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Bolingbrook's Ben Moore (35) drives to the basket in front of Joliet West's Morris Dunnigan (30) at the Tiger Thanksgiving Classis title game and West won 63-56 held at Joliet West Joliet, Illinois on Saturday November 24, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times
Ben Moore has heard the stories and is familiar with the legend.
Larry Brown can’t sit still in one job for too long. He’s nomadic.
Just when you get attached to him and used to Brown’s coaching style, he leaves for something bigger and maybe better than where he’s already at.
“Yes, I knew that and I did a lot of research on him and we talked to him about (changing jobs so much),’’ Bolingbrook’s Moore said. ‘‘He seemed to be pretty steady about what he is doing over there, and we think he’s going to stay there for a while.
‘‘It’s something that I’m worried about a little but we talked to their assistant coaches and I like them a lot. I still feel like there is a good coaching staff there (if Brown leaves).’’
So, yes, Moore is aware of the SMU coach’s history: Brown has coached four college teams (SMU included), nine NBA teams and one team in the defunct ABA.
Moore has almost had to be hyperaware of those things since he committed to play for Brown at SMU. It was a decision that didn’t come as easy as you’d think.
Moore said he visited SMU only once. He was leaning toward another school and he reached out to Brown’s coaching staff and his family for more help in making his decision.
His final choices came down to the Mustangs, Colorado State, Illinois, Missouri and Illinois State.
Moore has blossomed from a quiet player to a force to be reckoned with. He was brought up to the varsity as a sophomore and he said he was pretty nervous about playing in that first game. The nerves quickly faded.
‘‘He went on to score 15 points in one quarter on a road game in conference,’’ Bolingbrook coach Rob Brost said. ‘‘It was a coming-out party for him.’’
Moore is averaging double digits in scoring this season, about 18 points a game. He poured in a game-high 23 Friday night in the Raiders’ 57-49 victory at Lincoln-Way Central.
Moore gave Raiders fans a scare with about 8.2 seconds to play. He was driving the lane, going up for a shot, when he collided with a Lincoln-Way Central player and slammed into the padded wall behind the basket.
Moore grabbed at his legs and the gym got quiet. But as soon as Moore got up, the crowd erupted.
Such is the life of one of the state’s best players.
A new chapter
While Moore has a full season left in his sport before going to a big-time Division I program, another area athlete decided to take the college plunge early.
Lemont left tackle Ethan Pocic has about a month left of high school because the 6-foot-6, 290-pound senior decided to graduate in December and enroll at LSU for the spring semester. Pocic will sign his national letter of intent to play for the Tigers while he is enrolled at the Louisiana school.
“I thought about it once I started getting my offers and I knew it was a good move to make,” Pocic said. “When a school would offer, I would let them know I’d graduate early.”
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Pocic, who helped lead the Indians to the Class 6A semifinals where they lost to eventual state champion Crete-Monee, is enrolling at LSU early. He is the most-heralded recruit to come out of coach Eric Michaelsen’s program, is a four-star recruit according to both Scout.com and Rivals.com and is among the top 50 offensive linemen in the country. In January, Pocic will play in the Under Armour High School All-America Game in Tampa, Fla.
He’s leaving behind a legacy that future Indians will look up to for years to come. Pocic’s Lemont teams went 34-4 since 2010 with only one loss in the South Suburban Blue. With Pocic on the O-line, the Indians’ offense averaged 36.9 points and had over 8,000 yards of rushing offense.
“Learning the system and working out in their program is going to be real big going into a new offense,” Pocic said of LSU.
Pocic said he talks to members of LSU’s coaching staff at least once or twice a week. Mostly, it’s about football and how Pocic has been doing.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Pocic said of making the adjustment to college. “I’m concerned with just living on my own.”