Much in the fashion of Lavoy Allen after his junior season, Temple guard Ramone Moore will be filing paperwork today—Saturday—to declare for the NBA draft. Fortunately for the Owls, his eyes aren't exclusively on the pros just yet. Inquirer staff writer Keith Pompey is reporting that Moore is only making the move to increase his visibility for next season.
"I'm basically just testing the water just to see what the scouts think," said the 6-foot-4 shooting guard, who added that he will not hire an agent. "I'm trying to get in some workouts.
"I'm looking forward to coming back to school next year. This is just a good opportunity to show where I stand for next year."
Story updated after the jump...
Given Moore's impressive finish to the 2010-2011 campaign, a professional career is certainly not out of the question. Moore has the size, the talent and the knack for playing big in big moments. One more season at the helm of the Owls could/should/will hopefully make Ramone a viable candidate for the big stage next June.
According to Pompey in the link above, Moore is specifically looking for an invite to the New Jersey Nets' group workout on May 7-8, amongst other opportunities. All 30 NBA teams will send representatives to the Nets' exercise. He has until May 8th to remove his name from the draft and return to school for his senior year.
Update: Owlscoop.com's John DiCarlo, also mentioned below, is now breaking via Twitter that Moore has changed his mind in the intervening hours since the story was first reported and will not be filing draft paperwork after all.
Keith Pompey, following up on his original story, writes that the decision was reached after a Saturday conference call his family members and mentor.
"It was basically a family decision," Moore said, in a statement, about changing his mind. "We talked it over this morning and I realized that my main focus was to stay in school, earn my degree, and play my senior year at Temple."
According to a source, Moore "decided to enter his senior year at Temple without any distractions. He didn't want to make coach Fran Dunphy mad."
"He didn't want to make it seem all about him and his dream to make it in the NBA. That would have distracted from the team and the team's goal."
Dunphy would quickly quell any idea that he would be "mad" at Ramone for declaring, stating, "Ramone is always a team guy. He would be a team guy if he tested the waters, and a team guy if he didn't test the waters." Such a sentiment is largely unsurprising given both Dunphy's usually even-keeled temperment and the encouragement he gave Lavoy Allen during the same process last season. Moreover, Ramone's, at least reported, concern over coming off as in any way "selfish" is just another testament to his solid character and Dunphy's own track record of recruiting high-caliber personalities of the sort.
With his intent to return to school regardless of any possible involvement in draft workouts already stated, the end result will obviously remain the same, with Ramone in the Cherry & White for one last year.
Once that year is completed, coach Fran Dunphy will lose four of his five starters—Moore, Randall, Fernandez, Eric—to graduation.
As such, it's never too early for the program to start thinking about the future. Owlscoop.com editor John DiCarlo is reporting that Temple was recently so fortunate as to host Math, Sciences and Civics' sophomore Jeremiah Worthem for an unofficial visit.
The 6'6 swingman recently led his team to the PIAA Class A State Championship in a 70-55 win over Midland, PA's Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 2 steals. I had the opportunity to watch Worthem work out in the famed Conshohocken Donofrio Classic just a few weeks ago. The kid is every bit of 6'6 and a joy to watch play basketball. Still, his only potential Temple career is still a long way off and far from a certainty given the preponderance of other offers he is certain to receive.
In the meantime, Temple fans can look forward to a season led by an experienced, talented group of seniors, most notably, Ramone Moore.