Surprise! Tyler Cook isn't going to be the only Hawkeye testing the NBA Draft waters this offseason. Isaiah Moss will be joining him, per the Iowa sports information department:
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) April 3, 2018
Like Cook, Moss has submitted his paperwork for early entry to the 2018 NBA Draft, but has not hired an agent. That means he can exit the Draft pool and return to Iowa for the 2018-19 season with no penalty.
Moss became a starter in 2017-18 with the graduation of Peter Jok and his game improved in several ways. His offensive rating improved from 95.2 to 110.1, his eFG% improved from 48.3 to 50.0 and his TS% went from 50.3 to 53.9. He also bettered his assist rate from 9.2% to 14.1% and decreases his turnover rate from 17.8% to 13.6%. His free throw rate improved from 15.2% to 21.5% and he was better at the line, too -- going from 74.2% last year to 87.9% this year. His 2-point shooting was stagnant (44.7% last year, 44.4% this year, though he took 60 more shots this season), but his 3-point shooting improved from 35.8% last season to 38.6% this season.
Consistency was one of Moss' greatest issues over the course of the season as he scored in single digits in 14 of Iowa's 33 games. In Big Ten play, he scored in double digits in consecutive games just twice all season. His scoring outages were particularly noticeable against Iowa's best opponents; against opponents deemed "Tier A" competition by KenPom Moss had double-digit scoring in just four of 13 games. That's a lot of harping on scoring because, essentially, getting buckets is Moss' main skill. He averaged just 2.2 rebounds per game this year, 1.9 assists per game, and 0.9 blocks + steals per game this year. Moss has shown flashes of strong defensive ability, particularly in playing the passing lanes, but those flashes tend to appear haphazardly. When Moss was pouring in points, he could be very good (as in his 32-point outing against Minnesota or his 25-point outing versus Maryland), but there were also several games when he was very quiet and struggled to make an impact on the game. Despite being a regular starter for Iowa, Moss played 21 or fewer minutes in 13 of 33 games (and only three of those low-minute outings were in blowout wins over weak opposition).
That said, there's no harm whatsoever in Moss making this decision. It may seem strange on the surface, given that Moss had a solid sophomore season, but hardly a standout campaign. But that doesn't particularly matter -- the new rules for the NBA Draft encourage college players to put their names into the mix, take part in training camps, and get a fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their games and their likely placement in the draft (if applicable). So godspeed and good luck to Isaiah as he goes through this process. We'll be happy to support him in whatever his next decision ends up being.