The process of finding the right fit between player and team can often be rocky, and because of it, transfer rates are at an all-time high in the NCAA. Some players do well after they transfer to a new school, but it almost unheard of for a player to transfer schools twice and be successful on the court for 2 different teams. Oregon’s Mike Moser can always say he was one of the players who made the most of those chances.
After attending UCLA as a freshman and playing very little, Moser decided to transfer to UNLV and then-coach Lon Krueger. Moser had to sit out for a season due to NCAA rules. After that season, Krueger left for Oklahoma and Dave Rice took over the team.
“Sitting out for that year was a hard year,” said Moser. “It was just a really long year of being in the gym and working hard.”
Once he had the chance to play, Moser wasted no time in making up for that year. In his first game for the Rebels, Moser scored 16 points and grabbed 20 rebounds against Grand Canyon University. Later that November, Moser would score 16 points and grab 18 rebounds against North Carolina. “I think all the work I did during that year out carried over as soon as I stepped on the court,” said Moser.
Moser’s early success at UNLV made him a known name among college basketball fans, and many people were already anticipating when Moser would go professional.
Despite posting a season-average 14 points and 10.5 rebounds his sophomore year, Moser elected to stay at UNLV for his junior season. Moser’s junior year was off to another good start until a game at California that December in which Moser dislocated his elbow. He would end up missing the next 3 weeks of play, and made a surprising return to the team later that month. The rest of his year was up and down, and he often seemed to be forgotten by Coach Dave Rice.
“After the elbow injury, I just came back way too early to try and play,” explained Moser. “I kept re-injuring it all year long.”
Having graduated from UNLV after that season, Moser decided it was best for him to take advantage of the NCAA rule which allows players who have graduated and still have a year of eligibility to transfer without waiting out a year.
Moser decided to finish his college career at Oregon. “It was an opportunity to get back home,” said Moser, who is from Portland. “I really wanted the chance to get to play in front of my friends and family after being away for 4 years.”
Moser was rejuvenated playing for the Ducks, and he was an essential part of a team that won 24 games and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. For the season, Moser averaged over 13 points and almost 8 rebounds per game, while shooting a career high 38% from three-point range.
With his college career behind him, it was easy for Moser to see how he has grown as a player. “Playing over 100 career games and getting to the NCAA Tournament multiple times really helped me develop my basketball IQ,” said Moser. “I also worked hard to become a better shooter and rebounder.”
Moser’s growth wasn’t all on the court. “Having transferred twice and being exposed to all types of coaches and players, I learned what it takes to be a leader,” Moser explained. “Also, having to deal with the elbow injury and what came after, I really learned how to deal with adversity and come back stronger.
As he prepares to audition for NBA teams, Moser has been working out in his home state of Oregon, making sure he is prepared. “I’ve been working a lot on strength and conditioning,” said Moser. “Also, I’ve been working on things like becoming a more consistent shooter, plus my ballhandling, so I can show teams that I can play out on the perimeter.”
Moser has been known to NBA people for some time, and he has a good idea what makes him a prospect to teams. “Being 6’8-6’9 with a 7’2 wingspan, and having the skill to handle the ball, make plays, run the floor and shoot, helps set me apart,” explained Moser. “Also, I’m a student of the game and I have learned a lot over the last couple of years.”
He also has a key area he is working on in preparation to play professional basketball. “I’m really working on preparing for the physicality of the pro game,” said Moser. “I want to enhance my physical attributes, like my vertical leap and lateral movement, as well as filling out my body.
With his experience, athletic ability and skill, Moser knows how he can be an asset right away for any team. “I can come in and play the 3 or the stretch 4 on offense,” said Moser. “Also, I’m able to guard different positions, but it can be hard for teams to guard me.”
After his college journey, Moser just wants the chance to show what he is really capable of doing. “At the end of the day, I love basketball more than life itself,” said Moser. “I’m a student of the game, I’m passionate about it, and I just want it so bad.”
Don’t be surprised if teams also see Moser’s passion, skill, and athleticism, and they look for ways to keep him around come next season.
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