LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 23: Mike Moser #43 of the UNLV Rebels reacts during the team's game against the California Golden Bears at the Thomas & Mack Center December 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Around this time last season, with Jimmermania in full force, many people were still going nuts over Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State's versatile combo-forward who was hauling in rebounds by the bushel. Even with the eventual player of the year hailing from Leonard's own conference, the sophomore still managed to make a name for himself as the season bled into March. And, when the time came, Leonard was selected with the 15th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, capping off a phenomenal ascension to the pros.
Leonard's story is worth bringing up again for one reason: For how eerily it parallels the path of UNLV's current forward Mike Moser, a strikingly-similar player from the same conference who is putting up Leonard-type numbers in his first year with the Rebels. Moser landed at UNLV by way of UCLA, and has been one of the nation's most dominant players on the glass this year. But instead of the national acclaim that Leonard was privy to, most of the talk about Moser's campaign has been coming from Mountain West fanatics and Ben Howland apologists, and that's just not good enough. To put it bluntly, he hasn't quite caught on with the East Coast crowd as of yet.
For some much-needed perspective, here's how Moser's current line stacks up with Leonard's from a year ago:
- Leonard: 15.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 11.2% OR%, 26.6% DR%, 109.3 ORating
- Moser: 14.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, 12.1% OR%, 29.9% DR%, 105.8 ORating
Week 14 after the jump...
|1||--||Still your clubhouse leader. Last week: 22.5 pts, 15.0 rebs, & 69% FGs.
|2||--||Averaging one blocked shot for every 6.3 minutes of court time.
||Recorded 18 points with 60%+ shooting on 15 occasions this year.
||Most people might be shocked to know that he's top 50 in TS% (64.0).
||Warrior-like performance vs. UM (14-16-4). He's right in the mix now.
|6||-1||23.3% possessions used, and still only 32 turnovers in 24 games.
||Desperately needed Saturday's off. explosion vs. KU (29 pts, 6-of-9 3Ps).
||A pair of 33% shooting days last week. The big run is coming soon, right?
||Has not played less than 27 minutes in a single Big 12 game.
||Now that's rather impressive: Increased his TS% by 10.9% as a Sr.
||The Lank Factor: 0.9802 (646 PTS+RBS+BLK+STL/659 MIN)
||NCAA leader in ORating (130.3) among max usage players.
||Had chance to make waves vs. SMU/XU last wk. Instead:14 pts/5 rebs.
||Shooting worse than last yr., but is a much more efficient player as a Jr.
||A 125.5 ORating on an undefeated squad? Yep, he belongs here.
||Somewhat ironic how the 6'8" forward's weak point is shot-blocking (0.8/gm).
|17||+1||Seven TOs vs. FSU were a season-high. Still doesn't rebound well enough.
|18||UNR||2nd in NCAA in scoring (24.3). 30+ points NINE times this season.
||Seven rebs on Sat. was just his second non-double-double in SEC play.
|20||UNR||Overall #'s appear average after poor start to yr. Last 11 gms: 18 pts, 8.7 rebs
Five who just missed: Tyler Zeller -North Carolina-Kentucky, ,