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EYBL Notebook: Missouri target Moses Moody owns a smooth stroke — one that could be tough acquire

The wing out of Arkansas might be a tough get, but Mizzou is making early in-roads with other 2020 prospects with connections to Brad Beal Elite.

Moses Moody, left hasn’t been phased while playing up a year on Nike’s EYBL circuit.
Jon Lopez / Nike

WESTFIELD, Ind. — On a loaded Brad Beal Elite roster, Moses Moody might the most unassuming and most tantalizing prospect in the fold.

A sophomore out of North Little Rock, Ark., Moody’s lithe frame and fluid game belies his age. The 6-5, 180-pound wing, who is rated as the No. 28 prospect in 2020, leads BBE in scoring (16.9) — he scored 26 points twice last weekend — and is one the deadliest outside shooters (39 3FG%) on the circuit.

By and large, Missouri’s early offers in the 2020 class went to dynamic guards with the inclination to attack, especially in transition. Moody, who received an offer from MU on April 25, cuts against that grain with the ability operate off the ball and spring himself loose for looks.

BBE, for example, deployed smash sets, with players clustered near the block and a big setting a pin down that allowed Moody to bolt to corner for catch-and-shoot 3-pointer. He also plays at the right speed on staggers and the occasional flare screens. Moody, however, doesn’t settle for contested jumpers. Instead, he can put the ball on the floor, attack a hard close out and loft floaters over defenders rotating to help.

“I’ve been getting to the cup a lot more,” Moody said. “I’m a shooter, but when my shot’s not falling, I can get to the goal, because that’s what gets my shot falling.’

Given Martin’s recent edict about wanting to spread shooters all over the floor, Moody’s skill set aligns with the attributes MU is likely to covet. And that’s before you account for Moody’s even-keeled temperament.

“Nothing pushes him to the point where he’s [taken] out of his game,” BBE assistant coach Robert Kennedy said. “That’s going to have longevity — staying poised through good situations and bad situations.”

Moses Moody — EYBL Statistics

16.9 43.9 84.6 38.6 2.9 1.4 0.9 0.5 56 62.4

Extracting Moody from the Natural State won’t be an easy lift. Arkansas prospects have typically pledged early to the school on The Hill — Bobby Portis and, more recently, Daniel Gafford stand out — or have followed the path of Archie Goodwin and Malik Monk by pledging their services to a member of the sport’s aristocracy.

At the moment, though, Moody said the weight of the deciding whether to stay home hasn’t settled on his slender shoulders.

“There’s not really pressure for me,” said Moody, who recently picked up offers from Illinois, Texas, Texas A&M, Illinois and SMU. “I’m still young and in the process. If it’s the best choice, that’ll be the choice. If not, it’s not.”

Kasubke working to change perceptions

Marcus Fitzgerald was a split-second too late, but his mistimed lob pass might have altered perceptions of the intended recipient.

Sailing in toward the rim, Luke Kasubke reached back to try to eke the ball over the rim, only to see it glance off. “I was on my way down on that lob,” he said.

The mere fact Kasubke levitated for the would-be alley-oop might surprise those who think they have a firm grasp on the 6-foot-6 wing’s game from watching him suit up at Chaminade and for BBE’s 16U squad in the EYBL.

Heading into this summer, the scouting report on Kasubke read succinctly: catch-and-shoot threat. Now, the profile isn’t wrong — at Chaminade, Kasubke sank almost 43 percent of his 3-point attempts, putting up 45 more shots from behind the arc than the next closest member of the roster.

His shot selection, though, extended from Chaminade’s offense, which orbited around N.C. State-bound Jericole Hellems. When Hellems was harassed by double teams, it left Kasubke unattended for unobstructed looks at the rim.

“Something that’s always been underrated is my athleticism and my ability to attack,” Kasubke said.

Luke Kasubke — Chaminade Statistics

13 46.8 68.5 42.7 2.9 1.6 1.3 0.4 59 54.9

No one was surprised when MU extended offers last week to Cam’Ron Fletcher, the No. 54 prospect in 2020, and Caleb Love, who is rated 128th. The inclusion of Kasubke, however, raised some eyebrows.

Kasubke, who also has offers from SLU, Missouri State and UT-Martin, said MU’s has been in touch since it started recruiting Hellems last year, and assistant coach Chris Hollender periodically checks in. Meanwhile, he’s also hearing from Creighton, Xavier, Purdue, Kansas State, Illinois and Valparaiso.

Against City Rocks last Saturday, Kasubke used the final three minutes of the first half to dispel the notion that he can’t create offense for himself off the dribble.

On a fastbreak, he took a feed from Cam’Ron Fletcher on the left wing and glided to the rim to earn a hard foul and a trip to the line. A possession later, he used an elevator screen to work in a curl near the left elbow, throttling down to take a pass and get off a mid-range floater. Finally, he attacked a closeout on the right wing on a baseline drive that drew help and allowed Kasubke to lay the ball off to Fletcher.

“Somebody’s always too close up on me,” Kasubke said. “I can go past them. Or I’ll just read the play. If someone is trailing me off the screen, I’ll just attack the curl off it.”

It’s also a point of emphasis in his workouts this summer, along with adding a mid-range floater — a tool that would help Kasubke evolve into a three-level scoring threat.

Love next in St. Louis point guard pipeline

Caleb Love doesn’t need an outlet pass to spur a transition opportunity.

Last weekend, the point guard for Brad Beal Elite, who suits up for CBC in St. Louis, would yank down a rebound, use only three dribbles to push into the frontcourt and put the defense on its heels — all while scanning the floor for running mates Cam Fletcher and Luke Kasubke.

At the moment, a trio of veteran point guards — Webster Groves’ Courtney Ramey, Vashon’s Mario McKinney Jr. and Saint Mary’s Yuri Collins — might take up more space in the conversation as options for Mizzou, but Love is on track to stir plenty of chatter. Next month, he’ll take part in the Pangos All-American Camp and the Nike’s Elite 100 event, where stellar outings would only enhance his profile.

For its part, Missouri has been clued into Love for a while. He’s taken multiple visits to Columbia and another is in the works for June.

So it was inevitable last week that MU had Love among the early batch of scholarship offers it sent out to 2020 prospects, and the coaching staff trailed BBE’s 16U roster throughout last weekend keeping tabs on Love, Fletcher and Kasubke.

Caleb Love — CBC Statistics

18 53.3 73.8 35.1 3.5 3.6 1.9 0.5 58.3 62.1

“He told us he wouldn’t give us a soft offer,” Dennis Love said of the message relayed by coach Cuonzo Martin. “He wasn’t going to give an offer if he wasn’t really interested in a kid.”

While Love thrives in the open floor, he can also use ball-screens effectively to score at all three levels. He also has a refined pull-up jumper and floater he can use to generate quality shots in the mid-range. Watching him operate in half court sets, Love displayed an ability to shift speeds and make smart reads out of those ball-screen situations.

“I want to see his 3-pointer become more consistent,” Dennis Love said when asked about the next step in his son’s development. “But he’s asked to do so much and helps make the team go.”

Caleb’s stature may still have literal growth still in store, Dennis Love added. His son’s growth plates haven’t closed, and it’s possible he could stand 6-foot-5 when all is said and done. With that size, length, athleticism and skill level, the point guard would be a coveted commodity among college suitors.

“Obviously, it’s still so early for Caleb,” Dennis Love said. “His game still has room for growth.”