I wrote in this space a week or two ago that Cincinnati hadn't locked down any major commits, sorry Coreontae DeBerry, for the 2014 recruiting class. Mick Cronin and his coaching staff changed that this week. They have landed 2014 center Quadri Moore and forward Gary Clark. Rivals ranks Moore as a 4 star recruit. They have him 103 in the top 150. They have Clark as a 3 star recruit. He's at 145. ESPN ranks Moore #83 in their top 100. 247 has them flipped. They rank Clark at 134 and have Moore at 149.
Moore is a 6'9, 230 lb center from Linden High in New Jersey. New Jersey/New York has been fertile recruiting ground for the Bearcats. Shaq Thomas, Jermaine Sanders, Sean Kilpatrick, Lance Stephenson and crown jewel of this recruiting class Jermaine Lawrence are all from this area. Of course, Moore will not play with Kilpatrick next season. The Bearcats have hit a gold mine. Darren Savino can recruit.
Quadri averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and a block last year. He's a stretch big man. Ed Bright was quoted on Zag's Blog as saying this:
“Obviously, Quadri brings a lot of skills to the table,” Sports U director Ed Bright told SNY.tv. “He really has improved over the last summer with us with his ball-handling and his decision-making with the ball. He’s not just a guy that wants to spot up all the time. But he’s got to grow his post play, being more dominant, which he absolutely has the ability to do.
“I think the most important thing for Quadri is by him committing, this gives him the opportunity to have the most important decision of his life out of the way and to focus on his academics, focus on his schoolwork. Make sure that he’s the best that he can be and prepare himself to be at the University of Cincinnati.”
One of the knocks on Moore is this quote, also from that article:
New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski previously told SNY.tv: ”He’s a guy who’s got to develop a back-to-the-basket game. Right now he has a nice touch, he’s a little too infatuated with stepping outside and shooting 3′s. He’s gotta rebound more. He’s got to learn to play 6-8. He’s lost 60 pounds, he’s in the best shape of his life, but he’s gotta learn to play 6-8.”
That's something Moore can easily work on this year. Moore seemed to be down between Cincinnati and Seton Hall. Wake Forest, Miami and fellow American foe Temple were in the mix as well.
Moore had this to say to In the Paint:
“It’s definitely a relief to have it over with,” Moore said via phone Tuesday night. “As it got to the end, it did get a little stressful and kind of confusing for me. I feel like I made a good decision.”
“It definitely meant a lot in the decision,” Moore said via phone Tuesday night. “They have been to the NCAA Tournament the past couple of years. That was something I looked at. And they did have a lot of bigs who had great careers there.”
Here are some of Moore's highlights
Gary Clark was recently rated the 3rd best player in North Carolina by the Phenom Hoop Report. Zagoria, previously linked, wrote that Larry Davis had a large hand his recruitment.
Clark simply said this about his decision to come to Cincinnati:
“Next year I’ll be playing college basketball at the University of Cincinnati.”
That's short and to the point. He would elaborate though:
“When I went up this weekend I saw it for myself,” he said of his visit this past weekend. “I really love the guys, the guys were awesome. Coach Cronin, he’s a great guy. The whole coaching staff was really hands on with me.
“Since last week I knew I wanted to be a Bearcat, I was just kind of waiting.”
The article immediately goes on to say that Clark's playing style is a lot like Justin Jackson. Hopefully a more refined Justin Jackson. We know that Gary Clark can drop this kind of hammer, thanks to College Basketball Talk:
I would love to see more of that, please and thank you. Clark had offers from Maryland, Clemson, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, NC State, Miami and pretty much every ACC team it seems. He also had offers from VCU and Xavier, as well as Final Four participant Wichita State. We already know Gary Clark is a smart fellow by choosing not to go to Xavier.
Here are some Gary Clark highlights