Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Mariya Moore named ACC Player of the Week -- Tuesday CARDINAL COUPLE
SOPHOMORE'S BIG WEEK LEADS TO AWARD
Louisville women's basketball wing Mariya Moore has been named the ACC Player of the Week for her strong performances in the Cards three games last week. For the sophomore, it's an honor that was earned by averaging 18.7 points in the outings, adding 6.7 assists and grabbing 5.7 rebounds.
Moore started the week last Monday with 11 points and nine assists in a 88-66 win over UT-Martin. She celebrated New Years Day with a 20-point, eight assist effort in the Cards win over #15 Florida State. Leaving the best for last, she led the Cards with 25 points and seven rebounds in a win over Georgia Tech on Sunday.
For Moore, it's all about the court vision and awareness. Jeff Walz has coached a lot of players in his 20 years in the profession, but he'll tell you that Moore is one of the best at seeing the whole court, the progression and realizing the flow of the action. That leads to points, assists and rebounds.
Last summer with the USA U 19 squad and playing with the best in the world in her age group definitely helped her hone her skills. Whether it's feeding the scorers, creating her own scoring opportunities or directing the court action...Moore has a unique perspective of the process and what the coaches want done...and carries it out. If she needs to take over a game offensively (witness the fourth quarter against Georgia Tech) or create opportunities for her teammates ( re-watch the FSU game and marvel at her direction)...Moore is ready to step in and fulfill the role the coaches need her to perform.
Moore is probably best known as a spot-up shooter who can destroy a defense from the deep, but Walz envisions her adding a mid-range jumper and dribble-drive capability to her repertoire. She has a special knack for finding her teammates, especially Myishia Hines-Allen, in the offensive set for scores and she's definitely a player you don't want to send to the line if you're down and needing to foul....she leads the team with a 77% accuracy at the charity stripe.
On a squad with no seniors and just four returning players, Moore...as well as Hines-Allen, Arica Carter and Cortnee Walton...had to grow up fast and become the leaders. It can be difficult for a sophomore to assume this role at times. Going from background vocals to the lead singer. From riding on the train to being the engineer. Moore may have struggled with the role at times earlier this season, but seems to have fully embraced the responsibility and duties as of late.
And, of course...there is "the look". It's an expression and a combination of determination, intensity, comprehension and controlled aggression...and when you see it on her face...you know that it's showtime and someone's going to pay and get schooled. In her sophomore year, it has tempered down a bit...smiles come more easily for her this year...but it rivals the expression Candyce Bingham used to display in Walz's early years at Louisville...when she knew it was time for her and Angel to shut the door on the opposition. Or the Tia Gibbs look that emoted 'you will not beat me in my house'. Your ticket is about to get punched. It's not going to go so well for you. Watch me work now. Bye-bye.
Opponents study her, they know her tendencies, moves and court traits....but they still find it hard to stop her...and usually fail. If Briahanna Jackson is the heart and soul of this 2015-16 Cardinal squad and Myisha Hines-Allen is the emotion...Mariya Moore is the closer. The one who seals the deal, nails the door shut and eliminates the threat.
It's a trio that works well in unison...and a group that has brought this Cardinal squad back from the abyss and into the white, hot spotlight. A trio that is good to have...but a trio that needs to turn into a quartet or fivesome.
Jeff Walz will tell you that if you have three players that you can count on every night, like the Cards currently do, you're going to be a pretty good team. Add a fourth and you have the chance to be great. Find that fifth player and a title shot isn't out of the question.
Who will step up and wear those shoes, grab that assignment and take those two spots? There is currently a table for two open...no reservations needed...just come in and claim it. But, you have to earn it. There are requirements and conditions. No one eats for free.
The real question is...will it happen this year?