It was only a few months ago that longtime Pac-10 powers and rivals Stanford and Arizona were locked in a recruiting battle for Landry Fields, the senior shooting guard from Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School who had a breakout summer and senior season that played him into offers from both the Cardinal and Wildcats. The time spent by both coaching staffs in the stands watching Los Al this past winter also uncovered one of the West Coast's next great center prospects. Sophomore Corbin Moore had a coming out of his own during the championship campaign for the Griffins.
The 6'9.5" center had second billing in the post much of the year, with 6'10" junior Clint Amberry the center of attention for the Griffins. Moore averaged eight points, eight rebounds and 1.8 blocks (team-high) over the course of the season. But when Los Alamitos made their famed stretch run to a CIF Division I-AA Southern Section championship, and beyond, the sophomore shined brightly.
"In the first couple of tournaments, I started and played quite a bit," Moore details. "Then during league play, the seniors played more, and I didn't play as much. At the start of CIF, I started and played a lot more."
Los Alamitos went on a seven-game winning streak during their fabled post-season run, part of a 15-game overall winning streak that stretched from mid-January to mid-March, before dropping to Clovis West in the CIF Southern California championship game - just one step away from the state title tilt in Arco Arena. Moore had solid-to-strong games in four of the five games en route to the CIFSS I-AA title. He scored in double figures in their second game against Rancho Verde and nearly averaged double-digit rebounds through the first three games. After a section semifinal lull, Moore put together his strongest game in the championship against Jordan with eight points and eight rebounds.
Then in the state quarterfinals, Los Alamitos played at Westchester, the Los Angeles City Section champions and nationally ranked power. In perhaps the greatest shocker of the CIF state playoffs, the Griffins clipped the comets by a 64-51 final score. On his 16th birthday, the upstart sophomore Moore pulled down 16 rebounds. He came of age during his team's playoff run, and it was owed in large part to the work and motivation that came with his move to the bench during the middle of the season.
"I wasn't mad at my coach," Moore maintains. "I was just angry at myself. I worked harder, and showed in practice and tried to put that into action in games."
"He wanted me to face-up the basket and drive to the basket more on offense," he explains. "Every time in practice that I touched the ball, I had to make play for our team. Make some kind of play - whether I shoot, drive or make a pass. In the beginning of the season, I wasn't doing any of that. I just made some post moves and was a strict big man."
The combination of high post and low post skills and playmaking ability that was developed during his sophomore season at Los Alamitos impressed college coaches and scouts alike during the spring. Moore played with the Rockfish program during the April evaluation period, as well as last spring and summer, but he made a recent jump in May to join the Pump brothers on their all-star underclass Double Pump squad. Moore made his debut in a Double Pump uniform at the Cactus Classic in Tucson (Ariz.), scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds in his first game. He averaged 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in four games, including a pair of three-point baskets. His AAU teammates include Jrue Holiday, Justin Holiday, Jerime Anderson, Dallas Rutherford and David Chlebowski. Moore is the big man on the roster, filled with guards and the 6'7" Chlebowski from Long Beach Poly.
"I'm more strictly in the low post with this team because the guards are really good," he comments. "They're also really good passers. If they drive, I can fade out and maybe shoot a 15-footer, but it's mostly low post for me. I'm not sad that I don't get to shoot more. I like playing the low post, too. It's a good balance for me."
Moore will be playing with his new team at the Three Stripes tournament in Dominguez Hills (Calif.) from July 13-15. Then the big bash in Las Vegas (Nev.) for the adidas Super 64 tournament from July 22-26. The summer evaluation period will end at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles (Calif.) for the Best of Summer tournament from July 27-31. Individually you can also catch Moore at the elite invitation adidas Superstar Camp in Suwanee (Ga.) from July 5-9.
A ragged travel itinerary in July might put a crimp in his schedule, but the 2008 post prospect has also been working on his strength and physical development. After playing at an even 200 pounds during his sophomore season of high school, Moore has been in the weight room four days per week for the three months since the Griffins finished play. The work has visibly paid off with his improved 215-pound body.
High school success. Improving skills and athleticism. A good frame. Early exposure with more still to come... It is no wonder that Corbin Moore is one of the more talked-about 2008 recruits on the West Coast. He lists much of the Pac-10 when talking about the schools who are already serious in their recruitment of him:
The Cardinal and Bruins also appear to be the two schools who will have him at their camps this summer.
"I'm going to UCLA's camp and I'm almost positive I'm going to go to Stanford," he states. "That's all for now. I think I'll just do those two this summer, since those are my two favorites."
2008 recruiting for Moore and his peers is off the races, with new NCAA rules allowing college coaches to make their first phone call to sophomores on June 15. While junior (2007) recruiting is at the forefront of most schools' minds, Moore did receive calls on the very first day from an Arizona State assistant and Stanford head coach Trent Johnson.
"He asked me about my schedule and said that he was really interested in following me," the recruit recalls of his Cardinal call. "He just wanted to get to know me and to talk to my parents, too. He said he'll be watching me this summer."
Not only off to a quick start with basketball and recruiting, Moore has the academic ball rolling as well. In a course load of all honors classes, Moore pulled down a 3.5 GPA in his first semester this past year, and then followed with a stronger still 3.67. He has also already taken the SAT, scoring a 1590 on his first try. His highest marks came on the math section (610), which has him focused on the verbal areas.
"I want to improve the reading and writing," Moore offers. "I'm going to work on that. I'm already going through books and studying in a class."
As not only a high school teammate of Landry Fields, Corbin Moore also appears to be one of the very top student-athletes out West in the 2008 class and warrants a close watch this summer and in the year to come. Stay tuned for more on his developing story here on The Bootleg and Scout.com.
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