In a season with plenty of unknowns for Syracuse, redshirt freshman Matthew Moyer is perhaps the biggest question mark. Moyer hasn’t played in a game that counts for SU, but was called the Orange’s most experienced forward at media day by Jim Boeheim. While that doesn’t seem to add up, it makes more sense when you consider that Moyer practiced with the team throughout last season. The Gahanna, Ohio native was also with the team last year to experience all the highs and lows that came with the 2016-17 season.
With such a young team this year, Moyer has been thrusted into a starting role. He’ll get the start in the frontcourt along with freshman Oshae Brissett and junior Paschal Chukwu. At six feet eight inches tall, Moyer has the capability to guard both wing and post players.
In terms of playing in the zone, Moyer says being with the team last year certainly helps him in that aspect. It’s crucial for this Syracuse team that Moyer can accel defensively. Chukwu and Bourama Sidibe are going to block shots, but can guys like Moyer guard the perimeter and protect the corners? That’s the million dollar question.
In the second preseason game against Southern Connecticut State, Moyer struggled to guard the perimeter. The Owls hit three consecutive three-pointers to start the game, two of which were in the area that Moyer was responsible for. His defense was much better in the second half, but expect there to be an adjustment period. You can simulate defense in practice all you want, but Moyer still needs time to adjust to playing at the college level.
In high school, Moyer was recognized as the 2016 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year. During his time at South Kent School, he led the Cardinals to numerous wins against big time programs. In the National Prep Showcase, Moyer’s 27 points and eight rebounds led the Cardinals to a 100-80 win over Montverde Academy. The Cardinals lost in the semi-finals of the NEPSAC Tournament, despite 23 points from Moyer.
Off the court, Moyer is quite the renaissance man. Before transferring to South Kent School, he played the violin in the Lincoln High School Orchestra. He also spent some of his free time playing chess as a member of Lincoln’s chess club. At Syracuse, Moyer is a student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, one of the most prestigious journalism schools in the nation.
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