Special to ZAGSBLOG
NEW YORK — Even following a tough loss to Long Island Lutheran on Monday at the Big Apple Basketball Invitational at Baruch College, Linden coach Phil Colicchio did not hesitate much when asked if he would put Quadri Moore’s name alongside the top prospects in the state like Roselle Catholic junior point guard Isaiah Briscoe and Kentucky-bound senior forward Karl Towns of St. Joseph’s-Metuchen.
“I’m not going to say anything to put Karl Towns down ‘cause he’s a heck of a player and [Isaiah] Briscoe,” Colicchio told SNY.tv following his team’s 64-58 loss. “I will say this, I think Quadri Moore is the most complete player in [New Jersey] basketball. I’m talking about passing, shooting, rebounding, dribbling and banging inside.”
The 6-foot-8 Cincinnati commit did not have one of his best games of the season, but he still managed to finish with 16 points despite an unusually poor shooting game from behind the arc where he went 0-4. He did not speak with the media following the game.
“Quadri is an extremely tough matchup,” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff told SNY.tv. “He scores in the post with his back to the basket. He can face at 15 feet and shoot or drive and he can shoot it to 23 feet. He’s playing like the state Player of the Year right now.”
But Boff added this about his player, Briscoe, who debuted Monday with a 24-point, 6-rebound performance.
“That being said, with all the respect I have for Quadri and Karl, people haven’t seen Isaiah play yet this year and I think he could certainly come out and prove he’s the best player in New Jersey,” Boff said.
Colicchio, of course, stands by his guy, pointing to his ability to get teammates involved, too.
“Quadri’s best part of his game, I keep telling everybody, he’s a great passer,” Colicchio said. “People haven’t seen that part of his game yet, but they’ll see it when he gets to college. So you know, I’ll leave that up to you guys who’s the best player, but I’m a little prejudiced. I’ve coached the kid for four years so naturally I think he’s the most complete player.”
Long Island Lutheran coach John Buck agreed with Colicchio on how versatile Moore’s game is and also spoke about how his team’s defense needed to adapt to contain a player of Moore’s caliber.
“You don’t see many guys like that, that can stretch you to the 3-point line, and are also good back to basket,” Buck said. “He just has so much ability to score from all different areas that your help has to come from different spots and you’re just not used to it. He’s a phenomenal player.”
While Moore’s outside shooting touch was absent during Monday’s game, he still shot 6-of-8 inside the arc, with several of the makes coming on impressive fadeaway jumpers that were often contested. Moore’s inside-out potential could provide match-up nightmares for years to come.
“Quadri Moore’s best basketball is still ahead of him,” Colicchio said.
Photo: (Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)