College basketball OFFICIALLY starts November 11, 2016. As a frequent flyer of the BTPowerhouse website, I’m positive you already knew this. BUT with less than 100 days until the Iowa Hawkeyes open up against the Kennesaw State Owls at Carver Hawkeye Arena, I felt I had no choice but to go Hard Body Karate and give our wonderful community members the finest Iowa Hawkeyes prep guide for the 2016-17 season.
Last week we looked into the point guard position and why a freshman and a sophomore (2gether) could build off of what Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons did the past four seasons.
Today, I’m curious, are you sir/madam, ready to love Isaiah Moss more than you ever thought imaginable?
Like many of us out there in this wonderful world, I believe in destiny and fate. While I’m not the most religious man you’ll meet, I do think that everything that happens in our lives, happens for reasons both known and unknown for reasons we can and cannot explain.
Didn’t land the job you really wanted? That’s because your calling is somewhere else. Fall in love with a girl from Philadelphia after you hire her for a student group all the way in Iowa? Y(our) paths were destined to cross. Pass a Chick-fila on your way to work and see that they are giving away free Chicken Mini’s on the same morning you forgot to eat breakfast? Destiny.
Land a 4-star small forward from Chicago with the athletic talent to play as a freshman at any Power 5 school, who just so happens to be comfortable taking on an immediate redshirt because he knows that it will only help him become the powerhouse performer he knows he can be?
That’s Isaiah Moss.
I wrote about Moss a couple of months ago after a source told me what one of Moss’ former teammates said about him:
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.
And that was in April.
Things have only heated up since:
He gone be a problem. You wearing the right number young fella @imoss38 https://t.co/yvyTP87R7t— Devyn Marble (@DevMarble) August 19, 2016
I don’t know about you, but if Dev and a Player-I-Can’t-Name-From-This-Past-Year-But-I-Guarantee-is-Super-Trustworthy says he’s “gone” be a problem, he’s GONE be a problem:
My guy Isaiah Moss (@imoss38) has been straight cooking in summer league . Gonna have a huge year & career for Iowa https://t.co/FmGvPXt4HC— Daniel Poneman (@SwagAir) August 19, 2016
This is where I would insert roughly 57 to 132 of the Home Alone/ghost face and flame emoji’s. This is where I assure you that Isaiah Moss COULD touch MC Hammer. This is where I say that a lineup with Christian Williams/Peter Jok/Isaiah Moss/Ahmad Wagner/Tyler Cook could potentially be one of the most athletically freakish lineups that the Big Ten will see for the next couple of years.
This is where I tell you to jump aboard the Isaiah Moss train.
For starters, that first step — which was on full display in that tweet video above — isn’t just some summer league fluke folks. That thing is lethal. And just based on that video alone, he can use it to get to the rack AND open the necessary space for a pretty wet jumper.
A jumper that, in all honesty, I didn’t really expect to look so nice. But that’s what a year of seasoning will do for you.
A year of seasoning and that ol’ favorable chip on the shoulder...From Mark Emmert with Hawk Central:
Isaiah Moss is playing basketball this summer like someone returning from exile.
Now that local fans are finally able to get a look at him, he seems determined to show what he can (do). Moss has been a consistent scorer in his first four PTL games, putting up 24, 24, 23 and 25 points. But the shots he’s needed to get those totals have been increasing — from 13 in the opener, to 17, 20 and, on Thursday, 21 attempts for a team starving for any semblance of offense.
“He’s a lot more aggressive and his shot’s looking a lot better. He’s always a promising perimeter shooter, but I think he’s developed his game a lot more,” said Iowa sophomore point guard Christian Williams, who played alongside Moss on the scout team last winter and is doing so in the PTL this summer. “He’s more of a finesse type of guy. He’s really good offensively; that’s where he strives the most and just getting out in transition.”
Moss hasn’t limited his shooting to the twice-weekly summer league games, either. He said he’s hoisting 800 to 1,000 shots each day during private workouts on campus.
Two things to take away from that:
1.) We now know why Marble is such a big fan of Moss’. Any time a kid with comparable characteristics comes through the Iowa program and throws up lines like 24 points on 13 shots, 24 points on 17 shots, 23 points on 20 shots and 25 points on 21 shots is going to pull at #4’s heart strings. After all, that’s the most Marble-esque summer line anyone could ever dream of, including Marble.
2.) Any off season story line that consists of a guy getting up “800 to 1,000 shots” a day should forever make you salivate at the mouth. Not only has Moss matured for an entire season while watching in a suit from the sidelines, he’s also putting in work to become a legitimate and immediate scoring threat for a team that is going to desperately need one with Uthoff now playing with the Toronto Drake’s.
Moss has always had the skills necessary to become a legit Big Ten scorer, but a lot of it was raw. I saw him play in Chicago and his game was, well, adolescent in terms of the necessary skills that he would need at the collegiate level. He’s always been able to out athlete his competition. He just needed to learn how to shoot without the ball in his hands. He needed to become more consistent with the ball in his hands. He needed to explore and perfect the various secondary moves that could come along with his first step. He needed to figure out how to use his hips and natural frame better when he turned the corners on sleeping, slower forwards.
While that may seem like a lot, the best part about the redshirt freshman small forward (and the reason I am so, catastrophically high on him) is that he (eventually) realized all of this and put in the work.
And now he’s itching to prove to us all, that this was always going to be his destiny.