Will the injury affect J.J. Moore's start out of the gate? (Jamie Rhodes-US PRESSWIRE)
With the news that J.J. Moore will be out for the next few months recovering from an injury, on the surface it might not seem so bad. And Greg is right when he says that it's better for it to happen now than by the time November rolls around.
But the impact of the injury could be felt well into the season, even if Moore is healthy by then.
Moore struggled mightily in the beginning of the season. I wrote back last spring that while Moore was the popular choice, he might not even beat out Lamar Patterson. That was indeed the case and Moore was really an 'on-again off-again' type of player early this season. Through the first 2/3 of the season, he only scored in double figures only four times. That changed later in the year, though, and over the final 1/3, reached the 10-point mark nine times. Moore was a completely different player, but for some reason, it took a while for him to get more involved.
As Greg pointed out in that initial article, Moore will likely miss the Greentree Summer League with the injury. Yes, they're scrimmages and, yes, he wouldn't be playing with most of his teammates on his team. But getting quality game time in against good competition from local teams would still help.
If all goes as expected, Moore will be back sometime around the beginning of August. That's still a couple of months before the season, but he'll also just be getting back into the swing of things.
This doesn't mean anything when it comes to starting. There's little chance he's going to overtake Lamar Patterson. If Trey Zeigler gets his eligibility, I don't see Moore starting over him, either. And if Zeigler can't play this year, I think Moore will get the starting nod. So I'm not sure the injury will affect his chances to start - those things are probably out of his control.
But what it does do is put him a little behind. And after seeing him start slowly this year, that's not the greatest thing in the world.