Arnett Moultrie: The hottest prospect?

Bump'd:  Thanks asalom!

Now it may just be me but I’m having a ton of trouble understanding how Arnett Moultrie has quickly become one of the best, if not the best, transfer prospect in the country? I understand that the kid is talented, and has a lot of upside. However, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that his sophomore season was a real disappointment. In spite of that, some of the biggest name schools in the country have at least shown interest if not already offered. The list so far includes Texas, Kentucky, Memphis, Auburn, Miss. St., and Arkansas.

Arnett really showed a ton of bright spots starting in 34 of his 37 games as a freshman. He played just under 27 minutes a game and averaged 8.8 pts and 8.2 boards. He shot a nice 50.2% from the field (including 28.2% from 3 point land), but shot a dismal 53.5% from the foul line. 

After a promising trip to New Zealand to represent the USA in the FIBA U19 World Championships Moultrie seemed to be poised to have a breakout sophomore season and put himself into position to be a solid 1st round draft choice. In 9 games in Auckland against some young international competition he averaged 4.4 ppg and 6.1 rpg (which led the team) in about 15 minutes per game.

Things didn’t exactly pan out the way many had hoped. Arnett did average 1 more ppg at 9.8. However, his rebounding dropped to 6.7 rpg even with an increase in minutes to nearly 30 a game. Also, his field goal percentage dropped to 47.5% as it seemed as though he looked for his 3 point shot more than anything for a great portion of the season. Although 3 point percentage doesn’t usually mean too much for a 6-10 center, his average dropped from 28.2% to 22.5% (he shot 40 3’s on the season). The lone bright spot was the improvement of his free throw shooting from that ice cold 53.5% to a luke warm 65.1%. 

Now I really don’t want to sound like a "hater" even though I’m going to. It’s just that how can a kid who had no chance at schools like Texas and Kentucky out of high school all of the sudden be a player of great interest after the way things have gone. Not only that but have these schools really seen the desire and work ethic in him that it would take to sit out a year and still come back to compete at the highest level? Do they really think that a player that averaged nine points and six boards at a C-USA school (not that it’s a bad thing, but just doesn’t to compare to SEC or Big-12) in his "breakout year" will be able to sit a year and do anything  even close to those numbers in a premier conference? It all just seems a little odd. I wish the guy had a little more discipline this year to play his game the way he did his freshman year. Had he, he’d be getting ready to hear his name called in the NBA draft instead of worrying about which college he‘s going to next. Don’t get me wrong I wish the best to Arnett Moultrie and I thank him for his two years here at UTEP. He was a great talent and was really fun to watch play his freshman year. And even though I think his decision to leave wasn’t the best for him, I hope it works out wherever he lands.

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