After playing less than 5 minutes per game in just 15 contests for a 14-18 UCLA squad as a freshman in 2009-2010, Mike Moser sat out last season as a redshirt transfer at UNLV. Through sixteen games as a sophomore in 2011-2012, that move looks to have paid off, as he's off to a fantastic start to the season, producing at a high level against a very competitive early-season schedule.
Moser plays as a face-up power forward for Coach Dave Rice at UNLV and could be viewed that way by some NBA teams for his future prospects, but as a smooth 6'8” athlete with a long, developing frame, he should also be able to slide over to small forward as he adds polish to his perimeter skills, where he stacks up well from a physical standpoint with his excellent quickness and explosiveness.
Perhaps Moser's biggest impact this season has been on the boards, where his 15 rebounds per forty minutes places him in the top five of all prospects in our database. Despite not being the strongest or bulkiest of players around the basket, he's bouncy, and shows an excellent activity level and nose for the ball. Often able to outquick opponents in pursuit of loose balls, Moser regularly goes out of his area with his long wingspan. This is clearly a skill that he can hang his hat on as he refines his skill-set and establishes the best way to utilize his talents in a NBA game.
On the offensive end, Moser has proven to be a matchup nightmare at the power forward spot for some teams, utilizing his versatility, where he's able to get out in transition, finish around the rim, and crash the offensive glass. If the situation calls for it he can also step out the perimeter and make spot-up and pick-and-pop jumpers, or attack slower players off the bounce in a straight line.
Much of Moser's versatility is highlighted in transition, where he shows the ability to handle the ball and attack the basket or utilize his court vision to find a teammate. When filling the lanes, his excellent athleticism allows him to beat his man down the floor and finish at the rim, while he can also run to the arc to spot up and knock down shots from 3-point range.
Moser is shooting just 34% from 3-point range so far, and he doesn't have the smoothest release, but he doesn't lack any confidence as a shooter and has shown in spurts that he's capable of getting hot from behind the arc, including making 6 of 9 attempts against Santa Barbara and going 3-4 against Cal. If he continues to put in the work on his jump shot, while becoming a bit more selective with when to fire away from deep, he'll have the opportunity to make himself into a reliable 3-point threat.
Defensively, Moser needs some work to be able to compete at the NBA level. His lack of bulk, particularly in the lower body, hurts him when defending in the post, as bigger, stronger players are able to establish position against him and muscle him around. His length and athleticism could allow him to eventually defend NBA small forwards, but he'll need to improve his defensive fundamentals and get used to chasing players around on the perimeter.
Moser's physical profile gives him a nice framework to build on defensively, though, and he's shown that he's capable of being disruptive and causing turnovers, as evidenced by his 2.3 steals per forty minutes, which ranks him among the top 5 power forwards in our database.
Overall, Moser has been one of the most pleasant surprises in college basketball thus far, and although his identity as an NBA player may still be uncertain, his length, athleticism, versatile skill set, and rebounding prowess make him a very intriguing player for teams to continue to evaluate throughout the season.
His UNLV team has the size, depth, talent and experience to compete with anybody, so Moser may have the opportunity to showcase his game on the big stage, where he and the Rebels will try to make some noise in the NCAA tournament. [Read Full Article]