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Season in Review: Trevor Moore

Moore really regressed as a sophomore but a fresh start could be just what he needs.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina Central at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

  • 2.3 points per game
  • 1.4 rebounds per game
  • 0.5 assists per game
  • .318/.267/.778 shooting splits

When you look at the final numbers, you might think that Trevor Moore played a role of equal importance for the Cincinnati Bearcats in each of his first two seasons with the program. He averaged 12 minutes per game as a freshman and then 11.9 as a sophomore. However, a deeper examination illustrates that Moore took quite a step backward this past season, falling from a spot as a key reserve for a championship-winning team to losing ground on another title-winning squad.

The evidence is most illuminating when you look at his playing time during the most important stretch of the season. In 2018, he averaged 9.6 minutes per game in the American Athletic Conference and NCAA Tournaments, surpassing 10 minutes twice. This year, he averaged 8.8 minutes in such games and only got to double digits once. These may seem like minuscule differences but when you consider that fellow 2017 recruit Keith Williams was promoted to a starting role, the fact that Moore slipped at all is not particularly encouraging.

Moore’s actual production on the floor didn’t lend itself to a boost in playing time, unfortunately. He averaged a whole point less per game than his freshman year (2.3 compared with 3.4) and that contrast looked even more startling on a per 100 possessions rate (12.0 vs. 17.2). Most of his shooting numbers decreased significantly as well, as he made just 31.8 percent from the field, including a 26.5 percent rate from three on two attempts per game. On the bright side, while those numbers fell far below what he produced as a freshman, Moore did make strides at the foul line, connecting on 77.8 percent. However, that is over a rather small sample since he attempted all of nine free throws all season.

Scoring is not what the Bearcats may have wanted from Moore and if he had been able to continue his defensive dominance from the 2017-18 season, he could have easily received more chances to play. Unfortunately, Moore regressed on defense as well. He posted a defensive rating of 100.1, which was far from the elite-level he was at the year before (89.5). In fact, he produced 1.1 win shares on defense alone as a freshman but failed to reach 1.0 in total win shares as a sophomore.

For all the areas where Moore struggled, there are real reasons to believe that he can improve significantly. His defense may have gotten worse, but he still ranked among the top five Bearcats in steal rate (2.1 percent). In addition, while his offensive production was lacking, he did an excellent job of avoiding mistakes, with the third-lowest turnover rate among players with at least 100 minutes played (10.1 percent).

The Best of the Best

Nov. 27 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff

Moore made his first three-pointer of the season in this game but it was how he contributed across the board (five points, four assists, three steals, one block) that really stood out.

Dec. 22 vs. South Carolina State

This was the first and only game of the season in which Moore scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points exactly.

Jan. 10 at Tulsa

Moore matched a season-high with three steals and also scored nine points on a 3-of-7 effort from beyond the arc. However, he would record just one steal the rest of the season.

Feb. 2 vs. SMU

When Moore was able to hit threes, the Bearcats were tough to beat. He went 3-for-6 from distance and finished with nine points in this victory.

For Next Year

For a program in transition, Moore should have the opportunity to address what went wrong this past season and improve with more opportunities to play. He will still have to compete for playing time, but with Rashawn Fredericks leaving, there is a bit more of that to go around. With new head coach Joan Brannen in town, Moore may be best served by working on his three-point shooting efficiency, but finding his way back to the defense he exhibited in 2017-18 will be imperative as well.