FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Isaih Moore is adjusting well to his new home in the Central Valley.
“Yeah, it’s a new vibe, new vibe in Cali, new vibe,” said a smiling Moore after a recent Fresno State men’s basketball practice.
And the Bulldogs love the new vibe he is bringing.
“He’s playing all over the floor,” said Moore’s head coach, Justin Hutson. “And if he can stay healthy, he’s gonna really help us.”
Moore is well-traveled, and very talented. At different points throughout his winding journey, he has reportedly had big schools like Florida, Florida State, Utah and Arkansas interested in his services.
But, in the end, he decided his college path would make a final stop in Fresno.
“I was new to everything about Fresno,” says Moore. “I had never been to California before coming to Fresno State, before my visit. So everything about Fresno was new and exciting.”
The Bulldogs are certainly excited to have him.
Entering Saturday, Isaih Moore led Fresno State in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, averaging more than 13 points and nearly nine rebounds per game.
“I believe in my work,” he said. “Since the summertime, we’ve been chipping wood, chopping that wood, you know? Even now, during the season, I’m really dedicated that all to the work.”
Moore has had an interesting journey to Fresno.
The respected recruiting website, 247sports.com, had him ranked as the No. 87 power forward in the country coming out of Sumter High School in South Carolina in 2018. He then had a limited role in one year at College of Charleston, then a starring role for one year at a junior college power in Mississippi.
Then, it was off to St. John’s of the Big East for one year, where he averaged a little more than nine points per game.
Last season, he scored more than 13 points per game for Southern Miss in the Sun Belt Conference, before coming to the Bulldogs as a graduate transfer in the spring.
When he saw Isaih Moore in the transfer portal, Fresno State head coach Justin Hutson was attracted to Moore’s talent, but also something else.
“When I got to meet his parents, he has great parents,” said Hutson. “So that helped, too.”
At 6’10,” Isaih Moore is helping to fill a huge need for the Bulldogs in the interior. Fresno State no longer has all-conference seven-footer Orlando Robinson on its team. (Robinson is now in the NBA G League, and he is thriving with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.)
Moore’s style, however, is different than Robinson’s.
“Orlando had a certain skill of passing and toughness,” says Hutson. “Isaih’s athleticism is big-time, but he’s also a very smart basketball player. He has a really high IQ.”
He also has the ability to get really high in the air. And that actually took a little getting used to for his new Bulldog teammates, specifically when it came to throwing a lob in his direction.
“First thing I told them when they were throwing bounce passes,” smiles Moore. “I was like, ‘nah, I’m 6’10,” you all gotta throw those up.’ No bounce passes, unless it’s just wide open, throw the lob.
“Once they saw me catch the first one or two in summer workouts, they were like, ‘oh yeah, we’re throwing it up every time now.'”