PITTSBURGH — Few people probably realize that Taze Moore is the only University of Houston member to have made all-conference teams. But Moore knows. He digested the news – and has been using it as fuel ever since.
“Personally, yes,” Moore says when I ask him if he feels he has something to prove. “I didn’t have a conference all-star team and I just took that into account and wanted to be the best player on this team. Not for me, but for the team and the coaches.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel like I played my best basketball this year. And not being recognized, it kind of felt like a path to me,”
As if Taze Moore needed a reason to fly even higher. The Million Dollar Leg super jumper who UH assistant coach Kellen Sampson credits with giving the Cougars 29-5 athletic ‘swagger’ is one of the most explosive and creative dunkers in the game. all of college basketball. If Moore bursts into open ground at this NCAA tournament, America is in for a treat.
But Moore knows his game can be so much more than just SportsCenter highlights and YouTube clips shared on Twitter. Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson has drilled that house since the lanky athletic marvel appeared on the UH campus as the most misunderstood of the Cougars’ three transfer portal additions.
Moore is doing more than buying now. He had a huge impact on the American Athletic Conference tournament, absolutely dominating the first 10 minutes of the championship game with his defections, steals, defensive challenges coming out of nowhere and passing Taze Moore seemed to be everywhere. This 6-foot-5 blur of Plastic Man’s endless arms and legs will occupy Memphis coach Penny Hardaway’s nightmares for quite some time.
“I came here and just wanted to give it back to these guys and win,” Moore said. PaperCity.
Moore set out to take over the game with his unique set of skills that could rival anything Liam Neeson has ever brought. It capped an AAC Tournament run that saw Moore average 12.3 points, 6.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.67 steals per game.
“He’s just a complete player,” UH center Josh Carlton says when I ask about Moore. “I think he misunderstood. People think he’s a dunker, an energetic guy. Taze is a complete player.
He would finally get some recognition too, earning All-AAC Tournament Team honors. Moore is the only player of the five who did not make all-conference teams for the regular season.
It bounces. Something in which Taze Moore is an expert. A horrific right leg injury sidelined him for nearly two years. He went 634 days between games after breaking two bones and suffering not one, not two, not three. . . corn five leg surgeries. What Moore now calls his Million Dollar Legacy.
Moore and his leg found something new in Houston. A chance to be at their best on a team that is still talking about getting back to the Final Four and winning it between them. Crew chief Fabian White Jr. calls it “winning a natty.” Of course, Taze Moore will have to play his best basketball game after game, minute after minute, moment after moment for this deep-challenged Houston team to even have a chance to get close to a run like this.
Starting with Houston’s first-round game against a dangerous 27-7 UAB team Friday night at 8:20 p.m. Luckily for the Cougars, Taze Moore is currently playing the best basketball of his life.
“We’re talking about (young point guard) Jamal (Shead) feeling comfortable, but the guy who’s feeling comfortable now is Taze,” UH assistant coach Quannas White said. PaperCity. “He’s starting to do more. . . Taze is versatile. He can do so many things. And I think what happened here was that Coach Sampson was able to tighten up his game.
“It speaks to the type of guys we have here. Taza too. His character, buying.
Taze Moore believes in Houston’s own Yoda
Moore thinks that’s the least he can do. He credits Kelvin Sampson with changing his outlook on basketball and life in general. He calls Sampson “Yoda” and marvels at the myriad ways the lifelong Houston basketball coach teaches and pushes.
“He’s 66,” Moore says. “He has 43 years on me of things that I don’t even know, I don’t know. I better listen to it.
One thing Moore knows is how important those deflections, tricks, and defensive challenges that come out of nowhere are. The UH coaching staff sets a number of goals for these types of plays each game. These rooms are mapped with the fervor that Kanye follows where Pete Davidson is.
“We have a number that we’re trying to hit,” Moore says. “And if we don’t reach it, we get a little special punishment.” Moore smiles. Kelvin Sampson’s program is definitely different from his days at Cal State Bakersfield, where he could sometimes rely on his superior gifts. Now he approaches the game in a whole different way. More of a Sampson way.
Taze Moore will not be the player highlighted by television networks in this NCAA tournament. But he is anything but the fifth starter forgotten by his teammates. They know that what Moore does could determine how long their march lasts.
“Taze brings us a lot of energy with athletic plays,” UH guard Kyler Edwards said. “Being able to block shots, his huge dunks. But he is a complete player. He’s not a dunker. He can do anything. Just having it is a big part of our success.
Now Moore wears a chip on his shoulder, perfect for a Houston program of never forgetting your chip. Carlton, Edwards, Shead and Fabian White Jr. all ended up on one of the all-conference teams. First, second or third team. Taze did not. And he is not about to forget.
“Everything,” Moore says when I ask him what this race means to him. “That’s why I came here. Just to be a champion. Just being a Cougar is amazing. Especially with all the work we’ve done over the summer to get here.
It’s unclear how high Taze Moore can go now.
Learn about everything Tase Moore had to overcome to make it here in Pittsburgh to the big college basketball stage, from surgery after surgery to the seemingly endless grueling rehabilitation and best friend he’s lost. because of the violence, read PaperCity complete profile of the start of this season.