Sometimes being forced into a second choice is something to be disappointed in, but other times, that option feels like 1b. In this case, Aaron Gordon may have been 1a, but Mike Moser is not too shabby of a 1b.
Four days ago Gordon announced he would be attending the University of Arizona, coincidentally enough, Moser missed a UNLV team meeting that same day. The meeting was for players on the 2013-2014 team. Three days later, a report surfaces that he will transfer to Washington. Today, it is looking more and more likely as Rebels’ head coach, Dave Rice, confirmed the rumors that Moser will transfer, but wasn’t able to comment as to where.
If we believe what has been reported until now, that leads us to the conclusion that Moser will wear purple and gold next season.
The Gordon saga just adds to what was already the best rivalry in the Pac-12, but without Moser, the Huskies were going to be light years behind the Wildcats in talent. With the addition of Moser, however, Washington now has arguably the second-best frontcourt in the conference, next to Arizona.
Add in Nigel Williams-Goss, C.J. Wilcox and Andrew Andrews, and they have the makings of a Pac-12 title contender. Of course, we can’t forget Desmond Simmons, Perris Blackwell or Darin Johnson. What Moser gives the Huskies is not only a talented post player, but also depth and athleticism down low that Lorenzo Romar has spent his entire career trying to find.
They will have the ability to go five deep in the post between Moser, Blackwell, Simmons, Shawn Kemp Jr., and Jernard Jarreau and five deep in the backcourt with Andrews, Wilcox, Williams-Goss, Johnson and Mike Anderson. Don’t discount Johnson, Hikeem Stewart or Jahmel Taylor either.
After a couple seasons without the depth or talent to play the full court press or average 80+ points per game, there’s a good chance all the classic game plans Romar has will reappear in 2013.
Without a player like Moser or Gordon, that wouldn’t be possible. Each of them brings athleticism to the table that Kemp Jr. and Jarreau do not. If Moser is fully recovered from his dislocated elbow injury that nagged him throughout the season, he should be able to play upwards of 35 minutes per game. Obviously, this reduces time on the court for less talented players that don’t fit as well into Romar’s system.
Without Moser, UW would likely stick to playing a similar offense that it played with Aziz N’Diaye. Kemp Jr. would become his own version of N’Diaye and no progress would be made.
Moser brings a completely different skillset to the table. While he is still a low post player, he is a remarkably better scorer and rebounder, while bringing more versatility.
A lot of people are going to try to compare Moser to Gordon as the season progresses. I suggest you don’t. They are both extremely talented players that would have or will improve this team tenfold; however, they are in very different situations now and the only apt time to compare them will be when they square off head-to-head.
Losing Gordon may go down as a “loss” for UW, but it won’t be a blow out. Moser will be back in his natural power forward position and healthy. His three years of experience and proven production at the college level should make up for most of what Gordon would have done at UW.
We’ve all seen top recruits struggle at the next level, so getting someone who has proven he can contribute for a NCAA Tournament team is that much more important.