Inside or outside, Adam Moon makes it difficult to be guarded.
The O’Neill St. Mary’s junior, at 6-foot-8 the tallest player in the Class D-1 tournament field, averages 23.4 points and 11.7 rebounds a game for the defending state champion Cardinals.
Moon is playing power forward after being the Cardinals’ shooting guard as a sophomore.
“Tait Sibbel (who was 6-1) graduated and he was our 4 man and Adam was playing a 2,” St. Mary’s coach Gary Chvala said. “We tried Adam on the inside last year and found Tait was not real effective playing on the perimeter. We needed an outside shooter, which Adam was.”
Moon said he was a power forward on youth teams.
“It’s not that big a change for me,” he said. “It’s a nice asset to have. It spreads out the defense. If I’m shooting from the outside, it opens up the drive for me or other people.
“My 3-pointer has gotten a lot better. I tried working the outside game, and I think it did improve over last year.”
After averaging 12 points and 8.4 rebounds prior to state last year, Moon averaged 20.3 points in three tournament games.
This season, he’s had six games of 30 points or more. Twice he’s poured in 37 points to match the school record set in 1985 by Kevin Asher, who’s been a state champion coach at Hastings St. Cecilia.
“Adam has gotten a little tougher. Early in the year he’d get bumped and knocked around,” Chvala said. “He was letting people get on his nerves, but he’s worked his way through it and has been effective, inside and out.
“The biggest thing I like about him this year is that it’s late in a game and we put the ball in his hands. He’s shooting 84 percent at the line (121 of 144). It gets down to the 3:30 mark and you’ll see the ball in his hands quite a bit.”
Moon said he hopes to get recruited by Nebraska and has made an unofficial visit to Lincoln. Last weekend, he took another unofficial visit to UNO and said North Dakota also has contacted him among Division I teams.
He’s been in the Nebraska Select club program and last summer was coached by Doug Goltz of Falls City Sacred Heart, like Chvala a 500-win club member.
Chvala said Moon, who has been at St. Mary’s since seventh grade, with the exception of his first semester of high school, is having his best year in the classroom.
“He’s a little more concerned now about homework and tests now,” the coach said. “I’m getting contact from various levels of college programs. His ability to play inside and outside, and his size, make him valuable.”