Moore gets jump on adapt­ing to Cana­dian game

Amer­i­can guard set­tled into va­garies of bas­ket­ball north of the 49th par­al­lel

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - SPORTS - DAR­REN ZARY dzary@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/@DZfromtheSP

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.”

KAYLE NEIS

Huskies guard Lawrence Moore grew up in Chicago and played ju­nior col­lege bas­ket­ball in Cal­i­for­nia be­fore land­ing at the Univer­sity of Saskatchewan.

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