Molloy junior relishes role as dominant shot-blocker

Archbishop Molloy junior center Moses Brown regularly fights through multiple defenders to grab a rebound and the put-back shot.
CNG/Laura Amato
By Laura Amato

It’s kind of like his own personal experiment every night.

Moses Brown does his fair share of calculating and data gathering every time he steps onto the court, documenting shot release and when he has to jump and how quickly he can get his hand in the air.

So far, the Molloy junior’s experiment has been successful – he’s not just one of the most dominant basketball players in New York City, he’s the most dominant shot-blocker in all five boroughs.

“It’s all about timing,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to play harder and that kind of comes with it.”

Brown got his timing down perfectly Jan. 25, racking up a whopping 11 blocks as the Stanners rolled to an 86-75 victory over St. Raymond’s. He also chipped in 21 points and 15 rebounds.

As far as Brown is concerned, blocking shots is somewhere in between an exact science and a fine art and every opposing player he faces presents a very particular set of challenges. At the game, Ravens guard Isaiah Washington was no different. Brown, however, took it all in stride, working through his experiement and keeping one variable constant – his effort.

“It’s just not necessarily jumping when he jumps,” Brown said. “Since I’m taller that’s sometimes what I do, but with guys like Isaiah, his layup package is so unique you’ve got to figure out where the ball is going to go as soon as he releases it. He does have long arms, too, which you’ve got to factor in.”

The key for Brown this season, and what has helped turn him into a triple-double machine, is his focus. He’s more determined than ever to be good, putting in more work than he has done throughout his entire career at Molloy.

It’s a different mindset that has helped attract nearly ever Division I college coach in the country and helped make Stanners’ coach Mike McCleary breathe a bit easier at every tip off. He knows, if nothing else, Brown is going to play as hard as he can.

“He always had great hands and good feet, but he’s gotten stronger so now he’s balanced on the floor,” McCleary said. “That’s the major difference and now he’s not getting pushed over.”

Brown did his best during the offseason to bulk up a bit and while he doesn’t exactly look like his 235 pounds, the 7-footer is stronger than he’s ever been and it’s given him a solid foundation to expand his game upon.

He’s blocking more shots than ever on defense and, on other end of the court, he’s found a brand-new weapon – the offensive rebound.

“To be honest with you, he gets the majority of his shots off second-chance opportunities,” McCleary said. “He goes after the backboard. It’s all him. It’s him motivated to want to do well, motivated to want to score and he does pretty good.”
More than half of Brown’s points against St. Raymond’s came off second-chance looks, positioning himself on the block to haul in the rebound off the rim or the backboard and go back up immediately. It’s a physicality he’s learned to embrace.

“They don’t let me catch the ball in the post,” Brown said. “If I do catch the ball in the post, they double and triple team me immediately. I’ve got to pass it out or get the ball off the offensive rebound.”

Brown is anxious to see where his experiment takes him this season and, if he’s being honest, for the rest of his career. He’s got goals and, right now, he’s willing to, literally, block out any challenge.

“I just work as hard as I can because I want to be a pro,” Brown said. “I mean I’m 7-feet tall, the game’s going to come to me if I play hard.”

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