Junior center Trey Moses looks to pass the ball during the game against Akron Jan. 27. Moses scored a career high of 20 points throughout the name. Eric Pritchett, DN
Moses playing among Ball State's best since start of conference play
Trey Moses has been dominant for Ball State men's basketball since the beginning of conference play.
The 6-foot-9-inch junior center is on the border of averaging a double-double with 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, is the team leader in both shooting percentage (.563) and blocks (9) and is second in assists and steals.
At the end of any game, everyone knows that Tayler Persons wants the ball in his hands for the last-second shot. But Moses has become just as confident in those pressure situations, which became increasingly clear in the Cardinals double overtime win against Akron Saturday.
"You saw late in the game, I got a rebound and I didn't pass it because I wanted to go to the line," Moses said. "I have confidence in myself that I'm going to knock [shots] down in moments that we need them and, you know, that's the confidence you want to have.
"I've been working on it all year and I finally have it."
Moses hit a career-high 12 free throws in that game, missing just two of his 14 attempts. Most of those shots came in overtime, where Moses hit 10-of-12 to help propel Ball State to victory.
Free throw shooting has been the only part of the game that the big man struggled with this season. In non-conference play, he shot just 50 percent from the line but in conference play he's hitting a respectable 70.5 percent from the charity stripe, making him an even bigger threat says head coach James Whitford.
"Trey's a great player, he helps us at both ends," Whitford said. "He's an all-conference defensive player and he can score inside. Now that he's making free throws, he's even more dangerous."
Following the Akron game Whitford talked about how Moses made 56 free throws in a row during practice. At practice on Monday he clarified — it was actually 59 consecutive makes.
Midway through Mid-American Conference play Moses, along with the entire Ball State lineup, has finally seemed to find a tempo despite its new eight-man rotation. It's a regularity the Cardinals didn't have earlier in the year, as both Moses and sophomore forward Tahjai Teague were coming back from offseason injuries. No longer worrying about that is the reason Whitford said Moses' role has seemingly increased in conference play.
"We had [Moses] on a minute count and that was part of our plan to try and keep him healthy throughout the course of the year," Whitford said. "The other part was that he just got rusty. Basketball is a rhythm game, you have to make [quick] decisions and the more times your put in that scenario the easier it gets for you."
Rhythm, confidence, whatever it may be, Moses is playing better, and with Ball State's commanding win over Toledo, the Cardinals are in contention of being a top four conference team and are on the cusp of yet another 20-win season.
Ball State's next game is at noon Saturday against Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Cardinals opened up MAC play with a 72-62 victory over the Eagles earlier this month.