The 2011 offseason is finally here and the first step to winning the 2012 title is the NBA Draft. With less than a week left until Draft Day, Orlando Magic Daily will profile some players the Magic might be seeking with the 53rd overall pick.
E'Twaun Moore just looks like a basketball player. That is what I thought when I first saw him play for Purdue. A little lanky, but with a sweet shooting stroke and the athleticism to get to the basket, it felt like he had all the tools to be a really good player. Paired up with JaJuan Johnson, the sweet-shooting Robbie Hubbell and a hard-nosed defense under coach Matt Painter, Purdue was a stalwart at the top of the Big Ten for the last four years.
Yet, like the Boilermakers, Moore never reached his full potential, plagued by inconsistency and perhaps stifled by the Big Ten's slow-it-down pace. Even there, Moore was able to display his all-around skills when he was on. The problem was, he was not always aggressive.
Moore is something of a mystery and not likely to be taken int he first round. He has a lot of question marks on his resume. But few could argue with his results. His class set the Purdue record for wins. Moore was part of the trio that helped the Boilermakers realize that with great play on both sides of the floor.
Moore averaged 18.0 points per game as a senior and increased his 3-point shooting percentage to 40.0 percent. It was the kind of improvement that scouts certainly like to see from this Jack-of-all-trades type of a player. He was a four-year starter and has a winning pedigree and already has a mind for defense thanks to playing under Matt Painter and Purdue. The Boilermakers posted a 93.3 defensive efficiency, good for second in the defensive-minded Big Ten.
That was with JaJuan Johnson behind him. Think how adding his defensive ability in front of Dwight Howard would do.
Moore can do a lot and is the type of player who can fit into a role off the bench at the next level.
The Good: Moore is a scorer. That is what he has done. But he is not a take-over-the-ball and shoot a lot scorer. Moore shot a 51.8 percent effective field goal percentage, 54.5 percent true shooting percentage and scored nearly 20 points per game his senior year, but he needed only 14.5 shots per game to do so. He is not going to get to the foul line a lot, but he will make the shots he takes.
More importantly though, Moore is part of a winning team and seems willing to do whatever his team needs to win. Defend? Done. Become a facilitator and forget scoring for a while? Done. He posted a 20.8 assist percentage despite not playing point guard.
Moore is very capable of putting in big games too. He scored 38 point son 13-for-18 shooting in a February win over Ohio State. He posted 31 points in a January victory over Northwestern too. He had 11 games of 20 or more points this season.
Defensively, he is just solid. He is long for a 6-foot-4 guard and athletic. Painter never had Moore guarding the best player on the other team -- he was too important offensively -- but he was still a solid defender and someone you did not want to see guarding you as an offensive player. Also helped that Purdue was one of the top defensive teams in the country.
Moore is very capable of translating to the NBA.
The Bad: NBA scouts do not like these type of Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none players. Moore was hardly a model of consistency at Purdue. It always felt like he could do more and he was more passive than his talent seemed to allow.
Moore had nine games where he scored less than 15 points this season. Two of those came in Purdue's most important games. He scored just 11 points in an upset loss to Iowa at the Big Ten Tournament and shot just 5 for 15 in scoring 10 points in the Boilermakers loss to VCU. Poor showings in the NCAA Tournament were relatively commonplace for Moore. He shot 7 for 18, scoring 18 points in a Sweet Sixteen loss to Duke in 2010.
You always expected and wanted more from Moore. And as much as Moore was a winner, it was all regular season victories. Purdue failed to realize its potential and crack a Final Four in his time at Purdue.
Moore improved at getting to the line, posting a career-high 28.5 percent free throw rate his senior year, but he is not a great free throw shooter for a scorer. He shot just 70.9 percent from the foul line and cracked better than 75 percent just once (his sophomore year). His free throw rate was 21st best in the Big Ten. For such a good scorer, he does not convert from the line as often as he should.
He is still an improving 3-point shooter as well, and it can be characterized as streaky at best right now. Further his 6-foot-4 fram is not the ideal size for shooting guards at the NBA level. He was a great defender in college, but there is no guarantee that he will do so at his size in the NBA. At best, he is an option off the bench, but he has to show some more offensive consistency in that role very early in his career.
Draft Sites Say:
DraftExpress.com: "E'Twaun Moore is a winner. Always has been. As a senior at East Chicago Central High School he guided the Cardinals to a 4A state championship over a North Central team led by future lottery pick and Los Angeles Clipper Eric Gordon. His 107 wins in four seasons at Purdue ties him for the most in program history with teammates JaJuan Johnson. He has been a part of four NCAA Tournament teams, two Sweet Sixteen teams, a regular season Big Ten championship and a Big Ten Tournament title."
Orlando Sentinel: "Played four seasons for the Boilermakers. . . . He finished his college career tied as Purdue’s all-time leader in wins (107). . . . Averaged 18.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a senior. . . . He also shot 40.0 percent from 3-point range as a senior, going 70-for-175 from beyond the arc."
NBADraft.net: "A winner who leaves Purdue tied for the most wins (107) in program history in his 4 years ... Productive and efficient player who put up good scoring totals ... Has a nice jumper, and it is definitely the pillar of his offensive game ... Moore isn’t very athletic ... Not very explosive or quick ... Will struggle to drive the lane in the NBA, and will find it even harder to finish at the rim."
Green Street (WEEI): "Moore is a solid all-around player who knows how to score. He is most effective when taking the ball to the basket, rather than settling for jump shots. Although he has improved his shooting during his time at Purdue, he still is not considered a great outside shooter."
Piston Powered: "Moore was a fantastic college player for Purdue. He has some limitations that make it unlikely he'll be that kind of player as a pro, but the thing I always look for in potential second round picks is just one elite skill. Does a player do one thing well enough to land a job as a specialist on a NBA bench? For Moore, his 3-point shooting makes him intriguing. He shot 40 percent from beyond the arc at Purdue as a senior and was over the 40 percent mark in two of his four college seasons. That's certainly a skill he can develop and carve a niche for himself in the NBA out of. Plus, he become a tough, solid defensive player. He's undersized, but if he can be scrappy at the defensive end, he'll earn minutes at some point on a NBA bench."
NBADraft Blog: "Moore has the potential to be a very good perimeter shooter. His mechanics are solid – he squares his body well, gets very good lift and follow-through and a quick release. Heading into this season, his biggest problem areas were shot selection from the perimeter, especially 3-point range, and the ability to create space for his jumper off the dribble."
Final Thoughts: Moore is a decent prospect who is still a work in progress. But he is also the type of player who is going to be able come in and contribute given the right situation. He is an improving shooter and an already great defender. He just has to find the consistency and learn to do it off the bench. That is his likely role in the NBA. He is going to have to work hard, but it certainly feels possible that he will be playing in the NBA next year.
Photo via DayLife.com.