Good Afternoon, Hoops Fans! With the NBA season in full swing, I’m getting more and more excited about college basketball finally tipping off. After an unforgettable run through the ACC tournament and an early exit from the NCAA tournament (both affected by COVID, with different outcomes), the Yellow Jackets look to continue building this program in a positive direction. It will be difficult as there are some pretty big shoes to fill, particularly in the frontcourt, which is where we’ll start our preview.
Today, I’ll be taking a look at Khalid Moore, Jordan Meka, and Jalon Moore. All three forwards bring different strengths to the team, but it is unlikely that any of them will be able to fully replace the production of Moses Wright. Sophomore Jordan Meka is the only one listed as a true PF, so it’s hard to imagine these three being used down low in any major capacity. That’s okay though - we’ll be previewing some of the true big men later this week.
Let’s get started.
Khalid Moore, 6’7”, 208 lbs, Senior, Small Forward
Heading into his fourth year on the team, Khalid will look to replicate and improve upon his freshman FG%, a number that has dropped from 48% to 38% over the span of his first three seasons. Defensively, he has improved significantly over the years, tallying the most blocks of his career last season while averaging 0.7 steals per game.
His length, athleticism, and experience in the system will make him a key member of this year’s roster. A likely starter early in the year, Khalid will be relied upon greatly by some of the younger players as they adjust to the speed and skill of the ACC.
Jordan Meka, 6’8”, 225 lbs, Sophomore, Power Forward
Of the three players listed, Meka is the most Wright-like in terms of size and athleticism. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to show that off very much last year due to a back injury that ended his season early. He got some playing time in the Mercer game at the beginning of the season, partially because the previous game went to 4OT and Tech had to dig pretty deep on the bench, but he wasn’t able to produce much in that game.
He will most likely be used in the 4 spot, but we could also see him playing the 5 in certain scenarios, particularly in some of our smaller lineups. He has the ability to play above the rim, so we’re looking forward to him putting that on display.
Jalon Moore, 6’6”, 211 lbs, Freshman, Small Forward
Jalon was listed as a 3-star by both 247 and Rivals, eventually cracking the Rivals150 during his final year at Gardendale HS (AL). He will undoubtedly take some time adjusting to the college level, but as one of the three Top 150 players in this recruiting class, it will be nice to see some young talent continue pushing this program forward.
If you want to see some of his HS highlights, check out this breakdown from last fall when committed to the Jackets over the dwags (among others). Below is another video of some highlights that include his final year of HS ball. He’s quick, has the ability to get to the rim, but also can pull up and shoot from distance if needed. Also, check out the block around 1:28... defense makes me happy.
As stated above, these three players will all play major roles this upcoming season. Khalid will have the chance to prove himself as a leader, Meka will have the chance to bounce back after a disappointing start to his college career, and Jalon will get the chance to develop his talent at the college level and to help this team win games. Like many, I am anxious to see how Coach Pastner fills the gap left by the reigning ACC Player of the Year, but I am confident that the Yellow Jackets will find a way.
Tune in later this week for more previews! Go Jackets!