Saint Louis players Zeke Moore and Matt Neufeld are transferring from the Billikens, in search of greener pastures. Moore, a 6’6 freshman guard from St. Louis, averaged 5.1 points per game in 20.8 minutes per game, shooting 39 percent from behind the arc. Neufeld, a 6’11 sophomore center from British Columbia, played 5.4 minutes a game, averaging 0.9 points per game. Coach Travis Ford now has two scholarships available, amidst a St. Louis recruiting scene that’s been shaken up with Mizzou’s hiring of Cuonzo Martin and Illinois’ hiring of Brad Underwood.
As one can guess from the numbers, Moore’s decision to transfer comes as more of a surprise than Neufeld’s. However, both are Jim Crews recruits, and Moore was looking at diminished playing time with the arrival of four-star recruit Jordan Goodwin, and transfers Adonys Henriquez, Javon Bess and Ty Graves all slated to log significant minutes in Travis Ford’s backcourt. Neufeld struggled to adjust to the speed of the A-10, but he has promise, as a 6’11 big man with decent leaping ability, and if he lands on a team with a solid big man coach, he could develop into a solid player. Moore will be a nice addition for whatever team lands him. It’s a testament to Travis Ford’s recruiting that a long, athletic guard with a nice shooting stroke would have struggled to find the floor.
It will be interesting to see how Ford uses his two newly available scholarships. There’s always the possibility of picking up a grad transfer or two, or Ford could sign more recruits in the spring signing period, which worked out rather well in the case of Jalen Johnson. Ford could also bank the scholarship for the class of 2018. Ford already has verbal commitments from five-star forward Carte’Are Gordon, and three-star guard Fred Thatch. 2018 is loaded with talented players from the St. Louis area who Ford has been recruiting, such as guards Torrence Watson and Karrington Davis, as well as wing Joseph Reece.
Regardless of what Ford does with his new scholarships, best of luck to Zeke Moore and Matt Neufeld, wherever they wind up. Both represented SLU and the Billiken basketball program well, and their contributions are appreciated.