Mike Moser (Getty Images)
Portland native Mike Moser, a first-team all-Mountain West forward at UNLV during the 2011-12 season, has chosen his hometown Ducks over Washington and Gonzaga, his former AAU coach Kumbeno Memory confirmed via text Tuesday night. Moser is on track to graduate this spring, meaning he'll be able to play immediately and help fill the void at both forward spots left by the graduation of E.J. Singler and Arsalan Kazemi.
The ability of Moser to emulate the success fifth-year transfers Kazemi, Devoe Joseph and Olu Ashaolu enjoyed in their lone seasons at Oregon rests on whether he can regain the form he showed as a sophomore at UNLV.
An elite rebounder who defended multiple positions and scored effectively in transition, Moser contended for Mountain West player of the year that season, averaging 14.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He regressed in all facets of his game as a junior, hampered by a December elbow injury and overtaken in the frontcourt rotation by freshman Anthony Bennett and Pittsburgh transfer Khem Birch.
Moser sought to transition to small forward last season because it's likely the position he would have to play as a pro, but playing on the perimeter exposed his spotty outside shot and prevented him from making as big an impact on the glass. He averaged a modest 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds and shot only 36.9 percent from the field, becoming more and more of an afterthought as the season went along.
What will be important for Oregon is whether Moser embraces the idea of playing power forward in the Ducks' attack or if he still has visions of proving himself on the perimeter.
If Moser is healthy and happy playing at the four, he's capable of providing much of the rebounding Kazemi did while also thriving offensively in Oregon's high-octane transition attack. The Ducks also could add another impact transfer who could contribute right next season if 6-foot-9 former Memphis big man Tarik Black also chooses the Ducks.
This past March, Kazemi helped Oregon win the Pac-12 tournament and reach the Sweet 16 with his defense, rebounding and timely scoring. Moser fills that immediate need for the Ducks and will have every chance to make a similar impact.
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