Mike Moser and the Evolution of the Transfer Power Forwards

Josh White FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

As Mike Moser has caught fire, the Oregon Ducks have surged to six straight wins.

The senior from Portland is coming off a series against the Southern California schools where he hit another gear, averaging 16 points, 16 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game.  On top of that, Moser was named as both the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week and Athlon’s National Player of the Week for his play during the two season-saving wins.

Oregon's current winning streak began against the Washington schools.

Gary Breedlove

Oregon’s current winning streak began against the Washington schools.

Now, heading into the final regular season game of the season, the Ducks will likely need another big game from the former UCLA and UNLV player.  But for Oregon in recent years, relying on transfer power forwards is really nothing new.  In fact, the importance of their role has seemingly increased during each season under Dana Altman.

Let’s take a look at how these transfers have fared year by year:

’09 – ’10 Jeremy Jacob (6-foot-8, 225 pounds)
32 games/15 starts/20.3 mpg/.459 FG/.705 FT/153 Rebounds/241 points/4 asst/6 blk/7 stl/33 TO

Jeremy Jacob spent three seasons in Eugene, but none were more productive than his first.  Jacob was an above average rebounder and reliable at the line, but was limited on both ends of the court — perhaps mostly on the defensive end, as his block and steal numbers, especially, suggest little defensive contribution over a full season.

’10 – ’11 Tyrone Nared (6-foot-8, 210 pounds)
32 games/21 starts/20.0 mpg/.455 FG/.695 FT/153 Rebounds/195 points/17 asst/30 blk/24 stl/41 TO

Tyrone Nared played with effort was fun to watch.  While not the most prolific scorer, he could get hot and even knock down the occasional three.  His game was fairly well-rounded, as his rebounding total matched Jacobs’ exactly, but he was also able to record far more assists, blocks and steals from the power forward spot.

’11 – ’12 Olu Ashaolu (6-foot-7, 220 pounds)
34 games/10 starts/20.1 mpg/.565 FG/.535 FT/177 Rebounds/314 points/26 asst/15 blk/16 stl/55 TO

Olu’s presence marked a little bit different type of athlete than Altman had signed previously.

Arsalan Kazemi could rebound as well or better than any Duck ever has.

Kevin Cline

Arsalan Kazemi could rebound as well or better than any Duck ever has.

While he didn’t get the same number of starts as Jacob or Nared, Ashaolu was able to corral more rebounds and score more points.  Olu was a physical presence down low, with a nasty drop-step dunk move that was never on display more clearly than when he used the move to ultimately jump completely over a Utah defender — a play that might be among the best dunks ever inside Matthew Knight Arena.

’12 – ’13 Arsalan Kazemi (6-foot-7, 226 pounds)
35 games/27 starts/29.0 mpg/.595 FG/.675 FT/350 Rebounds/328 points/48 asst/23 blk/71 stl/52 TO

Every basketball team wishes they had a player like Kazemi.  Selfless and athletic, Arsalan excelled on the defensive end of the floor, headlined by his 71 steals, and he had more rebounds than Jacob and Nared combined, and nearly twice the number of total rebounds as Ashaolu.  For a player that often flat-out refused to shoot the ball, 328 points is pretty significant.

’13 – ’14 Mike Moser (6-foot-8, 211 pounds)
28 games/28 starts/25.9 mpg/.463 FG (47 3-pointers)/.745 FT/219 Rebounds/375 points/51 asst/25 blk/40 stl/49 TO

Perhaps the most complete player of all of five listed here, Moser combines a knack for rebounding and defense with a polished offensive game.  His 47 three-pointers are 36 more than Nared, who is in second place in that category — and with a few games left to play, Mike will only add to his totals.

Statistics aside, what the multi-faceted game of Moser brings to the floor is a big part of what makes this Oregon team so dangerous in a tournament setting.  Tell me again why he didn’t sign with the Ducks out of high school? Had he done so, he would have graduated a few years ago, but would have likely done so as one of the all-time greats. The way things are, he is among the best one-year players ever at Oregon.

Moser skies for a jump ball vs his former team.

Steve Francis

Moser skies for a jump ball vs his former team.

Mike Moser really turned some heads recently when he pulled down 20 rebounds against UCLA, which tied him with the great Greg Ballard for most ever at U of O. Matching a mark like that has already etched his name in Oregon basketball history, and the ending of this season still has yet to be written.

Due in large part to Moser’s play down the stretch, an invite to the Big Dance is still in the picture.  The team has very few more opportunities to show they belong, but the matchup tomorrow against No. 3 Arizona is the last best chance of proving so.

Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

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