Former Syracuse forward Matthew Moyer looks back on Syracuse, ahead at Vanderbilt

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ On Nov. 15, Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew called Matthew Moyer into his office. “You’re suiting up,” Drew said. Moyer had transferred from Syracuse after playing one season, and he expected to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules. But two games into the season, Drew told him the NCAA had granted him a waiver to play for the Commodores right away. The former SU forward was stunned.“I was cleared out of nowhere, man,” Moyer said. “I had no idea what was going to happen. It was emotional. I haven’t had the easiest college career, not the most pleasant beginning.”In his lone season at Syracuse, Moyer averaged 3.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. After he announced his decision to transfer on March. 26, 2018, his mother, Annette, said her phone was “ringing off the hook,” with high-major Division I programs interested in offering Moyer a scholarship. The schools included Florida, Ohio State, Kansas State, Texas and Vanderbilt. He chose the Commodores, which he felt gave him a quality education and more playing time as he hoped to complete his MBA and ascend into an NBA hopeful.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textColumn ChartInfogramMoyer didn’t get the playing time he had planned at SU and that drove him to find a new program. He said his offense was limited to inside the arch. “We play man (at Vandy), and they want me to take outside shots,” Moyer said. “At Syracuse, I wasn’t really allowed to take outside shots.” He averaged 16.8 minutes per game for SU. He didn’t want to leave the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, but he’ll continue studying communications and business at Vanderbilt.Moyer didn’t visit campus before committing. He trusted Drew after an in-home visit and a handful of phone calls. He was confident he’d made the right choice.“I wasn’t chilling in the offseason, but I wasn’t expected to play this year,” Moyer said. “Then it hit me. This is a completely different system.”He said he’ll miss playing for a Hall of Fame coach, Jim Boeheim, and for assistant coach Gerry McNamara — the man who “found me in Ohio” and knocked on Moyer’s door. Moyer said he misses his former teammates, some of whom he still plays video games with. He grew closest with junior shooting guard Tyus Battle, his old roommate. “Tyus Battle is one of my best friends,” Moyer said. “I got to be around some great players. Coach Boeheim and coach Red (Adrian Autry) and G-Mac are legends.”Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerBut Moyer struggled playing for SU. He redshirted his first year. Last season, as a redshirt freshman, the 6-foot-8 forward started the first 20 games, but lost his job when he suffered a high-ankle sprain in a Jan. 24 win against Boston College. Marek Dolezaj began to play well and took the starting forward position. Moyer did not start again in his SU career and played sparingly the rest of the season, oftentimes getting chastised by Boeheim from the sidelines. Following Syracuse’s Sweet 16 run that ended in Omaha, Nebraska, Moyer met with Boeheim, who, according to Moyer, told the former four-star recruit: “Do whatever’s best for you.” Now, Moyer’s focused on starting anew. He lives by himself in a dorm on campus. He’s learning to play man-to-man for the first time in three years while developing his outside shot. Through 17 games, he’s averaging 15.8 minutes per game — on par with his average at Syracuse — 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest for the Commodores, who are 9-10 overall and 0-6 in the Southeastern Conference. When Moyer reflected on his two years in central New York, he thought about fulfilling his dream of playing for SU. He thought about Battle. He said he doesn’t miss the snow, and he leaves a singular message for Syracuse and its fanbase“I’ll always be an Orangeman,” Moyer said. “It was a blessed time. I got to play for the program I wanted to play for in high school. It was a dream come true.” Published on January 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21center_img Commentslast_img

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