It is an unfortunate fact, but the most memorable thing that Quadri Moore did last season was get suspended. The freshman sat out three games in February after Mick Cronin announced the suspension with some vague words about athletic and academic standards. While no actual specifics were ever released, it was clearly a black mark on an already forgettable freshman campaign.
Making matters even worse, after the suspension, Moore is probably most remembered for getting put on that SummerJam screen by Willie Cauley-Stein in the NCAA Tournament. Our younger readers should avert their eyes for viewer discretion is advised for the following content.
OK, OK, you can open your eyes again, kiddies.
Now, let's move on to the actual work Moore put in on the court. To be fair, not every rookie, especially at Cincinnati (Gary Clark excluded, of course), is looked to be a huge producer, although that sentiment is obviously changing in the new world of one-and-dones. (Also, to be fair, Cauley-Stein is a phenomenal athlete now playing in the NBA).
Let's not bother going over his per game stats, as playing just 8.2 minutes a game didn't yield anything worth mentioning. Heck, Moore had only 28 rebounds all season. What we can glean from the small sample size (26 games, 213 total minutes) is that Moore has a long way to go before he becomes a centerpiece or even a piece of Cronin's rotation. Moore only made 37.5 percent of his shots from the floor, posted a PER of 7.0 and had an offensive rating of 81.3 last season. That is a woefully bad mark. For those that don't know, offensive rating determines how many points a player produces per 100 possessions. A rating around 100 is good. A rating around 90 is OK. A rating around 80? Well, you can probably figure that out for yourself.
Before we start getting out our pitchforks, though, let's remember a few things. Moore wasn't playing in many high leverage situations, meaning he didn't need to be a big-time scorer. For the most part, he came in for mop-up duty as Cronin tried to help the 6-foot-8 New Jersey native find his sea legs. Moore didn't always seem to be adjusting to the pace of the college game, but again, until we see him play for more extended time in critical situations, it will remain unclear whether or not Moore can avoid being a bust.
If you're looking for some signs of life, his efforts against lesser opponents Saint Francis (9 points), Stony Brook (9 points, 2-of-2 3PG) and Wagner (10 points) were promising, but after that game against Wagner, he scored a total of 17 points combined across 15 games.
Moore may get pushed a bit by some of the new talent on the roster, but he fills a different role than Jacob Evans III, Tre Scott and certainly Justin Jennifer, so seeing him get more time as a body in the post should be expected. However, to warrant a meaningful jump in play time and the corresponding jump in production, Moore needs to prove he can keep pace at the college level, maintain his eligibility and also, since he is a frontcourt player, do some more work on the glass. After all, he averaged just over a rebound a game last season.
Aside from the new recruits, the depth of experience at Cincinnati is a double-edged sword for Moore, as he will have to prove himself to get into the lineup more frequently. On the flip side, looking at the big picture, Cincinnati is not in desperate need of him to make huge strides right away, so if he still struggles, the Bearcats will survive. Of course, if he succeeds, then all the better.