CHICAGO † Many aspects of Kansas men’s basketball’s 2018-19 campaign tend to be forgotten. It was a team that got smacked by Auburn in the round of 32 and failed to maintain the Jayhawks’ streak of 14 consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles.
One of the more overlooked aspects of that squad proved to be a redshirt sophomore from Chicago named Charlie Moore. Moore transferred from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2017, but sat out during the Jayhawks’ 2018 Final Four run due to current transfer rules.
The following campaign, Moore played in 35 of the Jayhawks’ 36 games but didn’t light up the box score as he struggled to find consistent time and only averaged three minutes of playing time a game.
Moore only averaged 2.9 points, a rebound and just a little over one assist per game during his time in a Kansas uniform and decided to transfer again to DePaul.
Fast-forward to the present day and Moore, a sixth-year redshirt senior, has quickly become a driving factor of Miami’s cinderella run to the Elite 8, where they now face the only remaining No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament: Moore’s Former Team, Kansas.
Through the Hurricanes’ first three NCAA Tournament games, Moore is averaging 12.6 points per game along with 7.3 assists and another 5.3 rebounds in an average just a little bit over 36 minutes per game.
Although Moore will be facing his former team, Miami coach Jim Larrañaga says that the old history doesn’t matter in such a situation.
“For us, it’s not about Charlie versus his old team,” Larrañaga said. “This is about our team versus their team. And Kansas is a great basketball program.”
Kansas coach Bill Self discussed how Moore had become a great player since his departure from Kansas, but also saw his potential when he played for the Jayhawks.
“He’s playing his tail off. I think Charlie may have the best vision of anybody left in the tournament. He sees a lot of things. He did with us,” Self said of Moore. “He didn’t play a lot when he was with us and just in large part because we had two NBA players playing guard slots then. But Charlie’s talented. He’s clever. He can get his own shot. He can certainly create for others, and he’s crafty. He’s very crafty…Charlie was a good player for us, but Charlie has become a terrific player.”
Only a few members of the current Kansas team played with Moore while he played for the Jayhawks, including senior guard Ochai Agbaji, who praised Moore for his work as a teammate and diverse skillset as a player on the court.
“Playing with Charlie, he was a great teammate. He was there my freshman year. I was only there with him for one year until he transferred out,” Agbaji said. “He was a great teammate, a really good passer, really aggressive and he can also score. And just his IQ for the game, his feel for the game I think is something that’s kind of unheralded, but he’s a really good all-around player.”
Moore will have his chance to deny his former team a trip to New Orleans for the Final Four when Miami and Kansas meet in the Elite Eight on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 1:20 pm