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YouTube Gold: The Brilliance Of Wendell Moore

And that’s probably an understatement

Florida State v Duke
DURHAM, NC - FEBRUARY 19: Wendell Moore Jr. #0 of the Duke Blue Devils collides with Tanor Ngom #11 of the Florida State Seminoles in the second half at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 19, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Remember when Wendell Moore got to Duke? He was clearly talented but not ready. He telegraphed passes and drives. It didn’t take much to undermine his confidence.

As a sophomore, he went through a dreadful shooting slump early. At one point, Coach K said something like “Wendell, God bless him, he’s been struggling.”

But we saw other stuff too. In his freshman year he hit an immortal tip-in to beat UNC in overtime in Chapel Hill. Last season he got out of his shooting funk and became a steady, reliable presence in a challenging year.

This year, he’s become one of the best players in the country. He’s a superb defender and has taken over most point guard responsibilities. He’s a superb passer, as we saw on this brilliant play against Florida State Saturday. Look how quickly he strikes! It’s a brilliant play.

But it’s not the one we want to talk about.

On this drive, after he picks up the loose ball and taking off, Moore sees FSU’s Harrison Prieto stalking him, angling for the block. So what does Moore do?

Instead of speeding up, he subtly slows down for a couple of steps so that he can set Prieto up for the foul. We watched this in real time and couldn’t believe it. Most guys would have sped up to try and get a clean dunk. Moore did the opposite. It was unbelievably smart and took a hell of a lot of nerve because he was opening himself up for (yet another) bad fall. Who does that?