Former Yellow Jacket Khalid Moore thriving at Fordham

Khalid Moore of Fordham dunks against George Washington on Jan. 28, 2023 at Rose Hill Gym, in Bronx, New York. Moore scored 30 points to go with eight rebounds. He is in his first season at Fordham after transferring from Georgia Tech. (Photo by Vincent Dusovic/Fordham Athletics)

Credit: Photo by Vincent Dusovic/Fordham Athletics

Credit: Photo by Vincent Dusovic/Fordham Athletics

Khalid Moore of Fordham dunks against George Washington on Jan. 28, 2023 at Rose Hill Gym, in Bronx, New York. Moore scored 30 points to go with eight rebounds. He is in his first season at Fordham after transferring from Georgia Tech. (Photo by Vincent Dusovic/Fordham Athletics)

Using his extra season of eligibility, former Georgia Tech forward Khalid Moore has thrived back home in New York. Through the weekend, Moore was averaging 14.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a grad transfer for Fordham, which has enjoyed a historic season with Moore’s assistance.

The Rams were 21-6 going into their Atlantic 10 Conference game Wednesday at Loyola Chicago, a stunning accomplishment for a team that had one winning season in the 30 seasons before this one and is being led by a first-time head coach. The Rams are under the direction of Keith Urgo, who was promoted after former coach Kyle Neptune left after one season to take the head job at Villanova.

At Tech, Moore averaged 4.4 points per game over his four seasons. As a senior in 2021-22, he played in 32 games, starting 30, and averaged 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds. In 117 career games, he reached double figures in scoring 10 times. He largely was a role player, playing a variety of positions and earning his time on the floor by being willing to defend taller players, playing with effort and yielding the scoring to teammates. Last year, coach Josh Pastner praised him as a “glue guy.”

At Fordham, he has flourished with a larger role in the offense, reaching double digits in points 20 times. He hit a career high with 30 points against George Washington on Jan. 28, when he was 10-for-14 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. At Tech, he often was matched up with players with advantages in size and athletic ability. At Fordham, Moore faces players closer to his size against whom he may hold an advantage in quickness. In that setting, he has revealed a scoring touch around the basket and from farther away that wasn’t always on display at Tech.

Before the Loyola game, he was making 53.7% of his two-point field-goal attempts and 33.3% from 3-point range. Last season, he was successful on 45.2% of his two-point tries and 21.4% of his 3-point shots.

From a performance perspective, he is faring the best of the three Jackets players who transferred after last season. Guard Bubba Parham is averaging 9.9 points per game and making 39.2% of his 3-point tries in a starting role at Samford, which before Wednesday’s games was in first place in the Southern Conference. Center Saba Gigiberia began the season at San Francisco in the starting lineup but now comes off the bench and is averaging 4.4 points in 9.7 minutes.

It’s hard to know what role Moore would have played had he chosen to remain at Tech or the difference he might have made. His contributions of defense, effort, leadership and perhaps a developed scoring touch would have been valued. The Jackets have had their fill of opponents with fifth-year players. But it can be concluded reasonably that he wouldn’t have been averaging 10.4 field-goal attempts per game, been a part of a 20-win team or had the pleasure of doing both at a school located about a 20-mile car ride from his hometown of Elmont, New York.

At Fordham, he has helped spur a resurgence that has filled historic Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx.

“You think of college basketball, this is what you dream of, just playing in front of the fans, having that electric energy in the gym,” Moore said in an interview following the Rams’ home win over Massachusetts on Feb. 8. “It definitely gets us going.”

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