I was talking with a friend the other day (for all intensive purposes, let's call him Maury Finkle) and he mentioned that he had recently spent a decent amount of time with an Iowa basketball player (for all intensive purposes, let's call that player, Casey Jones).
Now, before I even continue, I want to assure you all that both Maury Finkle and Casey Jones are real people. This isn't just some made up fantasy or dream (like the other night when I golfed 18 fake/real holes with Bryson DeChambeau knickers and all). It's also important to know that Casey Jones is extremely close to this current regime and the current stable of players that will make up the 2016-17 Iowa Hawkeyes to take it as seriously as I am.
Now, while the two counterparts didn't spend too much time talking about Iowa hoops -- this was, after all, a non-basketball function -- when they did, Casey Jones openly -- without being prompted or questioned -- gushed and raved about how smitten he was about the future for redshirt freshman Isaiah Moss.
In so many words, Casey Jones told Mr. Finkle that Moss has all of the tools you would want in a wing player in the Big Ten. He can score, pass and defend with ease. He said that Moss was whooping dudes in practice day in and day out, running wild as a scout team powerhouse. That he's got "The Juice" and sleeping on this kid would be a mistake. That he would make plays that Iowa fans will not be used to seeing (nor have the seen in quite some time). That he's a 6'5" athletic freak that perfectly fits McCaffery's "mold" for any one of the backcourt positions and that Moss can be used as a point guard, shooting guard or small forward depending on lineup choices.
All of that is impressive and downright music to my ears. But it's that last part among the other hype/fluff that will be the key that will surely escalate Moss (hopefully) into a YUGGGGE roll after the loss of the four seniors from this past season.
The dude is a versatile monster.
Now again, trust me when I say, if you knew who Casey Jones was, you would be very, very, VERY excited about his evaluation on Moss' future. I'm not big on hyperbole (ok, yes I am), but when Maury Finkle told me that players name, I fell down to my knees and thanked the Basketball God's right then and there.
But Casey Jones hasn't been the only one to say these things the past year.
"I think Moss is going to be special for this team as time moves forward."
Or Assistant Coach Andrew Fancis on Moss' future potential compared to former Hawkeye scoring nightmare:
"Dev might laugh at this right now, but (Moss) comes in with a little more athleticism than Dev did at the time... Isaiah comes in with a little bit more of a consistent jump shot. But overall the comparisons, they're not way off base."
Hell, even his high school basketball coach, Robert Smith has high hopes for his former player's collegiate career:
"He has come a long way in the last six months. He grew up some and is starting to put everything together. I think his best basketball is ahead of him."
He even says so himself:
It's way to early in the year for me to even garner any sort of prediction on what is going to happen next year for the Iowa basketball team, but knowing that Moss is just lurking and waiting to break out along side Peter Jok, Ahmad Wagner, Tyler Cook, Christian Williams and Nicolas Baer makes me really excited to start that "prediction" process.
Guys, this talented group could be one of the most athletically gifted rosters to have ever come through Iowa City.
And Isaiah Moss could be (should be) the ring leader of that group.
So, as the summer months come to a head -- and you all start popping the tops to some of your favorite adult beverages at the lake or beach -- as you stare into the sun behind your brand new pair of Oakley's, remember, you are only a few short months away from this happening to some unlucky Hoosier as Tom Crean mouth breaths in disgust: