July 1, 2008

Moser's handler talks commitment

When 2009 forward Mike Moser made the decision to commit to Arizona on Monday, it was not only gratifying for Moser himself but also for his handler Dauntae Roberson.

Roberson says that the commitment to the UA was fitting considering the first team that Moser ever played on.

"Mike has come full circle," he said. "His first ever team was the Wildcats and now his next team is the Wildcats, so he has come full circle."

While the commitment was not necessarily a surprise, there were times in which it seemed that Moser would be taking his time with his decision.

"Before he went to the Vince Carter camp he thought he was ready to verbal," Roberson said. "He was talking to his mom and I and we were trying to figure out if that was the best thing for him and all of a sudden he said he thought he wanted to wait."

In order to make sure Moser felt he was making the right decision, Roberson asked him one simple question upon hearing about Moser's new plan.

"Like I told him, I said at the end of the day when you close your eyes where do you see yourself?" Roberson said. "He said he saw himself at Arizona, so my question to him was why wait? If that is where you see yourself and ultimately want to be, why wait?"

Moser took what Roberson said into account and proceeded to think about his possible commitment to Arizona.

"He went home and thought about it over the next couple days because the plan was that he was going to wait after July," Roberson explained.

"Arizona was always the front runner but he was going to wait until after July because that is what he decided to do. I guess it ate at him. He had a dream about it and Arizona was where he wanted to be."

Roberson believes that there are many reasons why Moser decided to commit to the UA.

"Probably the way the coaches have handled it," he said of the biggest reason. "We have spoken many times and the reputation of Coach (Lute)Olson and the program's history speaks for itself.

"Not to mention he is playing in the best conference in basketball in the Pac-10 and all of those are big factors when you decide what you are going to do."

Roberson says that the hard work the Arizona coaching staff put into Moser's recruitment was obvious.

"They did an excellent job," he said. "They exhausted every resource they had available. They did a wonderful job and did not make any promises. A lot of schools made promises and if you thought about it you said, 'wait a minute."

One coach in particular that stood out for both Moser and Roberson was assistant Russ Pennell.

"Coach Pennell is a good guy," Roberson said. "He is by far the reason, next to Mike playing for Olson, Mike decided to commit early, because the guy did not let up. He stuck it out and told us from the start Mike is his guy.

"They did their homework and they wanted to build the team around him and that stuck out to him because he was not going to be a piece for somebody else because they wanted to build around him."

Since his performances during AAU season and the Carter camp, Moser has received an increase in attention.

"Everybody all of a sudden jumped on the bandwagon," Roberson said. "UCLA, Texas got a little more aggressive and offered, Indiana, and lot of mid majors were involved."

With that being said, Roberson says that some schools were much more serious than others.

"I would not try to list his level of seriousness but I will say that we were sitting down and doing our due diligence with research and talking to people, but a lot of people were just talking," he said.

Roberson says that it was easy to see what schools were seriously interested in Moser compared to those that were trying to get their foot in the door.

"Like I explained to Mike on several occasions, if you are not talking to the head coach you are not really being recruited," he said. "If the fourth or fifth assistant is calling you gauging your interest to see where you are at in case some guy that they really want does not come through for them, then they are going to say we have had conversations and they can come back and establish a rapport. We saw right through that kind of stuff."

Now that Moser has committed to Arizona, Roberson says that his goal is similar to most athletes.

"He wants to develop into a student athlete," he said. "He has aspirations of playing at the next level and making it into the NBA."

Finally, much has been made with Moser's relationship with former Arizona commit Abdul Gaddy and Moser did not waste time trying to recruit him to Arizona.

"As soon as he decided to commit he called Gaddy and told him that it was his turn," Roberson said.

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