Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Moore Power, More Success Junior Forward Takes on New Role, Scores 20 to Spark Win

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Moore Power, More Success Junior Forward Takes on New Role, Scores 20 to Spark Win

Article excerpt

Over the summer when J.J. Moore was recuperating from foot surgery that forced him to stay off the court, coach Jamie Dixon had some heart-to-heart conversations with his talented junior about adding another position to his resume. In convincing Moore to embrace a move to power forward he drew a comparison between Moore and former Pitt star and current NBA player Sam Young.

On Monday night, Moore did a fair impersonation of Young in Pitt's 86-51 victory against Fordham in the first round of the Preseason NIT at Petersen Events Center. The Panthers will play Lehigh tonight for the right to advance to the semifinal round of the tournament next week at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Moore, a 6-foot-6 junior, came off the bench to lead the team with 20 points. He showed off his inside and outside game, crashing the boards to get some early points and then stepping out to the 3- point line to take advantage of his taller and slower counterparts.

Moore was 3 for 5 from 3-point range and displayed a confidence that he had not shown in his first two years in the program.

"I told him in the offseason this is where Sam had his breakout year," Dixon said. "And it's this exact same change where [Young] played the four [position] and the three. It creates matchup problems obviously. We didn't really have that last year. We really have something there that we can cause some problems with. His confidence is soaring because of it. It's the same thing we saw with Sam in a lot of ways.

"He's played really good defense, too. That's standing out, too. He's taking pride in what he's doing."

Moore was one point shy of getting his career high, and Dixon took him out early because the game was in control. He did all of his damage in 19 minutes.

Moore replaced starting power forward Talib Zanna midway through the first half and was the spark the Panthers needed. Holding a 12- 11 lead, the Panthers began to pull away as soon as Moore entered the game. He scored all 12 of his first-half points in the final 13:18 of the half. …

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