OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — Arkansas commit Moses Moody wasn’t far from home Friday night when his nationally No. 1-ranked Montverde Academy (FL) squad defeated host Olive Branch, 86-46, as part of the Memphis Hoopfest event.
Just a couple hours east of his hometown of Little Rock, Moody (6-5 senior shooting guard, ESPN national No. 38 / 4-star prospect) had family in attendance making the environment feel more like a homecoming than it did the night-in, night-out rock-star vibe that he and his Eagles teammates are treated to when they play in various venues around the country.
“There’s no place like home, and it just felt like home having all my family here, coming to support me,” said Moody, a starter who finished with 16 points (7-of-10 field goals, including 2-of-4 from 3), 5 assists, 3 steals, and 2 rebounds in 18 minutes. “It was a comfortable atmosphere, definitely.”
No matter where they are playing, Moody and his teammates — including 2020’s top-rated player in Cade Cunningham and 2020 5-star Scottie Barnes — are accustomed to blowout wins followed by a throng of fans staying late to get autographs, photos, and face-time with an independent high school team that has multiple future NBA players on its roster.
For such a loaded team, their practices are more competitive than the games that typically turn into fan-appreciation nights.
“That’s what it is — extremely loaded, a lot of talent on the floor,” Moody said of playing with the Eagles, who seem destined to earn the No. 1 seed for the Geico national championship tournament in April. “So, we’ve just got to bring it all every day. We’re competing in practice, it’s the most competitive atmosphere you can play in. It’s actually great playing against all these guys with bright futures.”
Moody got his team off to a great start, scoring 10 first-quarter points (on 4-of-4 field goals, including 2-of-2 from 3) to push Montverde out to a 24-8 lead. He played briefly in the third quarter and sat out the entire fourth quarter in the runaway victory.
Moody just earned all-tournament honors earlier in the week following his performances that helped Montverde win the prestigious John Wall Invitational in North Carolina. He’s been busy, but not so busy that he can’t keep his eye on the Razorbacks program that he committed to in November.
“They’re having a great start to the season,” Moody said. “They just got a big win against Indiana, that was huge. Just seeing their progress, it’s great to see. I’ve been keeping up, talking to coaches, talking to players and everything.”
Arkansas is off to an 11-1 start — including that road win over Indiana last Sunday — as it opens SEC play on Saturday against Texas A&M. The Hogs are led by 6-5 guards Mason Jones (19.7 points per game, second in the SEC) and Isaiah Joe (17.4 points per game, fourth in the SEC) — two players with similar statures and comparable skill sets to Moody.
“I definitely see a place (with current Razorbacks) that I can see myself fitting in with, and I’m just looking forward to next year.”
Known as one of the best shooters in the country, Moody has been noticeably improved as a driver / finisher inside the arc going back to his spring and summer play on the Nike EYBL circuit.
“I’ve really just tried to make sure I can do it all,” Moody said. “Scoring at all three levels is something I’ve really been paying attention to and really working on.”
Moody has not let an opportunity to play Hoop Hogs recruiter pass him by as he has been in the ear of Montverde teammate and 2021 Arkansas offer Langston Love (6-4 shooting guard, Houston native, composite national No. 17 / 5-star prospect).
“Moses tells me about it (coming to Arkansas),” said Love, who finished with 10 points (4-of-7 field goals, including 2-of-3 from 3), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in 18 minutes. “He loves the school, he’s from there, and he tells me Arkansas is a good place to be.”
Including the Hogs, Love reportedly holds offers from UCLA, Villanova, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, TCU, Baylor, Houston, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Wake Forest among others.
Love said he is interested in visiting Arkansas, and he’s a big fan of Head Hog Eric Musselman.
“He’s a great guy,” Love said. “I’ve talked to him, he’s a fun coach to talk to. I love some of the stuff he does. I want to maybe take a visit down there, see what it’s like down there. One of the things he does, when he takes a picture (with rectuits replicating famous NBA moments) it’s a memorable picture. I like those.”
Linked below are multiple Twitter highlights and an interview with Moses Moody from Friday night, followed by a highlight and interview with Langston Love …