One of the biggest issues on the SMU basketball team last season was the lack of a true point guard.
This year, head coach Larry Brown has solved that problem with incoming transfer Nic Moore. Moore left Illinois State after his freshman season but was forced to sit out his first year at SMU under NCAA transfer rules.
Moore says he learned a lot watching the team during games and practices but feels the entire Mustang program has a different feel to it this season.
"This year, it's a lot more intense," he said. "I feel like everybody is more together. Last year, people were just kind of scattered. Coach is harder on us in practice and in the classroom. We have a chemistry and a goal that were reaching forward to."
Moore joins a list of all-time great point guards, such as Allen Iverson, Mark Jackson, and Chauncey Billups, to learn under the Hall of Famer Brown. Moore described it as an honor and says it's unlike anything he has experienced before in his career.
"Everything has to be perfect and in line," he said. "We have to go to class on time and do what he says on the court. We're really playing his way. He's more of a teacher than a coach. He stops a lot and explains and teaches while other coaches would let things play out."
Moore says assistant coach Tim Jankovich played a big role in his decision to transfer to SMU. He was worried about the new coach coming into Illinois State, so he decided to join Jankovich with a move to the Hilltop.
"When he told me he was coming here with Coach Brown, I was really excited knowing what Coach Brown has done," he said. "I mean, Coach Jank leaving was a big part, but I really wanted to play for Coach Brown and have those NBA connections."
Moore, who compared his game to Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson, averaged 10 points, four assists and shot 39 percent from the three-point line in 2011-12 at Illinois State. He says he is working on becoming a more ‘all around point guard who can run a team from beginning to end.'
"I'm trying to be that guy that gets everybody together," he said. "Being a leader when things are going wrong and basically being a general. The guys are going to relate better to me than they would to coach since were going through the same thing, so that's basically what I'm trying to do is just be a coach on the floor."
Moore says fellow Midwest natives Sterling Brown and Ben Moore have impressed him the most in practice thus far. As freshmen, both have shown a high IQ and do what the coaches tell them. Moore says it's part of a culture change at SMU that has made the entire team more focused on winning.
"Our goal is really just to play together and win some games," he said "We're taking it one game at a time. I mean obviously we want to get to the tournament and make some noise, but I can't really look that far ahead. For right now, I'm just hoping we win some games and everybody gets to know us."
Getting to know Nic Moore
Hoops Feature: Nic Moore
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