The Talented Ms. Moore Of Storrs

By Richard Kent
Updated: November 26, 2007

CONNECTICUT — Tamika Catchings is the smoothest women’s basketball player of all-time. Her college coach Pat Summitt does not disagree. The question is now whether or not the is has turned into a was.

You see there is a player up in Storrs, Connecticut who plays a lot like Catchings. She is smooth. She is quick. She looks effortless. Her only problem is that she is a freshman and that really isn’t a problem. Her name is Maya Moore.

Moore may be the reason that the UConn-Tennessee series has ended. It has been hinted by a number of sources that Summitt was upset with the way in which UConn’s head coach Geno Auriemma recruited Moore.

The specifics are not known and may well never be known. Auriemma denies any wrong doing and people associated with the situation for the most part agree with him.

But lets forget about Summitt and Auriemma for a second and lets talk about Moore. She hails from Georgia and was one of the most highly recruited high school athletes ever in the sport of women’s college basketball.

She played center in high school but can clearly play all five positions. She has a 26 inch vertical leap and wants the ball in pressure situations. She has a great first step to the basket and needs minimal improvement on her 3 point shooting.

Auriemma doesn’t like to play freshmen a lot. As a matter of fact Moore does not even start for his very talented team. A girl by the name of Diana Taurasi didn’t play 40 minutes a game when she was a freshman at UConn.

Consider these statistics for Moore thus far this year. In her first game she played only 20 minutes yet scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds.

In her second game she played 19 minutes and had 31 points on 14-16 shooting from the field. In her third game against Stanford she was a tower of strength with 19 points and 12 rebounds including 12 of her points during a decisive 23-6 run that gave the Huskies a 60-34 lead. Sunday night she led her team to a victory over Duke in the Virgin Islands to capture a tournament championship.

Moore and Catchings have very similar games. Sportswriters throughout the country have noted that after seeing Moore play. She is already starting to spark interest among fans nationwide.

Catchings led Tennessee to one National Championship and to three Final Fours. Moore should do at least that if not more for UConn. She is that good and her supporting cast may even be better than the Tennesee supporting cast at the end of Catchings’ career.

She should also have a bright future in the WNBA.