The reigning SEC Rookie of the Year, Moody showed in his one and only season that he is more than ready to contribute to an NBA team. The freshman helped Arkansas to a 25-7 record, earning the Razorbacks a third seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Arkansas made it all the way to the Final Four, where the Razorbacks were eliminated by the eventual champion, Baylor.
A Montverde Academy graduate, Moody was the highest-rated player to sign with Arkansas since five-star Bobby Portis in 2013. Playing 33.8 minutes per outing, the freshman wing averaged 16.8 points (third in the SEC), 1.6 assists, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.7 combined steals and blocks per game, with shooting splits of .427/.358/.812. Those numbers might not be overly impressive, but consider that he also led the team with 162 deflections, had a plus-minus rating of 7.4 (sixth in the SEC), had an offensive rating of 119.8 (third in the conference), and finished fifth in the country with 151 free throws made. At the end of his freshman campaign, Moody was named First-Team All-SEC, and he was given Freshman of the Year honors by the SEC coaches.
|Birthday:||05/31/2002||Nationality:||United States (Little Rock, AR)|
|Shot Hand:||Right||Stats:||Click here|
The enticement with Moody’s game is his potential as a 3-and-D wing, a key component for success in today’s NBA. Players such as the Suns’ Mikal Bridges and the Bucks Khris Middleton were major contributors to their respective clubs’ runs to the NBA Championship series. Moody, a lengthy wing with a good size (7’0.75’’ wingspan), has positional versatility on the defensive end. He is not an elite athlete, but he is fluid laterally and is capable of quickly changing direction. He also plays with effort and intelligence (an AD’s Honor Roll selection for the Fall 2020).
Offensively, his best skill is shooting stroke, which is smooth and consistent. His release is a tad slow, but also high, which allows him to make contested shots at a good rate. Jumpers accounted for 66 percent of his half-court attempts this past season, as the rest of his offensive game is a work in progress. Moody struggles to create space between himself and the defender on a routine basis. He lacks the first-step explosiveness to get that little advantage on his defender, and on top of that, he is missing the elite dribbling skills that could buy him additional space. Presently, I can’t see him being a primary ball handler for Golden State.
- Reliable jump shooter, capable off screens, the catch and the dribble; ranked at the 71st percentile for points per possession on all half-court jumpers this season.
- Potential executing the pick-and-roll — as a scorer (PPP), ranked at the 98th percentile as a P&R handler (31 possessions).
- Very productive from the foul line — averaged 5.8 FTA per game (third in SEC), and made better than 81 percent of his attempts.
- Ball security — among players with at least 100 possessions this season, ranked at the 89th percentile with a turnover percentage of 10.4.
- Good rebounding wing, who is not afraid to bang under the basket; scored 26 times this season on put-backs, making 70.3 percent of his attempts.
- Versatile defender:
- isn’t afraid of contact and to challenge ball handlers
- has good lateral quickness and a commitment to stick with his player
- has above average reaction time
- defends with awareness, seemingly at the right spot all the time
- can recover quickly due to his size and length
- Positive intangibles — has a good feel for the game and is a vocal leader.
- Limited handle and average athleticism limits his offensive game:
- ranked at the 34th percentile for PPP in transition this season
- made just 33 percent of his shots via half-court drives, including 36 percent within seven feet
- Not an overly effective passer, lacking vision and creativity; analytically, his efficiency significantly drops when including assists and/or the results of passes.
- Shooting motion is deliberate and slow; ranked at the 54th percentile for PPP on guarded catch-and-shoot attempts, compared to the 80th percentile when unguarded.
- Relies too much on jumpers, and struggles when shots are not falling; in the SEC and NCAA tournaments combined (last six games of the season), made just seven of his 30 three-point attempts (23 percent), and over the same span, shot 37 percent from the field, averaged 14.2 PPG, with a total of three assists and 14 turnovers.
The 19-year-old Moody has plenty of time to develop, but his average athleticism and limited offensive game are a concern — he appears to be a high-floor, low-ceiling prospect due to his lack of offensive creativity. At a minimum, the Arkansas native has to speed up his jump shot and attack closeouts better, and if he can achieve those things, he should be no worse than a reliable 3-and-D contributor at the NBA level, which is exactly what the Warriors want from him. With Golden State, he will be tutored by some of the greatest shooters to ever play, which bodes very well for the young man.
Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements
Stats used in our scouting reports come from Synergy Sports Technology, RealGM.com, and Sports-Reference.com. Other outside sources are noted with links to the source. Click here to see the statistical abbreviation key.