Moore gets jump on adapting to Canadian game
American guard settled into vagaries of basketball north of the 49th parallel
As a guard, Lawrence Moore gets away with a lot of travelling.
“I’ve been all around the world,” quips the second-year University of Saskatchewan Huskies guard, who is in his fourth year of U Sports eligibility after playing two years of junior college ball in the United States.
Moore grew up in Chicago, where he moved around to a couple of different schools before venturing out to the West Coast to play junior college basketball in California for the Bakersfield College Renegades.
These days, he is honing his hoop skills north of the border in Canada with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies.
“It’s a different culture,” Moore, a six-foot-two, 190-pound guard, said of his move up north. “It was different, so I wanted to experience it.”
Last season, Moore averaged 13.2 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game after joining the Huskies in January for the second term.
He finished with a season-high 33 points against the Calgary Dinos during a 111-106 loss in the bronze-medal game at the Canada West Final Four tournament.
“He’s a very crafty player,” said Saskatchewan men’s basketball coach Barry Rawlyk. “He’s very smart. There are just some things you don’t coach. He’s obviously used to playing at a very high level of competition and he doesn’t back down from anybody. Defensively, he’s a menace. He has the ability to make players around him better. He’s a very good player.”
Moore was born and raised in Chicago. He attended St. Patrick’s, a Catholic high school, for his freshman year before transferring to Proviso West, a high school based in Hillside, Ill.
After that, Moore transferred to Bakersfield in California. In his final season at Bakersfield, he averaged 12.2 points, 3.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game.
Moore was named a Western State Conference first-team allstar.
“It’s not like a big difference,” Moore said, comparing Canada West basketball to the junior college ranks in the U.S.
“The only thing different is the rules with the rim, like hitting it outside the rim. But the competition and stuff like that is still the same. Everything’s the same.” Well, maybe not the weather. “The weather is a big difference — it’s a dry cold — but travelling and stuff, it’s what I expected competition-wise,” Moore points out. “I expected to see the type of players I’ve seen.”
As an import player from the United States, Moore gains instant recognition among his peers on campus.
“You could say that because I’m American, I guess,” said Moore, who has slowly adjusted to the Canada West game and Canada.
“I started feeling comfortable right before playoffs. I just let it go. I just let myself play like I play. He (Rawlyk) wanted me here for a reason and I just played for that reason.”
This season, he expects an even bigger role on a much more inexperienced and youthful Huskies squad.
“I’ve just got to play the same style as last year, but it’s more guard work this year, so it means me being more vocal this year and being a leader,” he said.
“I’m going to bring leadership and a lot of scoring and my passes. You’ll see a lot of nice passes. Lot of threes and a lot of traps during defence.”
Huskies guard Lawrence Moore grew up in Chicago and played junior college basketball in California before landing at the University of Saskatchewan.