Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
For Ramone Moore, working out for various NBA teams hasn’t been too different from his old college workouts at Temple University.
“The only difference is you’re just competing way harder in front of more important people like the GMs, the CEOs, those kinds of people,” said Moore, the 2011-12 First-Team All-Atlantic 10 guard who leaves Temple hoping to become the second drafted Owl in as many seasons.
“My time at Temple, I’ve worked out with a lot of people who’ve done different drills and different things. A lot of…the drills and things that we’re doing at the workouts, I’ve done before, so that’s why I’ve been able to go in and do pretty well and just go out there and play.”
Last year, it was Lavoy Allen who was taken in the second round by the hometown Sixers; though the pick was initially seen as an afterthought, Allen ended up a fairly significant contributor to the Sixers’ surprising 2012 playoff run.
“I’ve been talking to Lavoy a lot and his process last year, and I’ve been talking a lot with (Temple forward) Mike (Eric) and his process this year,” Moore told CoBL by phone, “so nothing has surprised me; I knew how the whole process worked.”
Though the Temple Owls are the sixth-winningest program in men’s Division I history, that success hasn’t necessarily translated over to the draft. The Owls have had just three drafted players since 2000 and just one (Mardy Collins, 2006) in the first round–fewer than schools like Nevada (six draft picks since 2000), Boston College (five) and conference rival Xavier (six). It’s been 21 years since Temple has had players taken in consecutive drafts.
A 6-4 Philadelphia native and Southern High graduate, Moore has been traveling around the country over the last few weeks, from the Sixers to the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Milwaukee Bucks. And, just like the teams that have been doing their scouting on Moore, he’s been doing his own research.
“I’ve been looking mainly at the teams that I’ve worked out for and their positions and stuff like that but I really don’t really care,” he said about his potential destination. “Wherever I go, I just wanna go in and try to be the best player I can be, be the best teammate, work hard and try to get minutes on the floor and go from there.”
Though he’s met with a number of teams, the 23-year-old said he hasn’t yet received any indication when (or if) he’ll be drafted. NBADraft.net has Moore 61st overall on their board, which places him right on the edge of the 60-pick draft.
“I haven’t had any meetings with the coaches yet, but the GMs and the scouts and the CEOs, they’ve been a part of meetings. They don’t really give you a definite answer–I’m probably sure some people have, but I haven’t been given a definite answer on where I will go or anything like that.”
If Moore needs any inspiration, he can always to his former college teammate. Allen, a Pennsbury High grad,was at one point rated the worst player in the NBA before he’d even stepped on the court. He only ended up contributing 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in nearly 20 minutes per game in the postseason, playing a big role in limiting the effectiveness of Boston Celtics future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett.
“It was a great thing for Temple this year with a person like Lavoy out there on the court and playing for Philadelphia,” Moore said. “I think a lot of fans from Temple fans support Lavoy with the Sixers, which is another great thing.”
When he’s not working out for NBA teams, Moore can be found training in Houston with John Lucas II, a 14-year NBA veteran. Lucas’ son, John Lucas III, is currently with the Chicago Bulls after professional stints in Europe and China.
Fellow draft candidates Tyshawn Taylor, Will Barton, John Henson, Herb Pope and Kenny Frease have also taken part in Lucas’ training sessions, according to Moore, which are five days a week and include yoga on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in addition to morning and afternoon workouts.
Still, despite all the preparation and focus centered on the draft, Moore wasn’t planning on staying home to see if his name was called.
“I wasn’t gonna watch, I was actually gonna stay out and do something else just to get my mind off of it, just trying to wait on getting a call from my agent or somebody else,” he said. “My family wants me to watch it, so I think I’ll come home and watch it with them at the house.”
Moore called the whole process a “waiting game,” though with the draft just eight days away his game won’t have to last much longer.
“Just trying to be prepared,” he said, “and hopefully once that day comes, I’ll be taken. That’s the biggest thing I hope right now.”