We will tarry not long on young Daniel Moore, for there is much to be said about the coming of Cody Zeller-palooza (and also Halloween) to the shores of Bloomington at week’s end. But in keeping with — and, now, ending our player profile series — it seemed fitting to include Moore, a walk-on, with the rest of Indiana’s scholarship players.
Like most of the faces that popped up seemingly from nowhere in the 2008 media guide, Moore’s story is well known. He played at Carmel, Indiana All-Star, too small for the Big Ten but plays tough, rugged basketball and has been a spark plug at points during his career.
Of course, last year saw Moore’s minutes dwindle by a full 10 per game, as Indiana gained more depth at Moore’s preferred position of point guard. The coming of Victor Oladipo, coupled with the expected usage of Maurice Creek and Verdell Jones at the point more this season, assuming they’re healthy, seems likely to bump young Daniel even further down the bench.
But it wouldn’t be fair to demean or ignore what Moore gave to Indiana over the last two years, or what he will presumably give them for the next two. Statistics aren’t his strong point, but Moore’s style of play is one that personifies what people consider “Indiana” basketball: toughness, hard work, willingness to do whatever is asked of him.
That 6-25 first season under Tom Crean was rough, and no one was immune to scrutiny. And Moore — because he played 17.2 minutes per night, was often asked to handle the ball and isn’t the most prolific scorer at a position often reserved for scorers — took his share of the criticism. He was too small, we said, too slow and weak offensively. And there was that maddening thing he did, dribbling the ball under the basket and then kicking it out to a teammate who may or may not be open, like a child running the same play over and over again in Madden 2009 because he figured out somewhere along the way that the computer couldn’t defend it.
But you know what? Moore never complained. Not saying he should have, but there was an awful lot of bunk piled onto the shoulders of a young man who never swaggered, never asked or expected to be put into the position he was forced by necessity to occupy. He simply came to work, did the job that was asked of him. Nothing less.
And just for the record, I doubt he’s done making a difference yet.
The bottom line: Moore’s playing time, at least once Jones and Creek are fit again, certainly stands to diminish even further. But the luxury in Daniel Moore is that Tom Crean knows exactly what he’s going to get any time he calls Moore’s number. They will be fewer, and farther between, but don’t be surprised to see Moore make his share of appearances this season.
Quotable: “IU is where I’ve always wanted to be. Both my parents went to IU, so I’ve always followed IU basketball. I’ve watched so many games I can’t count. As difficult as it was to turn down a place where I might have made a bigger impact, I’ve always wanted to be a Hoosier.” – Daniel Moore, in 2008, on his decision to walk-on at Indiana.
Previous Player Profiles: Will Sheehey, Matt Roth, Bobby Capobianco, Victor Oladipo, Tom Pritchard, Jeremiah Rivers, Christian Watford, Verdell Jones, Maurice Creek, Derek Elston, Jordan Hulls, Guy-Marc Michel
Filed to: Daniel Moore