Doral Moore shines at center in 3rd year at Wake Forest

first_imgMost human beings do not measure up to 7-foot-1, 280-pound Doral Moore.Someone seeing him play basketball for the first time might find the plays he makes larger than life. But the things Moore can do on the floor don’t shock his teammates anymore.“We get used to it,” said Olivier Sarr, Wake Forest’s freshman center. “He just dunks on everybody … He will catch it up at the top of the backboard and dunk on everybody.”Moore, a junior from Atlanta, will bring that raw power to the Carrier Dome on Sunday when he and Wake Forest (9-15, 2-10 Atlantic Coast) take on Syracuse (16-8, 5-6). In a six-point Demon Deacons’ win against SU on Jan. 3, Moore scored eight points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots. He didn’t shine at Wake Forest right away. It took top-level coaching, learning from star teammates and a look in the mirror to turn Moore into the player he is now.“I’ve grown the most this year,” Moore said. “… Put the right amount of effort in to be successful.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMoore’s height doesn’t really make sense to him. He said his mother is about 5-foot-11 and his father is 6-foot-3. On Sunday, Moore will face off, at least in part, against SU’s 7-foot-2 Paschal Chukwu, one of the only players in the ACC taller than Moore.“It’s always fun to play somebody bigger than me,” Moore said. “You’re not used to it.”Moore came to Wake Forest as a top-100 recruit in the class of 2015, but he didn’t come into his own until this season. It took tutelage from one of the best college basketball players ever, along with advice from a first-round pick in last year’s NBA Draft, for the lightbulb to go off in Moore’s head.After playing his senior year at the powerhouse Montverde (Florida) Academy, Moore had his suitors — including John Calipari and Kentucky. But the center knew who he wanted to play for: Danny Manning.Wake Forest’s head coach was a two-time first-team All-American at Kansas in the late 1980s and was the Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year in his senior year. The Los Angeles Clippers selected the 6-foot-10 Manning with the first overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.“He’s one of the best to ever do it,” Moore said. “He’ll get me where I need to go if I listen.”But in Moore’s first two years on campus, he underwhelmed. In his freshman season, he averaged 3.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. His sophomore year, the averages dropped to 2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.Last season, though, the emergence of John Collins — Moore’s classmate and teammate at WFU — into a second-team All-American and eventual first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Hawks gave Moore an idea of the player he wanted to be.“He just wanted it more than everyone else and went and took it,” Moore said. “So I just had to do the same thing.”Collins told Moore that he has the size and potential to be a professional basketball player. The keyword Collins repeated to Moore was “attack.” He just had to get after it.When Moore assessed the roster coming back for the Demon Deacons this season, he knew it was his turn. Along with Collins’ departure was the early departure of forward Dinos Mitoglou to play professionally in Greece. The only other legitimate height on the roster would come from the self-proclaimed “tall and thin” Sarr.Moore would have to be the man in the middle for Wake Forest.So he came back and turned up his effort. Manning and Moore both emphasized that footwork was a major area he needed to improve.“We’re sticklers on that,” Manning said.The results have been promising for the Demon Deacons. Moore is averaging more than 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks a game so far this season. His work with the Wake Forest coaching staff has gotten him part of the way to where he wants to be.“Even though I worked hard, I had to work even harder to put up the numbers,” Moore said. “…At the end of the day, you have to want it more than the other team.”Moore said he and Collins still text occasionally, and the 7-footer knows where he wants to end up. He’s finally realized that it’s about more than just raw size and athleticism. Moore has discovered what he feels is the secret to taking the next steps in his career.He’s almost averaging a double-double right now, but Moore doesn’t think that’s enough. He sees no reason that he can’t put up 15 points and 20 rebounds every night if he works hard enough.“That’s what makes certain players great and certain players average,” Moore said, “because they can either stay at the same level or they can try and raise it as best as they can.” Comments Published on February 7, 2018 at 9:54 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more