All of them, really.

"They just ask me how I'm doing, talk to me about keeping my body healthy and also about some of the things they see in my game that I can work on."

The Tar Heels haven't pegged a position for the 2019 performer, opting instead to allow him to mature naturally and figure it out from there.

"They don't talk to me about a position," he said. "They just see me as a player who can do a lot of things on the floor."

http://www.scout.com/player/204825-wendell-moore null

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