Wait 'Til Next Year
The 6-4 scoring whiz from Philadelphia's Southern High School will practice with the Owls, but he would rather wait for next year to play for real.
Hard to believe?
"I can't control what people say," Moore told OwlsDaily.com on Friday night. "This is the first time that I've really talked about it."
Moore's situation has been closely watched since he verbally committed to the Owls in January.
At first, it was reported that he probably wouldn't qualify to play as a freshman, and he might go to prep school. There was also the possibility that he would enroll at Temple as a non-qualifier. Even after he signed his National Letter-of-Intent, nobody knew for sure where he would be playing or going to school this year.
But all those questions seemed to be answered when Moore learned that he had satisfied freshman eligibility standards early this summer. The Owls would have another talented player in the backcourt in 2007-08.
All along, though, Moore had a different plan.
"Before I signed, I was going to just come in academically, I wasn't going to play," Moore explained. "And I was thinking, ‘All right, I'm not going to practice, just go to school.' And even when [he got eligible], I still had it in my mind, on the side. And then once I came in (for summer classes), I still had it in my mind."
Soon after, Moore talked with Coach Fran Dunphy.
"He's the one who came up with the idea," Dunphy said. "It was his idea to not play this year, even after he became fully-qualified. It was his idea, and I honor him for that, I praise him for that. I think it's really a mature decision."
According to Moore, there wasn't much discussion about the subject with his new head coach.
"It was just a decision I made and we went with it, and there wasn't anything else to talk about," Moore said. "We haven't talked about it."
So why did he make the unexpected choice?
"I feel as though I should take a year off, get myself stronger physically, get academically better," Moore said. "I just think a year off would help me better overall with everything."
He can't remember exactly when he made the decision, because it was on his mind for such a long period of time. He didn't seek much advice on the subject, either.
"I talked to a couple guys," Moore said. "But it basically came from what I wanted to do, it was my decision. And when I made the decision, I was sure it was what I wanted to do. It isn't really that hard. I'm going to get through it, get through it this year, and be ready next year to go, academically and on the court."
Now, even with the season opener less than three weeks away, Moore says he's not tempted to change his mind.
"This is something that I really want to do," he said. "It's not something that I'm hesitant about or I'm not really sure I want to do. It's something I really want to do, and I'm going to do it. It's going to help me in the long run."
Of course, circumstances could force Moore into action this season. Without him, the Owls have only 10 scholarship players on the active roster (plus former walk-on Orlando Miller, who was recently awarded a scholarship).
Dunphy said that nothing is definitive.
"No, but right now he's going to sit out the year and get stronger physically, get stronger academically, get stronger emotionally, and be really ready to go next year," the coach said. "He's a good player, though, and we're happy to have him in the program."
Moore expressed confidence in his new teammates.
"I feel as though they'll be good without me," he said.
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