Usually it doesn’t take long to realize how little the lead announcer and/or analyst has studied the Pacers. However, Jeff Van Gundy was the lead analyst on Wednesday and I always enjoy his perspective on the game and the Pacers in general. Although, he really surprised me when he took some time during the broadcast to excitedly praise Pacers second-year forward, Ben Moore.
Moore played for JVG with USA Basketball in the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifying in September. Here’s what Van Gundy had to say throughout a segment of the game:
Van Gundy: “I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about a guy who played for USA Basketball last fall in Ben Moore who is on the Indiana Pacers. He’s inactive tonight. That guy, Mark, straight winner. He could be on any team in the NBA. Energy, passion, enthusiasm, defense, tenacity, rebounding. He’s working diligently on his shooting. Those SMU guys that played for Larry Brown and Tim Janovich, I’ll sign up for all of them. They’re like the old Marquette guys. Tough, hard-nosed, nasty competitive. I love Ben Moore...This guy is going to go from a 2-way to a contract. There’s no way he’s spending time in the G-League...He plays so hard, so athletic... We get guys like Ben Moore, we will do just fine. I love Ben Moore.”
Moore was on a 2-way contract with the Pacers last year and signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for this year, making the roster to begin the season. Moore has yet to play for the Pacers and actually didn’t play a ton for Van Gundy in the two USA Basketball wins in September.
Both games were blow outs, so everyone on the roster saw double-digit minutes. Moore scored 9 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in 14 minutes in a win over Uruguay. He then followed that up with 8 points and 3 rebounds in 16 minutes against Cuba.
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