Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mike Moser: One and Done?

By Jason Taylor (Rebelgrad95)

There’s already some talk amongst UNLV fans about how long Mike Moser will play before heading to the NBA.

Mike has averaged 14.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3.3 steals over the course of 3 games.  More yet, the casual observer easily notices this kid is just warming up.  He hasn’t even found his offensive rhythm and has underperformed from 3ville, the free throw line, and from “put-backs” so far.  There’s a lot more powder in his “offensive” keg.

My post-scrimmage analysis in October projected him as the Rebel’s probable leading rebounder and scorer for the upcoming year.

As he signed an autograph for my kids afterwards, I told him I saw a “MWC Newcomer of the Year” award coming his way.

With a big, personable smile, he humbly replied, “I wish”. 

The scrimmage provided a glimpse of his energetic scoring, rebounding, passing, and outside shooting ability, but the first 3 games have exposed yet another extremely valuable weapon… he’s a stealing machine!  It doesn’t always matter that an opponent has secured complete two-handed control of the ball; Moser may just yank it away from them.  It doesn’t matter that a quick ball handler is moving up court; he may just pick their pocket or intercept a pass and head back the other direction for a dunk!

Moser’s talent and obvious trajectory give legitimacy to the question, “Will he be here next year?”

While these predictions may easily go awry, I believe two things at the moment:  1) He’s headed for the NBA.  2) He’ll be here through next year.

Why?  Mike Moser has another dimension…  Mental Maturity.

Here's what I mean... Moser is good enough to get playing time galore while being very selfish.  He's good enough to hog the ball, milk his stats, and shoot for the draft by the end of the year.  The coaches might not be super-happy, but he's so valuable, they'd have to give him minutes regardless. 

He could be scoring more right now, for sure.  But this would be a "me" mentality that would hurt the team to pad his stats.

From what he has shown so far, he has more character than this, and therefore, when he goes into the draft, he'll be more valuable. 

He understands "team" basketball.  When Justin Hawkins was hot against Grand Canyon, his comment was "I just got out of his way".  It's rare you hear a comment by a young player with his ability make a comment like that. Moreover, he was telling the truth.  You could see it in his play. 

This type of maturity will allow him to develop his fundamental skills over time by letting things come to him, rather than forcing things. 

My "read" is that he values quality over quantity, which will take longer, but make him less of a risk for NBA teams.  If he establishes "quality", "quantity" is sure to follow, and he'll be in line for a nice payday when the time comes.

Give your take, here in the Forums

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