Senior guard Isaiah Moss’ shooting ability could be one of the most important parts of the offense for Kansas men’s basketball.
Not only can Moss make the 3-point shot, his prowess from beyond the arc can also provide Kansas with the spacing it needs for a more efficient offense.
“He’ll make us play much better offensively. And the other thing is, I thought he had a good pace and demonstrated some poise. I don’t think he looked rushed at all offensively,” coach Bill Self said after Kansas’ 74-62 win against UNC Greensboro Friday.
Last year as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes, the graduate transfer made three or more 3-point shots six times, including a 6-for-10 performance against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Jan. 27.
In his Jayhawk debut, Moss played 25 minutes against UNC Greensboro after missing the season opener against the Duke Blue Devils because of a hamstring injury. He shot 3-for-7 from the field, including 2-for-6 from the three-point range.
He started the second half as part of coach Self’s four-guard lineup against UNC Greensboro and scored two baskets in the midst of an 8-0 that extended Kansas’ lead to 48-34 with 16:09 left.
If the hamstring injury doesn’t nag him, Moss should also see significant minutes because the Jayhawks are down to just nine players after freshman forward Jalen Wilson broke his ankle.
“If we’re going to play four guards, we’re down to six players that can play those four guard slots. So, all of them are going to have to be important players for us,” Self said.
His tendencies, including the inclination to catch and shoot, can complement the Jayhawks’ offense well.
He can space the floor for sophomore guard Devon Dotson to drive past a defender in one-on-one situations, or if Dotson gets double-teamed, he can kick it out to Moss for an open shot.
Not only can the spacing alleviate pressure on Dotson and junior guard Marcus Garrett, who should have the ball in his hands more than he did in the past, it can also give senior Udoka Azubuike more room to work.
It’s evident the team’s priority is to limit the 7-foot center’s touches, however, Moss’ presence can cause teams to use fewer help defenders and double teams on Azubuike.
Given Moss’ shooting ability and the Jayhawks’ need for spacing, he could continue to be the first man off the bench and could earn himself a spot in the team’s lineup at the end of games.