Boys Basketball: Bolingbrook's Ben Moore chooses SMUBolingbrook's Ben moore shoots over a group of Neuqua Valley defenders during the Class 4A regional at Bolingbrook High School on Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2011. (Corey R. Minkanic~Sun-Times Media)
Updated: October 16, 2012 9:04PM
There haven’t been many recruitments like the one Bolingbrook’s Ben Moore just went through.
The wild ride ended with a commitment to coach Larry Brown and SMU Tuesday afternoon. Moore’s commitment marks the second Chicago-area product the Mustangs have secured in the last week. Moore will join Proviso East senior Sterling Brown in Dallas next year. Brown committed to SMU on Sunday.
“I really wanted to stick with those who believed in me and my ability from the very beginning,” Moore said. “SMU and coach Brown believed in me. This coaching staff was great. I feel like I will definitely get better as a player there and quickly. I like the direction the team is going in, and I like the fact they are moving to the Big East. I want to play against that type of competition.”
Larry Brown, a coaching icon who has won NCAA and NBA titles, became fixated with Moore while watching the long, lanky forward during the July evaluation period. Brown, along with assistant Jerrance Howard, made Moore a priority over the past three-plus months. While watching Moore in July, Brown was enamored with his motor, length and upside.
“The very first time coach Brown saw Ben play he called me immediately,” Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. “He recognized all the things Ben could do as a player, how he could handle [the ball], pass it, his basketball IQ. There was no doubt coach Brown thought Ben could play at the highest level.
“From the start he said if he was coaching at Kansas or Kentucky or anywhere in the country that he would recruit Ben Moore. When a coach with his résumé and his stature thinks that and conveys that, that’s big.”
Moore’s rapid rise has been well documented. He sported just one offer midway through his junior year, courtesy of IPFW. By the time the summer rolled around he was on the mid-major map. July came and went and the likes of SMU and Colorado State were among his final three.
But when the doors opened for fall open gyms, Moore’s recruiting world turned upside down. The 6-8 senior received offers from Missouri, Illinois, DePaul, Minnesota and Northwestern. Moore, his family and Brost had to turn away at least a half dozen other schools trying to get in the mix.
Moore was insistent on finding the right fit. He believes he found that at SMU, although the recruiting process proved to be difficult.
“At the end I was looking for every little thing to separate the schools as they were all good choices,” Moore said of his decision. “But SMU has everything I’m looking for. Plus, I had a lot of help in this from those close to me and appreciate all that they have done for me, including my family, coach Brost, coach Rodney Davis from Illinois Attack and Marvin Manning.”
Moore has climbed the Hoops Report player rankings, as well. He’s now among the top 10 prospects in the state of Illinois in the Class of 2013.