Moser muscles into public's attention

Former Grant standout makes waves nationally at UNLV
By Cliff Pfenning,
Mike Moser celebrates after UNLV upset No. 1 North Carolina last week.
AP photo.

If you remember prep standout Mike Moser of Grant and followed him only casually, you probably remember him landing at UCLA two years ago.

He stayed there a year.

He showed up on the national radar this week, though, at UNLV after the Runnin' Rebels beat North Carolina over the weekend in the championship game of a tourney in Las Vegas.

Moser had 16 points and 18 rebounds in the 90-80 win and was named national Player of the Week by ESPN. Wednesday, he went off for 34 points and 10 rebounds in a 94-88 double-overtime win at UC Santa Barbara.

Not too shabby for someone who basically disappeared at UCLA.

It's great to see the accolades for a person who is now in the same draft class as former Jefferson standout Terrence Jones, regarded as one of the top players in the nation by numerous sources. Moser might not yet be in the same class as Jones in terms of pro potential, but he's making some great strides and putting up numbers that'll keep him moving there. Wednesday, he hit five three-pointers.

Moser left Grant as something of a raw talent, a player who could score and play defense, but mostly because he was taller and had longer arms than opponents. He hadn't yet grown into the muscular player who could handle opponents near a basket, on offense or defense. That seems to have changed.

What makes Moser's strides most notable is that he's in a different class in terms of reputation for a lot of people who knew both players in North and Northeast Portland. Moser played on both ends of the court, while Jones regularly didn't cross mid-court to play defense as a junior or senior. Jefferson still won the state title both seasons, but that only made those people close to the teams it beat angrier with his apparent lack of interest.

Moser didn't play that way - give some credit to his coach Tony Broadous for that.

Now that UNLV is ranked in the Top 25 and is 8-0 with potential, Moser is likely to start drawing some comparisons to Jones as both are small forwards in the NBA. Jones might be the better player, currently, but Moser might be the hungrier player and that has a way of turning into a longer career.