Following the 2012-13 college basketball season, Pitt’s JJ Moore elected to leave the program. Since Pitt and Rutgers are no longer in the same conference, the two teams have not crossed paths.
The former Pitt power forward transferred from the program to Rutgers for his senior campaign. Moore, originally from Brentwood, NY, cited his grandfather’s ailing health as one reason for his desire to be closer to home. Rutgers is just a bit over one hour away from Moore’s family in New York.
It is a NCAA rule that players who transfer, need to sit out for one academic year. Moore filed a waiver in order to play for Rutgers right away. His waiver was filed and approved citing the reason that Moore wanted to be in closer proximity to his sick grandfather.
When Moore transferred, he also stated that the playing style of Rutgers seemed to be more conducive to his playing ability, “I’m just a running guy and with the athleticism here, they look like a running team,” Moore said. “I like to run and get out there and be more assertive.”
Has the more run-and-gun style of play that Rutgers employs benefited Moore?
In 26 games so far this season, Moore averages 26.2 minutes per game and 11 points per game. Last year at Pitt, Moore averaged 18.7 minutes per game and eight points per game. He is averaging slightly more in both categories.
From the outside it would appear as if the transfer to Rutgers from Pitt was beneficial for Moore. However, if you examine his numbers closer you realize that the move was not too beneficial. In fact, Moore is averaging only .417 points per minute this season, as opposed to .427 points per minute last year at Pitt.
Obviously, this is not a significant drop. However, one of his reasons for transferring was in an effort to find a playing style that would allow him to be more successful than he was at Pitt. His numbers would suggest that the move did not make that much of an impact on Moore’s game.
Had Moore stayed at Pitt, he likely would have earned more minutes. It is entirely likely that Moore would have been the starting power forward for the Panthers this season. Had Moore been a starter, it is not difficult to make the leap that he would average significantly more points for Pitt than he did last year.
Moore would have started for the 20-6 Pitt basketball team that is considered among the elite in the ACC. Instead, Moore is a starter on 10-16 Rutgers team that is in seventh place in the AAC, a conference with just 10 teams.
It is also not a stretch to say that Moore would have contributed to the Panthers significantly. This would allow freshman Michael Young to come off the bench and develop instead of being forced into a starting role his freshman year.
I am in no position to critique Moore’s devotion to his family and love for his grandfather. If the move to Rutgers was truly only inspired by his desire to be closer to his family then fine. But, if Moore’s reasoning was more about getting away from Pitt, then it seems that he may have made a grave mistake, one that could hurt his future goals and ambitions.