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J.J. Moore's Houdini Act Not Helping Pitt

I mentioned this briefly during the Notre Dame recap, but J.J. Moore hasn't exactly lived up to expectations this season offensively. Specifically, he's been doing his best Gilbert Brown routine this year.

If you'll remember, Gil was maybe about as hot and cold as any Pitt player in recent memory scoring double figures one night and almost being shut out the next. Moore is unfortunately following in his footsteps. He's averaging a respectable seven points per game this season as a sophomore, but it's really been feast or famine for him.

For starters, Moore has yet to have back-to-back games when he's produced in double figures. In five games, he's surpassed his season average, but in seven of Pitt's 14 contests, he's scored five points or less. Moore's also been shut out on three occasions this season, including the loss against Notre Dame on Tuesday.

It goes without saying that Pitt needs, pardon the pun, more out of Moore. And when you consider how much the team has struggled offensively this season, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that he should be stepping up a bit more. It's also not as if Moore is shooting horribly - at 44%, his shooting percentage is better than Lamar Patterson's and Ashton Gibbs' so far this season.

The other thing is that Moore's production isn't clearly defined by his minutes. In general, he has scored more when he's played more, but he's also had nights when he's been given significant playing time and barely produced. In 17 minutes against Wagner, he only had four points. In 16 minutes against Duquesne, he only had five, and in 15 minutes against the Irish, he was shut out. Nine points in nearly 50 minutes of action might be fine for some players, but it's definitely not enough for a guy with the reputation of a scorer.

Before the season began, he was cited as a breakout player by and the Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo. The potential's there for him to do more and it's easy to see. It's frustrating to see Moore completely disappear at times on offense because we've seen what he can do.

Point blank, Moore has to focus on picking Pitt's offense up a bit and being more aggressive.

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