As princetonbasketball.com reported yesterday, 6'4.5" and 220 lb Hashim Moore has committed to Princeton, but will first take a post-graduate year at The Hun School before joining Mitch Henderson's 2013 recruiting class, pending admission.
Moore is a prospect who possesses greater strength and athleticism than your typical Ivy League guard or small forward with a high level of explosiveness attacking the basket according to those who have seen him play, but also has a fairly significant weakness in his game that he will need to improve upon for success on the collegiate level.
In the past day I had a chance to talk with both Marty Seidlin, Moore's former coach at Cardinal Gibbons - a private high school in Fort Lauderdale - and Moore's coach-in-waiting Jonathan Stone at Hun.
Exclusive quotes and analysis from two men who have watched the latest Tiger recruit more in person than almost anyone reading this piece plus links to player evaluations and videos of Moore can all be found after the jump.
Seidlin lit up when initially asked about Moore, saying he was "as good of a kid as you're going to find – a great kid from a super family. In the three years we had him, we never had one problem." Seidlin added Moore was "one of the top five most-liked kids in his senior class. To me that says a lot. He always has a smile on his face, getting hugs from everybody."
At a school that is 96%+ white by Seidlin's estimation and very wealthy, Moore's background is significantly different. "His dad works three jobs and his mother works one," Seidlin stated. "They make ends meet."
Shifting his focus to the hardwood, Seidlin described Moore as "220 pounds of muscle. He played the point for us. He went to two state finals with us and to make the states in Florida is a pretty big accomplishment. It is not easy to get to states down here and we went his sophomore and junior years."
Moore averaged eight points and 9.7 rebounds as a sophomore playing the small forward, shifting to the "2" as a junior while averaging 11 points and nine boards playing minutes at every position but center. Moore then ran the point as a senior scoring 14 ppg with 10 rebounds and "probably five assists" for a Chiefs team that went 16-7 against a high level of competition.
"We played in District 4A, the toughest district in the state of Florida," Seidlin said. "We had four teams in our district (including North Broward Prep with players now at Fairfield and Denver – JS) that could have won just about any other district down here. It was crazy!"
Stone, who has spent comparatively less time with Moore, described the newest Red Raider as "a player I think he has the ability to a lot of different things – he has some explosiveness and the ability to play multiple positions as well as affecting the games in multiple statistical categories."
"At my level he could probably play all five positions, even though I really don't want to play him at the center spot I probably could," Stone remarked with a laugh.
It was the summer between his junior and senior years where Moore first hit Princeton's radar. "[Assistant coach] Marcus Jenkins came down a couple of times to see him and loved him. Coach Henderson then came down to the Kreul Classic in Florida, we were playing (national powerhouse) St. Patrick (NJ) and Hashim went for 25 and 12 and Coach Henderson just loved him."
Despite reports to the contrary elsewhere, Moore is not a lefty – he just looks like one. "He's a righty," Seidlin assured. "The article you saw was wrong, but I will tell you this – he never uses his right hand – everything he does is left-handed because he worked so much on his left that it has become his favorite hand now."
"The kid's work ethic is second to none," said Seidlin with pride. "He will spend four, five, six hours at a gym on a Saturday and a Sunday when we had no practice – he would go to church in the morning and then come practice either by himself or with another one of our kids – Marcus Neely who went to UNC Ashville this year – them two."
It is Moore's jump shot that requires the most work. "He's not a great outside shooter, that's his one weakness – but he has the body physically where he can just take you to the hole and punish you," Seidlin confessed. It is not however, a lost cause. "Talking to Coach Henderson, that is something they're going to change," he added.
"Yep," Stone concurred. "He's very good off the dribble as a shooter but as a stand-still he needs to work more on that, for sure."
Seidlin sees Moore's extra year at Hun as beneficial for both academic and athletic reasons. "Hashim is only 17 years old," he shared. "I think he was the third-youngest senior of his graduating class. This one year will catch him up with everybody else."
With the opportunity to raise his SAT score to match his excellent 3.8 Cardinal Gibbons GPA and another year playing equally top-flight competition, it is exciting to envision a strong and powerful component added to an already tall and talented Princeton roster.
Where Moore fits in to that plan is to be determined.
"At Princeton he might be able to play the '1' because of the offense they run," Seidlin said, adding that he could also see Moore as a small forward.
"He's very well put-together," Stone echoed. "I think it is just a situation that worked out for the best in terms of him having an extra year. We were able to show him that this year was really going to benefit him. Hopefully he'll end up at Princeton."
While Moore has yet to play a game at Hun, Stone likes what he sees so far. "Early on, I think he certainly ranks up with a lot of the guys I've had play at the Division I level. I think he could be as good as many of them or most of them if not any of them – but it is early."
"I think he's only starting to realize how good he can be, which is something that is encouraging to any coach…and yet he's still very good right now," Stone added.
As a junior Moore received Third Team Boys' 6A-4A status.
After the Gold Coast Classic, Source Hoops wrote: Moore uses his strong frame to get to the basket at will. He is an aggressive rebounder and defender as well. He had the highlight of the tournament with his dunk over Tyrone Haughton. Once he improves his handles and shooting ability we will give him the label of combo guard he feels he deserves.
Following the Tip-Off Jamboree the same site said of Moore (and a similar player): These guys are mirror images of each other so we mention them both at the same time. Maybe the only difference is Moore is a lefty. Both are very athletic, explosive off the floor for rebounds, especially at the offensive end, and love to get out on the break. They are effective driving the baseline when given room and get to the foul line a lot. Finally, both need to work on improving the consistency and range of their jump shot.
If you've made it this far, you should also revisit the the original mention of Moore's offer from Princeton and see pictures from the signing ceremony Cardinal Gibbons threw for Moore four months ago.
I know I included the following videos in my initial post about Moore, but given this will be the more-frequently linked-to repository of information, I'm embedding them a second time.
Moore (#15) wins the regional semifinals with a trio of free throws.
An AAU dunk.
A second AAU dunk.