Now that we are turning our attention to Arizona's 2014 class of prospects for girls basketball in the state, there are many prospects in the class that have already shown a considerable ability to play college basketball. We will be taking a closer look at each of the top-rated prospects in the class, as many of them are each already having major success within their respective high school programs.
One player that has risen to the top of the class with her performances over the last two high school seasons is Hamilton High School's skilled and crafty 5-foot-9 junior guard/forward Ashlee Moore. While helping lead a talented Hamilton HS team the last two seasons, Moore has proved her worthiness among the state's elite talents among girl prospects in the state.
While Moore's individual numbers have not been glaring, by any means, her worth as a player can not be measured by her statistics, as she is very valuable to her team and does a lot of the intangibles that help teams win ball games.
Since taking over the Hamilton HS girl's basketball program in 2007, head coach Jeff Kain has changed the basketball culture at the school for hirl's basketball - creating a winning tradition and turning out some of the best girl's basketball talent in the state. The past two seasons, the Huskies have been absolutely loaded with talent and have sported one of the best rosters of talent in Arizona - placing numerous girls in the college basketball ranks. Moore looks to be the next top prospect in line for the Huskies, as she has been the glue for a loaded team of prospects, and now will look to transform herself into more of a scoring role for her team next season.
This past season, Moore averaged 8.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.3 steals per/game, while helping lead Hamilton to a nice 27-6 overall record on the season in the Division-I Class. While Hamilton was among the favorites to win the Division-I state championship the last two seasons, they would see their season come up just short after running into the national powerhouse, the St. Mary's Knights, during both seasons.
The future continues to look bright for Hamilton and Moore is a big reason, as she will return next season to help lead the Huskies back to the top of the Division-I Class. Next season the St. Mary's Knights will lose a lot to graduation and become much more vulnerable, which will provide an opportunity for the Huskies to win it all. If Hamilton can make it happen next season, it will take a strong effort from Moore.
Moore is as versatile a performer as there is in the state. Her ability to handle the basketball in the open floor, post up, score off the dribble and shoot the basketball from the perimeter all make her a difficult match-up for opposing players. She is able to create match-up problems for bigger defenders with her quickness, and for smaller defenders as a result of her physical strength, size and toughness. She is a prototypical mismatch for opposing teams and players. Moore is capable of playing numerous positions on the floor - able to play either guard or either forward spot on the floor, depending on time and score in the game and match-ups. She can be seen often handling the basketball in the open floor and making plays for herself or others - something she seems to be very good at and should only continue to develop over time. She is a good penetrator and finisher in the lane, and is capable of getting to the free-throw line quite often.
She is also a very good defender, and is able to defend just as many positions on the floor - her best asset as a player. She has very good lateral quickness for her size and is able to beat her opponent to the spot on the floor. She often causes turnovers by ball handlers with her anticipation in the passing lanes as well. She is also a tough, hard-nosed rebounder for her size that puts a body on someone and gets good inside position - often keep offensive plays alive with her activity on the offensive glass.
Where Moore will need to continue to improve for the collegiate level will be in her ability to make shots from the perimeter out to three-point distance. While she is a capable three-point shooter, she often gets the majority of her offense at the basket, around the basket and from mid-range. She will need to become more of a consistent threat from the perimeter to raise her overall game and improve her offensive ability to play against much better competition in the future. Currently, she is able to overpower most defenders and does not need to rely on shooting the long-ball to be effective. A left-handed shooter, Moore is already difficult to defend as a result of her unorthodox shooting stroke, but adding range to her shot will add to her overall approach to the game.
This spring and summer should be a big one for Moore as she looks to develop into Hamilton's consistent top performer, and also looks to raise her recruiting stock with division-I college programs. She is currently rated as our #6 overall prospect in Arizona's 2014 class, so college coaches should be all over her as a college prospect already. A strong performance this off-season will do a lot for her development as an elite college prospect.
Keep an eye out for Ashlee Moore as she looks to lead her Hamilton program back to the top of the state's Division-I Class.