Clifton Moore is a 6’9 stretch forward out of Hatboro Horsham High School, and a member of the Hoop Dreamz AAU program. Moore has exploded on the scene this spring and summer, collecting his 17th offer yesterday from Richmond head coach Chris Mooney. Lafayette, St. John’s, Temple, La Salle, St. Joe’s, Hofstra, DePaul, St. Bonaventure, and many more have also extended offers. In tomorrow’s profile piece, I’ll have a complete recruiting update with quotes and insight into what type of school he may be looking for.
On Sunday afternoon, I got a chance to head over to King of Prussia and watch Clifton Moore’s final AAU game of the summer, when Hoop Dreamz Blue squared off against Pittsburgh Nets. Hoop Dreamz ended up winning the contest 73-63. Moore finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the win.
It really was a tale of two halves for Clifton. Midway through the first half, he caught fire from deep, hitting three straight from three in the span of roughly two minutes. After missing his first two threes, he hit three in a row and finished the first half with 15 points on 3-5 shooting from deep and 6-10 shooting in all.
Clifton only shot 1-4 in the second half after a brilliant first half. The team out of Pittsburgh was much more physical with Clifton, and that is without a doubt the area where he has the most room to grow. Moore is every bit of 6’9 with a tremendous wingspan. He’s also incredibly skinny. Pittsburgh really bodied him in the second half and did everything they could to prevent him from getting free on the perimeter.
His one basket in the second half was arguably his most impressive. He took his man off the bounce from the perimeter and bodied his way past two defenders before pulling up for a nice four or five foot floater in the lane.
It is easy to mistake a 6’9, skinny player who plays mostly on the perimeter as soft or weak. Physically, Clifton is weak at the moment. Which makes sense considering he hasn’t even turned 17 yet. Physically he’s likely two or three years away from being where he needs to be. Despite his skinny physique, Clifton did play with toughness. He battled for rebounds, finishing with 8. He showed off his athleticism with two second-half blocks.
It would be a stretch to label Clifton Moore as a knock-down shooter. He finished 3-8 from three. At a long 6’9 though, he is a tough match-up on the perimeter due to his high release point. He can handle the rock a bit, and demonstrated that on three separate occasions where he ripped down a rebound and dribbled up court. He showed off nice court vision in the first half when he took his man from the perimeter into the paint before throwing an overhead pass to an open teammate on the right wing, where he knocked down an uncontested three.
St. Joe’s had head coach Phil Martelli and assistant coach Geoff Arnold courtside for Clifton’s final game of the summer. In the interview that will go up tomorrow, his AAU coach mentioned that St. Joe’s as a staff was at practically every one of Clifton’s games this summer. It was easy to see why Sunday.
While he has areas to improve on (his frame, his assertiveness at times, and his engagement), 6’9 players who can handle the ball, shoot it, and defensively impact the game both inside and on the perimeter defending the pick and roll don’t grow on trees. Players with all those attributes and tremendous academics certainly don’t.
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Check back with Hawk Hill Hardwood tomorrow when I will have my full Clifton Moore profile piece up with great quotes from my interview with Jonathan Michels.