Monday, June 02, 2008

Something About Biorhythms And Basketball

“I quit,” Robinson countered and left the gym.

Just like that.

The way Robinson remembers it, the event happened before the Mountaineers played a pair of consecutive road games — at Duquesne and at Notre Dame — but the box scores on shows that Robinson missed only the Notre Dame game.

In fact, against Duquesne, he scored 16 points while Moore was warming up with 37 points, including 13 for 13 from the free throw line.

But the team took off for Notre Dame, having to face a Notre Dame team that included Orlando Woolridge, Kelly Tripucka, Dave Batton and Bill Hanzlik without Robinson.

The coaching staff obviously knew they were in trouble.

“You know coaches,” Moore said, “they’ll do anything to make you play better.”

At the time, checking one’s biorhythms was the rage, a cycle that is supposed to be able to predict what kind of day you will have.

“Early in the day they said something about my biorhythms and said this would be my worst day of the year,” Moore recalled.

Later, at the arena, assistant coach Jim Amick, who had recruited Moore, called Moore aside.

“We need 40 or 50 points from you,” Amick said.

“What?” said Moore.

“Well, you average 20 points. Maurice is gone, and he averages 20 or so points. We need you to make up for it,” said Amick.

“But you tell me it’s my worst day of the year,” said Moore.

Amick shrugged and walked away.

“Well, for whatever reason — the game was on TV, my Mom was watching, maybe because Red Auerbach was there — I got caught up in the game,” Moore said.

Oh, it was the mismatch everyone thought it would be. West Virginia trailed 52-33 at the half.

But Moore was on fire.

“They tried everyone, and no one could guard me,” Moore said.

That, of course, included Hanzlik, who went on to become one of the best defensive players in the NBA in the 1980s.

Moore hit from all over, going 12 for 25 in field goals, 16 for 17 in free throws — giving him 29 of 30 in his last two games — but the Mountaineers lost, 103-82.

But no one remembers the score of that game, only what Moore did. It seemed to be the start of one of the great careers in WVU history, but he never could repeat it, in part because Gale Catlett became the Mountaineers coach in 1979 and he used a system that worked against an individual becoming a star, as evidenced by the fact that he never sent a player to NBA after Moore.

Moore’s average, 21.3 as a sophomore, dropped to 17.3 as a junior and 16.4 as a senior. In his senior season, he scored 30 points only once while scoring fewer than 10 points seven times.


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