View Full Version : Just looking for a chance

06-28-2006, 11:33 AM

Wed, Jun 28 2006

Moss on NBA: ‘I believe I am ready’

By David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Rest assured, the National Basketball Association does not intimidate David Moss.

“I’ve never stepped on the court and been afraid to play anybody,” Indiana State’s four-year standout said over the phone Saturday.

“I believe I am ready [to play in the NBA]. If I was put in the right situation, I think I could play right away and succeed.”

With the two-round NBA Draft slated to air on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Moss will find out soon if the NBA is ready for him. He’ll probably watch the draft from his Chicago home or at a friend’s house, he said.

Taking a short break from his training schedule, Moss told the Tribune-Star that the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and Memphis Grizzlies have showed the most interest in him. All have mentioned the possibility of him joining their summer-league teams next month.

Moss said that ISU legend Larry Bird, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations, advised him back in March to “keep working and do the best I can.”

Moss, 22, seems to be doing just that.

A 6-foot-5, 206-pound guard, he’s been working out under the guidance of basketball guru Tim Grover with several NBA hopefuls, including Dee Brown of Illinois, Marcellus Sommerville of Bradley, Rajon Rando of Kentucky, Mike Hall of George Washington, Shannon Brown of Michigan State and P.J. Tucker of Texas.

Moss’ supervised routine consists of basketball practice in the morning and afternoon with weightlifting sandwiched in between, usually at the University of Illinois-Chicago, five days a week.

ISU head coach Royce Waltman and associated head coach Dick Bender have driven up separately to watch Moss work out with Grover, who is best known for helping train Michael Jordan in the 1990s.

“On the day I went up, David and about half the group did their normal workout routine,” Bender recalled. “That day, they were working on shooting off the dribble. About 18 NBA franchises were there to watch.”

“They’ve been real good,” Moss said of the workouts. “The stuff we do is just preparing us for the next level — a lot of drill work and a lot of repetitions.

“I’ve gotten better. I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve gotten more confident… I think I’ve definitely improved in certain areas and overall.”

Moss was already pretty good. As an ISU senior in 2005-06, he averaged 16.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 21 games.

His four-year total of 1,562 points ranks fifth on the Sycamores’ all-time list behind Bird (2,850), John Sherman Williams (2,374), Jerry Newsom (2,147) and Butch Wade (1,672).

Waltman and Bender think Moss is on the right track toward a successful pro career, although they admit his chances of being drafted Wednesday are slim.

“He’s been working out with about 14-15 guys who are in the same situations he is in,” Waltman pointed out. “The [NBA] guys I’ve talked to really like his skill level, his passing and how he defends. They just wish he was more aggressive offensively off the dribble.”

“The [New York] Knicks told him he needs to be more assertive and aggressive,” Bender noted. “The skill level is there.”

Moss is aware of these critiques.

“I have to be more aggressive — with intensity,” he admitted. “That’s what a few teams have told me.”

Marty Blake, the NBA’s director of scouting services, acknowledged that Moss was heavily scouted during the college season, so several teams know about him.

“I would urge him to spend a year in the NBA Developmental League [which starts in November],” Blake said. “He’s skilled. He has a chance [at playing in the NBA], but he needs to get a little stronger.

“He knows how to play. He’s a very good shooter. He knows how to make his teammates look better… I think he has a chance to eventually play in the NBA.”

Moss would rather join the NBA immediately instead of “eventually.” But if that doesn’t happen, Moss, his family and his agent — Darren White of Future Sports Management — will weigh his other options, including the possibility of playing professionally overseas.

Bender noted that other recent ISU standouts, Nate Green (Italy) and Jayson Wells (Israel), are doing well financially by playing overseas. Before that, Green played on the Pacers’ summer-league team and even played in a few exhibition games until the Pacers released him.

“It just depends on what situation I’m in,” Moss said. “Me, my family and my agent are NBA first … The NBA is our first priority.”

Probably already posted somewhere, but just in case. Noted in the Louisville paper where Marty Blake says Pacers needing SG and then a Center.


Pacers have two picks
The Indiana Pacers enter the draft with the 17th and 45th picks. Blake said they particularly need help at shooting guard and center.

"They're going to get a good player at the 17th pick," Blake said.

Some of the top shooting guards in the draft are Duke's J.J. Redick, Arkansas' Ronnie Brewer, Washington's Brandon Roy and Michigan State's Maurice Ager. Villanova's Randy Foye can play either guard spot.

Top centers, in addition to Thomas, include Duke's Shelden Williams and Bradley's Patrick O'Bryant.

C.L. Brown can be reached at (812) 334-0669. The Associated Press contributed to this report

06-28-2006, 11:45 AM
Yet another player that won't see the day of light in an NBA uniform.