Charlie Moore picked up his phone on Monday to find Fran McCaffery on the other end of it. The Chicago point guard didn’t think much of it. He’d been receiving calls from the Iowa coach for quite some time.
This conversation would turn out different than the others. This one ended with a scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes.
"I was surprised. I thought he just wanted to talk as usual," Moore said.
McCaffery and Assistant Sherman Dillard had been cultivating a relationship with Moore for some time. They’d recruited others players at his Morgan Park High School and on his Mac Irvin Fire AAU squad.
The Fire played in the Boo Williams EYBL event in Hampton, VA, this weekend. McCaffery attended the event.
"He was just saying how he liked how I was running the team and how I kept everyone in order. He liked how I was the quarterback out there on the court. He was just excited about how well I played and he told me how aggressive and tough I am," the 5-foot-11, 160-pounder said.
Moore averaged 8.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a loaded Fire team went 2-2 at Boo Williams. Morgan Park has ranked as one of the best squads in Chicago in recent seasons.
Dilliard has been watching Moore’s high school and AAU games for years. The two have bonded.
"Coach Dillard, he’s a cool guy. We talk a lot. He critiques my game. He tells me what I’m doing right and tells me what I need to work on. That’s what I like about him. He’s a cool guy and he’s always honest with me," Moore said.
McCaffery has impressed the point guard similarly.
"Coach McCaffery is a cool guy also. He tells me the same things. He’s being honest with me. He tells me what he likes about my game and how I can help them and how I fit into their system," Moore said.
Three schools that had offered a scholarship to Moore changed coaches recently. He was re-offered by Illinois-Chicago and new head man Steve McClain, he said. He said he has not heard from the other two – St. John’s and Bradley.
Georgia Tech offered Moore a scholarship about a week ago, he said. He reported DePaul, Xavier, Creighton, Cleveland State and Loyola have been recruiting him.
"I’m looking for a place where I have a great relationship with the coaches and they’re cool with my family. They play my style of game and get up and down; I guess a family atmosphere where I can be there and have fun for my four years," Moore said.
Moore is considering college majors in Sports management or Education.
"I’m not really positive when I’ll commit but I think I want to wait it out a little minute until after the July (evaluation) period maybe," he said.
Moore has yet to see Iowa in person.
"I do plan on visiting but I’m not sure what time that would be," he said.