The kid from Wacounda, Illinois made a splash at the Final Four. He poured in 22 points in the Final Four win against Michigan State and made his mark on the NCAA Tournament by being named All-Tournament Team by the NCAA. His college career is over and he should be headed somewhere to play professional basketball. Could someone in the NBA give him a shot?
Mooney wasn’t really on the NBA radar prior to this season. Yes, he had a stellar career at South Dakota, but in the Summit Conference, it is hard to get noticed. That is part of the reason he came to Texas Tech for his final year of basketball.
No doubt Mooney also wanted to win on the big stage, which I must say the team did. His numbers on the season were respectable averaging 11 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, and 1.8 steals per game for the Red Raiders this season. There were moments of the year he looked lost, but for every one of those moments, there was a moment where he looked like a future NBA Player.
If there was one thing that was consistent for Mooney this season it was his great on the ball defense. Even though some had an issue with it, I believe he did a great job holding the opponent’s best players to low numbers. His long arms and wingspan were crucial in not only getting steals but deflections leading to turnovers.
Mooney was good on the offensive end of the floor as well. He is very good at dribbling to the elbow area and them using his length and jumping ability to get a shot off over the defenders. He is also a great shooter and is especially good at finding the open spot off of transition.
Could his abilities translate to the NBA? His size is something that won’t hurt or help him at 6’3, but his increased wingspan could help him. There are teams that could use a 3-and-D guard like Mooney and his defense would be the thing giving him a shot at the NBA, not his offense.
The main thing Mooney needs to work on leading up to his eventual professional career is consistency. He had his great moments this season but he also had some low moments where his offensive game was off. If he can improve his consistency on the offensive end, an NBA team might take a chance on him with a summer league or training camp invitation.
Mooney had a great season for the Red Raiders, no doubt about it. He was the anchor of the backcourt defensively and will be looking to get himself into the NBA through either the draft of a Summer League invite. I think Mooney can prove himself to gain a G-League contract. He might decide to go straight to Europe where he can most likely get more playing time and could improve his game to attempt to jump to the NBA in a couple of years. No doubt Red Raider Nation will have his back for whatever he decides!