On Thursday, former Syracuse forward Matthew Moyer announced he is transferring to Vanderbilt.
— Matthew Moyer (@matthewmoyer13) April 19, 2018
Moyer, who just finished his redshirt freshman season, will have to sit out the 2018-19 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have two years of eligibility at Vanderbilt. He averaged 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 35 games for the Orange last season.
Despite those low numbers, Moyer could have the chance at a fresh start with the Commodores. His potential seems to be beyond his stat lines. Sam Rubinoff, Syracuse Basketball play-by-play broadcaster for WAER radio, said he saw a lot of potential in Moyer this past season.
“I was on the call for the Syracuse game at MSG this year against Uconn,” Rubinoff told The Vanderbilt Hustler. “In the first half Moyer flew out of no where on the baseline and threw down at put back dunk off a missed three. He finished that game with 12 pts and 8 rebounds. In that game he showed what a talented and athletic player he is and there were flashes throughout the season.”
Matt Moyer flies in for the putback!
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) December 6, 2017
After that, things began to fall apart for Moyer. He sprained his ankle against Boston College on January 24 and missed a game. When he came back, he just didn’t have the same touch. Moyer eventually lost his spot in the starting lineup.
That might have weighed on him mentally.
“After that, his confidence was gone and he turned into a black hole with the basketball,” Rubinoff said. “It seemed as almost if he knew he was on the way out of the program and he was just out there trying to show off what he could do.”
It’s unclear what type of role he will play at Vanderbilt, especially because the 2019-20 roster will largely be determined by how many of their 2018 recruits stay past their freshman year. Given his size, and Vanderbilt’s considerable lack of size this past season, Moyer will likely be competing with Yanni Wetzell, Matt Ryan and possibly Simi Shittu for playing time at the power forward position. However, his 6’7” frame could make him a good candidate to play the small forward position as both Wetzell and Ryan are both 6’10”.
However, it will likely all come down to attitude, something head coach Bryce Drew has always stressed in his players.
“My overall take is the mindset that he brings to every game,” Rubinoff said. “You know which Matt Moyer you have at the under 16 timeout. He’s either high flying and ready to play or just going through the motions without much confidence.”
With Moyer’s commitment, Vanderbilt now has just one scholarship spot left for the 2018-19 season. Coveted five-star recruit Romeo Langford could take that spot when he announces his decision on April 30. Vanderbilt will also host Illinois graduate transfer forward Michael Finke for a visit, per CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein.