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Doral Moore's Emergence is a Game Changer for the Wake Forest Basketball Program

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What Doral Moore means to the Wake Forest basketball program.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Doral Moore was the highest rated recruit in Wake Forest's well-regarded 2015 recruiting class. He was rated as the 61st best prospect in the class, while Bryant Crawford was ranked 86th, and John Collins was unranked, though he was a consensus 3.5 star recruit. Still, Wake Forest fans knew that Moore would take some time, as big men typically take longer than guards to develop, and he was already considered to be a bit of a project. He demonstrated some flashes of his talent early on in the season, but did not receive many minutes. The past four games, however, he has been fantastic over longer stretches of the games, and it should give Wake Forest fans a lot of optimism about the future.

Doral Moore has been a monster as of late. The 7'1" specimen has played 40 minutes over the past 2 contests, and scored 32 points (13-18 from the field), grabbed 15 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots. Obviously those kinds of numbers are not sustained for an entire game, but an average of 16 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks is remarkable, even in a small sample size. Not only that, in 22 combined minutes against Pittsburgh and North Carolina State, he scored 14 points (6-9 from the field), grabbed 12 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots. That is outstanding. Danny Manning deserves a ton of credit for developing Doral. This is why Manning recruited Doral so hard. His rim protection solves so many of our defensive issues, and will make our pick-and-roll defense so much better.

Prior to Moore's emergence, Wake was already receiving excellent production from both Crawford and Collins. Crawford is averaging more than 13 points and 4 assists per contest next year. He is almost a guarantee to make the all-freshman team in the ACC. He is fearless, and is also shooting nearly 37% from beyond the arc. Although John Collins wasn't as highly regarded as the others, there was no doubt from his highlight film that he was underrated. He showed his skill around the basket, and the offer from Miami also justifies what his true value was. His post moves have translated to the college level, and he is shooting 55% from the field, which is outstanding for a freshman big man. He has excellent rebound rates, and actually has a better offensive rebounding rate than does Devin Thomas.

The trio combined for 37 of the team's 58 points on Wednesday night against Notre Dame. They had the three highest offensive ratings on the team, and combined to shoot 15-33, while the rest of the team shot just 7-37. Collins and Moore, specifically, combined to shoot 12-22. The trio also accounted for 18 rebounds, 6 assists, and just 2 turnovers.

The term "foundation" has been used a lot in the Wake Forest athletic department over the last few years, and has been the butt of a number of jokes as well. With Moore's emergence, Wake Forest now has a very formidable foundation. Wake Forest will add Keyshawn Woods, who should be a starter next season.  They will have much better outside shooting next season.

Wake also has an open scholarship for next season, thanks to the dismissal of Cornelius Hudson. Wake Forest absolutely needs to be targeting a post-graduate transfer who can create the wing. That's really the only thing this team is missing. If the Danny Manning can land one, then the Deacs will be in business in a critical year three.

This is the kind of class you can build on. This season itself is essentially lost, but the freshman class is enough reason to keep watching. I have loved what I have seen recently from these three, and I cannot wait to see the three of them grow on the court together.