Some basketball websites question E'Twaun Moore's NBA pedigree. Huh?
This is tonight's draft we're talking about, not the Westchester Kennel Club Show.
"First off, what is NBA pedigree?" said league scout Ryan Blake. "For a player to make the NBA, you have to have a skill set. Versatility can be an NBA skill set. Shooting can be an NBA skill set. Defensive effort and motor are NBA skill sets. Competitiveness and drive are NBA skill sets.
"E'Twaun does a lot of those things well. You know what he can do offensively. He can shoot and score. But during the season, he made a difference defensively in some important games."
Purdue's No. 3 career scorer averaged 18 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season -- both second to teammate JaJuan Johnson.
In some mock drafts, Moore is projected as a low second-round pick. The E.C. Central grad has worked out for almost a dozen NBA teams.
"A lot of teams are interested in him," Blake said. "There are several guys who have similar qualities, similar games like his, who are in the league as well. So for him, it's going to be about opportunity."
Moore said he feels comfortable at shooting guard or the point. As the Boilermakers' career leader in 3-point field goals (243), his ability to knock down big shots is unquestioned.
"It doesn't matter if he's drafted or not. He'll get an opportunity in training camp," said Blake, son of long-time NBA scouting director Marty Blake. "His number will be called. He will be on a team's training camp roster.
"He has that go-to mentality, which is good, and when he plays efficiently, it's at a very high level."
Moore played in a school-record 140 consecutive games, the same as Johnson, and finished as the program's No. 3 career scorer (2,136 points) behind Joe Barry Carroll (2,175) and Rick Mount (2,323).
That should carry weight with NBA teams, according to Ryan Blake.
"Absolutely. He's been consistent for the last three years," Blake said. "It's a very deep draft; a beauty-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder draft.
"E'Twaun has enough versatility to play both ends of the floor."
Moore appreciates the vote of confidence and will remain humble if he is among the 60 picks tonight.
"Sometimes, it is a little difficult when you get so much praise," he said. "I just remind myself that I really haven't accomplished everything I've wanted to. That keeps me striving even more."
Moore's parents, Edna and Ezell Sr., will watch tonight's draft with friends and family at the East Chicago Marina.
"It's got me on little pins and needles. We're hoping and praying," Ezell said. "It would be nice if he goes first round. It would be nice if he goes second round. If he just goes, that would be great."
Added Edna: "I'm just waiting and anticipating. I take it one day at a time. Probably about 5 o'clock or 5:30, I'll feel (my heart pounding) by then."