Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year three times.
Moody says farewell to Razorbacks
Arkansas guard Moses Moody (5) looks to the scoreboard during the second half of an Elite 8 game against Baylor in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis. Baylor won 81-72. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
FAYETTEVILLE — Moses Moody is headed to the NBA after one season playing for the University of Arkansas.
Moody, a 6-6 guard from Little Rock, announced Friday he is entering the NBA Draft and will sign with an agent rather than return to Arkansas for his sophomore season.
The announcement wasn’t a surprise considering Moody has been projected to be a first-round pick — and possibly go in the lottery, which includes the first 14 picks — by numerous draft websites.
Moody, who turns 19 on May 31, will be the Razorbacks’ first one-and-done NBA player.
Players who previously left Arkansas after their sophomore seasons were Joe Johnson, the No. 10 pick overall in 2001; Bobby Portis, the No. 22 pick in 2015; Daniel Gafford, the No. 38 pick in 2019; and Isaiah Joe, the No. 49 pick last year.
“We fully support Moses and his family in the decision to enter the NBA Draft,” Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman said in a statement. “We were excited last spring when they trusted us to continue his basketball journey.”
Musselman previously was an NBA head coach with the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.
“I’ve said it many times that Moses handles his day-to-day business like a pro and he will be ahead of the curve when he starts his professional career,” Musselman said in his statement. “Moses was able to showcase his many talents in our system – including being our leading scorer and second-best rebounder – and we believe he continued to make improvements throughout the year to put himself in this position.
“We will continue to work with Moses and his family as well as do all we can with our connections in professional basketball to promote Moses.”
Moody was voted a first-team all-SEC pick by the coaches and media, and also was voted the conference’s freshman and newcomer of the year. He was an Associated Press honorable mention All-American.
Starting all 32 games this season, Moody averaged team-highs of 16.8 points and 33.8 minutes along with 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals.
In SEC games, Moody’s averages increased to 17.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 34.8 minutes.
Moody helped Arkansas to a 25-7 record and advance to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight for the first time since 1995.
After playing at Little Rock Parkview as a high school freshman and at North Little Rock as a sophomore, Moody played two seasons at Montverde Academy in Florida before signing with Arkansas last year.
“I came home to right the ship, to help spark the movement that put Arkansas back on the map,” Moody said in a Twitter post, in which he also thanked the Arkansas coaching staff, his teammates and Razorbacks fans. “And I wanted to be part of a team that would be remembered as winners.”
With Moody’s decision to enter the draft and Friday’s announcement that Stanley Umude has signed with Arkansas as a graduate transfer from South Dakota, the Razorbacks have one scholarship available if no other players leave the team.
The Athletic and NBADraft.net project Moody as the No. 7 pick. Among other mock drafts, Bleacher Report projects him as the No. 9 pick, NBADraftRoom.com No. 10, CBSSports.com No. 12, BasketballNews.com No. 14 and ESPN No. 21.
Moody scored his season high of 28 points four times — against Alabama, South Carolina, Texas A&M and LSU.
“Moody is an elite level three-point shooter who is one of the best overall shooters in his class,” NBADraftRoom.com wrote in a scouting report. “He’s got an effortless release and is deadly accurate from downtown.
“He’s young for his class, but can hold his own against much older competition thanks to his great size for position and that sweet shooting stroke. He’s got broad shoulders and a solid frame which will carry more weight as he grows.”
NBADraftRoom.com compared Moody to Allan Houston, the former Tennessee star who was the No. 11 pick in the 1993 NBA Draft and averaged 17.3 points in 12 seasons with the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.
“Moody is much more than just a catch-and-shoot player,” the scouting report said. “Moody plays a complete game, challenging on defense, holding his own as a rebounder and making plays in transition. He’s got a nice feel for scoring in the lane and a smooth mid-range game.
“Moody is developing the ability to be a primary ball handler and get his own shot and he’s a very willing passer who understands team concepts and doesn’t let the ball stick in his hands. His dribble drive game is not yet a strength but shows promise.”
Moody shot 42.7% from the field (165 of 386), 35.8% on three-pointers (58 of 162) and 81.2% on free throws (151 of 186).
The NBA Draft is scheduled to be held July 29. The lottery order is scheduled to be determined June 22 with the scouting combined scheduled for June 21-27.
“To Razorback nation (from every corner of the state), thank you for calling the hogs and taking this ride with us,” Moody wrote on Twitter. “Somehow you made it seem like we were playing in front of a packed house every night.
“I hope I made you proud in the process and showed you what can happen when you support homegrown talent.”
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