Iowa guard Isaiah Moss on a strong defensive performance and a lot of relatives in Chicago cheering him on.
Mark Emmert, firstname.lastname@example.org
No one’s saying Isaiah Moss cements the Big 12 Conference men’s basketball title heading back to Kansas.
I’m not saying it, and I haven’t heard anyone even mention it, so let’s get that out of the way quickly.
What becoming a graduate transfer means, however, is that the Jayhawks are back in the title hunt to a greater degree than most experts expected them to be. Kansas has that 3-point shooter it desperately lacked during its uncharacteristic third-place finish last season.
He’s a veteran player for a team that didn’t have a senior scholarship honoree on Senior Day last season for the first time since 2007. He’s the desperately-needed shooter. He’s knows his way around big-time college ball.
He’s a wonderful addition to the Jayhawks and the Big 12, especially considering that it’s June.
A 6-foot-5 Chicago prep product, Moss started all 35 games for the Hawkeyes last season. He shot 42 percent from 3-point range. He was named the program’s most improved player — and then he decided to finish up his eligibility elsewhere.
Initially, Moss committed to Arkansas but didn’t sign anything. On Friday, he changed his mind, writing on Twitter that “I am hopeful and excited for what the future holds for me.”
Immediately, everyone knowledgeable about the sport started thinking that he’d land at Kansas. On Monday, the conversation turned to Rock Chalk … for threeeeee.
That’s Moss’ specialty.That’s where Self’s team needs help following last year’s Big 12 blip, which ended a run of winning or sharing the previous 14 regular-season titles. Atrocious long-range shooting resulted in the Jayhawks being 138th nationally in 3-point accuracy, 248th nationally in 3-point attempts, and 215th with just 7.2 3-pointers made each game.
“We’ve obviously been looking for shooting throughout this recruiting period, and we feel like we have addressed some of those needs with Isaiah’s addition,” Self said in a university news release. “When Isaiah is on the court, he’s going to be a guy that could be a 40-45 percent 3-point shooter, and with the line moving back (by almost 1½ feet), I think it’s going to be even more important to have somebody who’s consistently good from beyond the arc.”
Moss to the rescue?
It’s certainly a start, assuming he adjusts to the deeper 3-point arc colleges will use.
We’re always big on starters, but it really doesn’t matter in this case. Even off the bench, Moss is the luxury piece that Self missed. He’s a step toward getting Kansas back to at least somewhere near what Kansas fans expect their team to be.
As for Iowa State and the rest of the Big 12, it means defending the arc against the Jayhawks suddenly has become important again.
Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at email@example.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.
Source: Des Moines Register