Three high schools in four years.
Alani Moore, who will attend Temple University this fall and play under the tutelage of head coach Fran Dunphy, started his high school basketball career at DeMatha Catholic High School. After two years at DeMatha, he then transferred to Montrose Christian School, where he averaged 17.4 points per game and earned first team All-Met honors.
Montrose, which is known for producing NBA star Kevin Durant, decided to “de-emphasize” its basketball program and as a result basketball coach Bryan Bartley left. This prompted Moore to transfer once again. This time it was to Friendship Collegiate Academy, where he would meet up with coach Bartley once again, along with three former Montrose teammates.
The move was beneficial as the senior point guard led the team to a 17-10 overall record and DCSAA championship game berth. Moore averaged 20.5 points per game throughout the season and was named to the 2015-16 All-USA D.C. Boys Basketball Team.
Furthermore, he starred on D.C. Premier’s AAU Team, which helped him gain attention from high-major coaches. He participated in the 28th edition of the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim and Viernheim Germany with the USA 18U Select team.
Moore, who is rated as a three star prospect and #1 recruit in Washington D.C. for his recruiting class by ESPN, has always found a way to impact his team despite his small stature at 5-foot-10 and about 160 pounds.
The Hyattsville, Maryland native is a scrappy player who’s not afraid to play tough defense. His speed allows him to pick opponents’ pockets with ease and finish at the other end with a layup.
He has the ability to make those around him better by passing off dribble penetration, which also opens up opportunities for him to score from the perimeter despite his small frame. Furthermore, with his quick first step, he can beat defenders by going straight to the bucket, his favorite mode of attack.
Moore is a floor general, who has a great feel for the game and leads by example. His court vision allows him to get his teammates involved, especially when he’s in space. He can knock down an open three pointer and mid-range jumper.
“He’s the point guard on the court and off the court,” the D.C. Premier 16 and under coach, Matt Parker, said. “Guys look to him and he helps the guys stay settled, even though it’s the sixteen year old young man.”
Moore’s lack of size and strength limits his ability to rebound and defend against taller opponents consistently. Furthermore, at times he struggles to convert contested shots, often because of his small stature.
Despite his great feel for the game, he has trouble off of the ball, where he can struggle to get himself open. He must continue to learn to move without the ball and hit more contested jump shots. That improvement will come as a result of getting stronger. If he wants to compete at both ends of the court, that is a definite must, playing against some of the nation’s top guards in the American Athletic Conference.
With that said, Moore is a good fit for the Owls. He knew from the get go that he wanted to be an Owl, committing in September of 2015 prior to his high school season. As senior guard Josh Brown recovers from offseason achilles tendon surgery and sophomore guard Trey Lowe recovers from injuries suffered in a car accident last March, the Friendship Collegiate Academy graduate gives coach Dunphy another option at the guard position.
While Temple has had a history of strong point guards recently, from Juan Fernandez to Khalif Wyatt to Will Cummings, none were extremely quick like Moore. His gift of playmaking will allow him to succeed early on at Temple and will hopefully push an offense that often can get stagnant and slow. In the meantime he will need to continue to learn the nuances of college basketball and adjust to the physical style of play.
Photo: Chuck Snyder/Special to the News