Moses Moody – Summer 2020
Moses Moody is one of the top perimeter players in the 2020 high school class and projects as a two-way wing in the NBA. He fits the 3&D archetype perfectly and is a rare prospect who truly embodies both sides of that moniker to a great degree.
Moody’s value as a player begins with his jump shooting. He can space the court at a high level and shows confidence from all around the three-point arc – including even a few feet beyond it. He has been successful in a variety of play types and on-court situations, showing the ability to hit shots on the catch, off movement, and off the dribble. He already understands how to read screens and pin downs away from the ball while being able to hit shots with both forward and backward body momentum. He also shows solid footwork on his attempts, getting into his shot out of the hop, 1-2 step in, straight up out of a standstill situation and from a jab step.
He has a fairly high release, using his long arms to get looks over defenders. While his release varies depending on the defensive coverage, he usually goes up fluidly in a single motion with an excellent kinetic chain from lower to upper body while using a slight hip turn and leg kick to add power to his attempt. At the top of his form, he again does a great job of aligning his elbow and wrist into a singular, fluid motion. Moses uses his elbow to add power when momentum is carrying him away from the rim and he is unable to utilize his typical hip turn. This can lead to a flatter arch, but Moody makes up for this with his excellent touch and accuracy.
During the 2019 EYBL season, Moody took more than 11 three-point attempts per 100 possessions in 485 minutes played. In addition, Moses shot 81 percent on 67 free throw attempts. At 16 years old for the majority of those games, combined with his above average physical size as a guard, Moses characterized himself as one of the better jump shooting prospects in all of high school basketball.
Moody averaged 31.0 points per 100 possessions in the EYBL, one of only 15 players to do so in 2019. His scoring volume is especially impressive when considering the off-ball role that he plays for his teams. He does not require many plays run for him, does not let the ball stick in his hands for too long, and does not dribble the air out of the ball aimlessly like so many other top young scorers tend to do.
Instead Moody does an excellent job staying active away from the ball and consistently putting himself into a position to contribute as a scorer. He is an excellent cutter, recognizing lanes and reading the spacing of the floor at a high level. He does a terrific job of utilizing his gravity as a shot-making threat to get behind defenders and create angles for easy inside passes for his teammates. He is active coming off screens and moving around the perimeter, keeping the players that defend him engaged and not allowing them to cheat off of him.
Moody is an excellent offensive rebounder for a player his size. He is physical and fights for position. He understands how to time the ball coming off of the rim and where missed shots are likely to end up. He does a great job utilizing his long arms and reach to finish around defenders, changing the position of the ball to get the shot over the defense from the best angle. He has good touch as a finisher and can finish through contact while using pump fakes inside to get defenders off their feet and get himself to the free throw line. Moody’s overall smarts and heady play will allow him to be the rare player who provides significant offensive value without the need to be the centerpiece of an offensive system. Every single NBA team could use a player in this role and that is before even considering Moses’ defensive impact.
As effective as Moody has been on offense, his defense may be his biggest strength as a player and prospect.
He had a lot of success defending top wings and guards in both high school and AAU. Moody was able to bother top-ranked opponents like Terrence Clarke, Sharife Cooper, and Matthew Murrell, among others, with quick hands and feet, a great understanding of angles, excellent length, and elite anticipation.
While his on-ball defense is excellent, Moody’s off-ball team defensive ability is even more valuable. Listed as having a wingspan over 7 feet, Moody can put his length to functional, on-court use as well as any player in his class. He is consistently active in passing lanes and stays engaged away from the ball, rotating around the floor and putting himself in position to help while remaining in a position to recover to his man. Moody is a player who disrupts opposing offenses away from the ball without taking unnecessary risks.
He is an excellent communicator and does a terrific job executing switches and making sure his teammates are in the right position, directing them out on the floor and staying vocal throughout defensive possessions. While it is usually the bigs who act as defensive anchors, Moody played that role for Brad Beal Elite from the top of the key and the wings. Thanks to his activity, ability to create deflections, and communication, Brad Beal accrued much success on the defensive end and made the finals of the Peach Invitational Tournament. Moody finished as one of the steals leaders in EYBL in 2019 but his shot-blocking is just as impressive when considering his size and the position he played.
He is amongst the best shot blockers in the 2020 HS guard class, doing an excellent job rotating into the paint to help on drives. He also does a great job timing the shot attempts of his opponents and blocking shots on the ball. Furthermore, Moody understands when going up for a block isn’t the best choice. That is when he slides in front of the player attacking the paint and lines up his feet to take the charge. Outside a few big men, there are not many players in his age group that can provide the overall defensive value of Moody. Enough cannot be said about his positioning and ability to shrink the floor for opponents, while still being a top defender on the ball.
Athletic Ability, Ball Handling, Strength
While Moses Moody is a legit 3&D wing prospect and one of the most underrated players in his class, he still has several shortcomings and areas in need of development as is typical for a player of his age. He is not a player who excels as a quick twitch, explosive athlete. Moody lacks the first step and burst to blow by opponents at will and does not rise quickly off his feet. These athletic shortcomings likely keep him from having the potential to be considered a primary initiator at the highest levels of professional basketball. However that absolutely does not preclude him from being an extremely valuable, successful and highly regarded player.
Working on his ball-handling and the control of his dribble is one way to overcome some of his deficiencies as he is not always able to attack defenders closing out and at times struggles to gather the ball or to finish around defenders on the move. Improving his strength, particularly in his core and mid-body sections, would also improve his ability to create separation and turn the corner when driving in the half-court.
At 0:02 and from 0:14-0:19 in the video, you can see Moody gather his dribble. However, it seems as if he would have preferred and been better off taking another dribble on this play. Only due to his lack of control of the ball he was forced to gather before the ideal time. It is an example of a possession where a better handle could have helped Moody have better results. The last clip is a play where Moody was able to execute a good move and finish.
Moody is tough and willing to play physical, but against some of the larger, thicker opponents he struggled at times despite this willingness. Team WhyNot’s Addison Patterson was the exceedingly rare player that Moody had trouble containing defensively. Patterson is a really strong, physical forward with a big body and he was able to bully his way right through Moody, getting into the paint almost at will.
On the offensive end, Moody is similarly at times unable to carve out space and draw calls from refs due to his thin stature and lack of physical power and brawn. As good as he is as a rebounder and finisher, working on his body would make him further effective around the rim. It might also add fluidity and flexibility to his movements.
Moody is not an elite leaper and not among the quickest guards in his class so perfecting every skill, technique and craft advantage he can will be paramount to his development. Moody is already an excellent shooter, but continuing to work on getting his attempts off quickly and in off-balance and on the move situations will be important. Moody shows the craft and smarts to get the attention of the refs on his attempts and often makes body contusions during shot attempts, helping to get to the free-throw line and put opponents in foul trouble. This is a skill on its own and shows the potential Moody has by developing his skill and craft down the line.
While Moody will probably not be thought of as a superstar in the NBA, he will still be a highly coveted and impactful player who can add value to winning and be a successful 3&D player in the league for a long time. There is only one ball and not every player can be a high usage superstar. Moody’s ability to provide value away from the ball will almost certainly be prioritized by the most sophisticated NBA front offices.