Yanick Moreira, a 6-10 forward out of South Plains College (TX), has given a verbal commitment to Southern Methodist University. This is an excellent addition for Larry Brown and SMU. He is one of the best players in the country at the JC level. Moreira is a native of Angola and last season (2011-12) was his first year of basketball in the United States. After watching Moreira last season you wouldn’t have any idea that it was his first season here. He helped lead them to a perfect 36-0 mark and an NJCAA D1 National Championship. As a freshman Moreira averaged 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
Breaking down his game: Moreira is a very long and mobile forward. He has the ability to play the 4 or 5 spot on both ends of the court. He is very good defensively when on the weak side, this allows him to rotate over and block/alter shots. He has very good timing on the defensive end and blocks and alters a handful of shots per game. He knows when to jump and when to “wall up” in the post. Moreira is ahead of the game compared to most first or second-year international players at the junior college level. He has good lateral mobility, which gives him the ability to step out and hedge ball screens and recover. He also moves very well in transition, which enables him to beat slower post players up and down the floor. He is a very good rebounder on both ends and gets off the floor quickly for his size. On the offensive end, parts of his game are raw, but seem to be developing quickly. He has good hands/feet and a solid foundation to work with. He has a nice jump hook and a fairly soft touch on it. With his size and length he will be very effective as his jump hook continues to improve. He has good hands and knows how to step in when guards get in the paint and draw help. Moreira struggled last season from the free throw line (59%), but has decent form and could see solid improvement with continued work. He is a solid passer out of the post and is capable of finding guards on the opposite side of the court. He handles the ball well enough to take one or two dribbles after a defensive rebound which creates transition opportunities. Moreira is fluid, runs well and has the tools to become a very good forward who can step out to 15 feet. He needs to continue to add strength and more back to the basket post moves. He is developing quickly under the South Plains coaching staff and should have a huge year this season as a sophomore.