Rather than a full on preview for each player on the roster this year we will be attempting to focus on one question that will determine how the player might fit on the team. The questions aren’t designed to carry either a positive or negative connotation, just really suss out how the roster is built. We’ll start with the freshman and build on to the players everyone knows. Read all of our preview so far.
“Moore had surgery after his junior season after learning he had played most of the season on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.” So begins the story of how Bryce Moore landed at Xavier. A high school teammate of Trevon Bluiett who already knew Travis Steele, Moore was looking for a familiar fit when he transferred. That ACL tear? It happened five games into a season where Moore would average over 30 minutes per game and put up a line of 9.8/2.6/1.5. Having finished his schooling in the year he missed, Moore was a coveted grad transfer coming into this season.
Xavier has a long history of transfer guards making an impact. You can go as far back as Drew Lavender, focus on Tu Holloway, or just look at Kyle Castlin splashing threes against Creighton last season to see a guard coming to Xavier after starting elsewhere and having success. Two of those guys came in and ran the team. That won’t be what Moore is expected to do, in fact, he rather closely fits the mold of another transfer guard in Xavier history.
Remy Abell came to Xavier from Indiana as a passable three point shooter with a low usage rate in his two years as a Hoosier. Standing 6-4, 197 Abell was the same weight as Moore is now and an inch taller. What both players bring is a reputation for tenacity on defense and a willingness to get after on both ends of the floor. In his last full season, and on a torn ACL, Moore shot 40% behind the arc in 160 attempts. His 113 offensive efficiency is close to the 115 Abell posted as a junior. Moore and Abell both are capable of shutting down an opposing guard on their day.
That’s not to say the two are mirror images of one another. Moore is more comfortable with the ball in his hands and had an incredibly low 11.9% turnover rate in his last season. Bryce is also somewhat more likely to venture into the paint to snag a rebound and has hovered around a 10% defensive rebounding rate for his entire career.
Like most transfers into Xavier, Moore leaves a program where the surrounding talent doesn’t compare to what he’ll have for teammates now. With all respect to the Broncos squad that finished 188th in the nation that year, the 144th best offense 235th best defense is a far cry from a team with Naji Marshall, Paul Scruggs, Tyrique Jones, and Quentin Goodin. Moore will walk in as a complimentary piece with the ability to play lock down defense. The pieces are all in place for him to walk out as another name to add to the list of impact transfers.