If he sticks around, Shakeel Moore is going to be one of the best guards NC State has had in recent memory.
Oh, you think I’m kidding around? You think I’m making baseless claims? Well then maybe you weren’t paying close enough attention.
If you quickly googled Moore’s stats from this past season, and are now hating this article, then stick around, because it’s what’s under the surface that make this claim legitimate.
Keatts once called Moore ‘the steal of the class’ and he was right. A 3-star coming out of high school, the 6’1 PG was overshadowed by his teammate, and now NBA forward, Josh Hall. But as Keatts was in Greensboro watching Hall, it was Moore who caught his attention. The kid was a straight-up bulldog on the court, he could lock down any opposing guard, he could get anywhere he wanted to on the court and he was easily pound-for-pound the most athletic kid in the gym on most nights. Keatts offered, Moore accepted.
Fast forward to last season, and we’ve said this over and over, but when you’re judging last year’s freshmen, you have to consider the fact that they were taking the court with almost zero off-season workouts, a few individual sessions, an abbreviated preseason and almost zero non-conference play.
That makes what Moore did in ’20-’21 even that much more impressive.
He was behind Cam Hayes, Braxton Beverly, Devon Daniels, and Thomas Allen. When you looked at most preseason write-ups, no one expected Moore to get many minutes at all, yet when games started, he was the one who looked the most game-ready aside from the seniors.
In fact, you could argue that Moore was the most consistent player on the team when the lights shined the brightest.
• Against #17 UNC he dropped 17 points in 15 minutes and did this…
Every now & then UNC also got caught in mismatches. This time recovering in the screen & roll, Garrison Brooks ends up on the explosive Shakeel Moore. This is what they try to avoid by hedging & recovering instead of switching. @HeelIllustrated pic.twitter.com/dQNhcngKSy
— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) December 23, 2020
• Against #19 Clemson he grabbed 10 boards…
• Against Duke, on ESPN, he dropped 13 points in 23 minutes…
• Against #14 UVA the first time he didn’t do much, but when he met them again he dropped 12 points and grabbed 4 boards in 24 minutes.
As with any freshman, Moore had his ups and downs, but none of the underclassmen showed flashes as bright as Shakeel.
One reason we didn’t get to see him fully flourish was the COVID protocols, the lack of practice and lack of time to acclimate to the next level. The other was that he was playing behind a senior, Braxton Beverly, in a conference where it’s going to hurt to have two 6 foot guards on the floor no matter who your opponent is.
Moore never got the minutes he really deserved during his freshman campaign and I don’t really fault Keatts for this. Beverly had put in his time in and without Daniels, this team needed experience at the guard position. This left Keatts with a decision between Moore and Cam Hayes. Hayes, at 6’3 was usually getting the nod because of his length, and while Moore still got minutes they were sporadic and at time he was forced to check a bigger guard because Beverly had to cover the smallest guy on the court.
But what Shakeel Moore did with the minutes he got is the reason I think we are about to witness a gigantic jump in production during his sophomore campaign.
Moore is a steal machine and with Beverly gone, he’s going to be put in much better matchups on a nightly basis. So we expect these numbers to increase, however, even with those mismatches last year, Shakeel Moore was the 16th best player in the NATION in Steal % at 4.4% (Stl% is the percentage of possessions that a player records a steal while he is on the court. It is computed by Steals/(%Min * Team Possessions).) Moore led NC State with 1.4 steals per game.
But it’s not just ‘steals’ that Moore produced. He led all NC State guards in rebounds, blocks and FG% (after Daniels went down) and averaged 7 ppg in only 18.5 minutes per game.
While all of these stats point to a kid that is likely about to jump to the next level as a sophomore, it’s the intangibles that make us believe that jump is imminent.
Moore has the mentality built for this system. He’s a gritty, fearless type of player who doesn’t shy away from contact and isn’t afraid to take the big shot, despite being one of the youngest guys on the team.
As you can see here…
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) December 31, 2020
With transfer rules loosened and guys jumping ship left and right, there had been some rumors that Moore was going to look around, however as of now it appears those were just that…rumors. And we sure hope so because if he sticks it out at NC State, we have no doubt that Shakeel Moore will not just become a star in the ACC, but will be one of those players NC State fans never forget.