The last true new guy for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2017-18 is Trevor Moore. In much the same way as Keith Williams, Moore is a raw offensive talent who will bring scoring punch right away, or at least as soon as he starts playing meaningful chunks of minutes. Will that happen this season? It’s possible, as depth on the wings isn’t abundant. Jacob Evans and Jarron Cumberland should play the two and three, and do so as well as anybody in the American Athletic Conference, but the bench is a bit thin behind them. Due to that, Moore and Williams will get the chance to be immediate contributors as freshmen. We’ve already talked about Williams, so let’s explore what Moore will bring to the table.
A three-star guard from Whitney, Texas, Moore is 6’5” and 195 pounds, giving him the build to play both in the backcourt and even up front when/if UC goes small. He was ranked the No. 74 shooting guard in the 2017 class, but I’d be stunned if he didn’t get work in multiple spots on the floor.
Although he hails from Texas, Moore played for South Kent Prep (Connecticut) last year and was a solid all-around player. He produced 13 points, 6.5 rebounds and three assists per game. That last mark is promising, as the Bearcats don’t always have many willing passers outside of the point. If Moore can shoot and create for others, he’ll carve out an even bigger role for himself than you might expect.
Odds are that he will make most of his impact shooting from distance frequently. He made nearly 38 percent from three-point range in AAU ball in 2016, taking 149 of his 172 total field goal attempts from beyond the arc. He then followed that up with 35 triples in the spring. Before South Kent, he had a historically great run of deep shooting at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston.
Where Moore will need to improve is on defense, since UC doesn’t accept players who don’t dedicate themselves on that end of the floor. He’s not necessarily a bad defender right now, but its not a hallmark of his game... yet. But playing in Mick Cronin’s system is a baptism by fire, so expect Moore to improve steadily.
If you’re wondering just how much Moore (and Williams) will even play this season, remember that Mick Cronin has not been afraid of giving new recruits, especially lauded ones, chances early on. Cumberland played in 35 games and averaged 19.1 minutes per game last year as a freshman and the year before that, Evans averaged 24.4 minutes per game across 33 contests, even starting eight times.
Moore is going to be an offense-first guy, something that is becoming less of a rarity with the influx of scoring wings the last few seasons (Evans, Cumberland, Williams etc.). He will allow the Bearcats to keep adjusting the offense toward three-point shooting since that’s where he is most comfortable. There will be some growing pains, of course, but Moore figures to be a freshman that can be plugged in quickly.