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Moe Johnson

Cesar Chavez PCS 

DC Premier









Strong Hand



High D2/Low D1

July 2020
  • Talented scorer with a raw, developing skillset and a quick trigger.  Scoring starts with a potent, rangy 3-point shot off the bounce or on the catch, and is bolstered by a terrific ability to draw contact and get to the line.  Scores from all 3 levels.

  • Utilizes a series of effective moves off the dribble and chooses from a nice bag of shot types to convert tough baskets.  Must improve strength; struggles to finish through contact and handle physicality. 

  • Overall, possesses a high offensive ceiling despite having limited explosiveness.  Actively learning the game.  Understands how to utilize his strengths and is developing the ability to read the defense.

  • An improving playmaker with good footwork and impressive ball skills.  Heady one-on-one situational player.  Consistently low motor.  Must improve defensively in order to play for any coach on the next level.

  • Chose to stay put at Cesar Chavez after a severe talent drain.  While he led the DC metro area in scoring and unexpectedly led his team to the DCSAA State Playoffs, it was a struggle throughout the season playing with a team full of inexperienced players.

Statistical sampling from the 2019-2020 high school season

Moe Johnson Stats.JPG
  • Very slender build – not much to his frame

  • Good height at 6’5” – knows how to use it to his advantage

  • Average athlete, but has very smooth movements; lacks explosiveness and urgency (speed, quickness, and bounce)

    • Would benefit greatly from quickness drills, resistance training, speed training, plyometrics, etc.

  • Terrific footwork and good hand-eye coordination

  • Must get stronger in all areas that require physicality     

    • Struggles against physicality (more insight to come)

  • Deceptive first step

  • Plays every minute of every game, but could improve conditioning.  Exerts minimal effort in several areas of the game (more insight to come)

  • Good shooter and has potential for improvement; high ceiling

    • Shoots with real range

      • Even from 30 feet, his form is intact

    • Shot is grooved

    • Soft touch

    • Great flight trajectory

  • There is a Steph Curry influence to the shot – a quick release from the chest area resulting in deep range at a high clip, whether off the dribble or on the catch.  Fully relaxed; fluid from beginning-to-end.

    • His shot is a huge part of his offensive effectiveness. It opens his game up and allows for greater creativity. 

      • Gives him leverage when starting from the jab-step series by keeping the defender off balance with a shot fake (more on this later)

    • His ability to shoot from deep off the bounce causes the defense to press up more, creating better spacing

    • Struggles to shoot over defenders if he is unable to create adequate space due to the low release; because of this, he has developed different shot types to compensate:

      • He uses a nice floater/push shot off of a jump stop in the lane amongst traffic

      • A very good shooter off of one foot – not afraid to shoot this runner-type shot from 15 feet

        • Overall, his runner is very effective

          • Slows his body down to stay under control, maintains good concentration on the goal, and keeps his upper torso vertical

          • Does not float through the shot very often

          • It’s a feel shot, and he’s got the feel

  • Mid-range: 7-21 from 15-18 feet, all contested in the 6 games reviewed

  • Has no problem shooting off of the dribble, but am more interested in his potential as a catch and shooter using movement off the ball.  His current role as the primary ballhandler does not allow him to get many attempts, but when he gets them, he shoots a high percentage.  (A large percentage of his shots must be created off the bounce)

    • He is able to catch, gather and square, then release very quickly

      • His squaring technique starts with his feet on up

    • Will need to work on his movement without the ball, and shooting from different movements (i.e. fades, L-cuts, curls, etc., etc.). 

      • Will benefit greatly from moving without the ball.

    • Currently does not run hard off of screens, and gets bumped off his path from physical defenders

  • Consistent free throw shooter on a large sample size

    • Has a nice snap of the wrist on the shot.  Very comfortable at the line.  Shoots it the same way with each rep.  Grooved.

  • Can sometimes allow the defender to disturb his concentration on the shot

Other Offensive Qualities
Offensive Qualities
  • Talented scorer who puts points on the board in a variety of ways

    • Exhibits real efficiency, averaging nearly 29 points on 19 attempts in the 6 games reviewed

      • Faced double and sometimes even triple teams, overloaded defenses

    • Has an assortment of effective moves to go to, and understands how to use his height advantage over smaller defenders

      • Jab-step series – this is where I think he is most dangerous.  He is at his best as a shooter when his feet are set. His shot allows him to be deceptive in very subtle ways.  For instance, he uses a lull-dip motion together with a short probing jab step, almost appearing as though he is sizing the defender up, but then the ball will be out of his hands before you know it.

        • Allows him to keep the defense guessing

        • Able to excel in the jab-step series using either foot as his pivot foot

        • Has the skillset to add

        • Shot fake – due to the efficacy of his shot, his shot fake keeps the defender off balance.  His quick release and accurate shot from deep has a big part to play in the success of the fake. 

      • Right-to-left crossover – smooth move with good lean and reach, rolling it low to his left

        • This is his go-to move when he needs to create off the bounce

        • Has a tendency to get too close to the defender and have it plucked away (see more in the “Dribbling” section)

      • Spin move going left or right off the hard drive in either direction

        • Does a nice job of getting the defender on his back

        • Keeps the spin tight

      • Hard drive right with a pull up from mid-range

        • Uses just enough of the defender’s momentum against them; shows really nice feel

    • Does not settle.  Looks to get into the midrange and to the basket.  Really does a good job of mixing it up.

    • Extremely effective at getting to the foul line; very consistent

      • Nearly a third of his points came from the line in the 6 games reviewed (shot nearly 73% on almost 13 attempts per game)

      • Tends to try to force contact on the drive by leading with his shoulder, resulting in an off-balance, low quality shot

      • Opponents often lacked true rim protection

  • Playing outside of his natural position as a 2, he spends most of the game functioning as his team’s primary ballhandler.  His game tells me he would be at his best when he is not forced to be in this role and could play off the ball. 

  • Really like his Pick & Roll ability

    • Uses the screen well and shows a good understanding of space

    • Has a natural snake dribble driven by a good feel for the defender while he is on the move, and it will improve as he gets better at using his body to protect the ball

    • Covers good ground with long steps 

    • Likes to reject the ball screen according to what he sees from the defense

    • Will do well to be more patient and wait on the screener to get set

  • Nice footwork in all facets of his offensive game

  • Heady one-on-one situational player

  • Prefers to go to his right and likes to operate on the right side of the floor

  • Exhibits potential as a playmaker both in the open court and as a drive and kicker

    • Also shows that he has the ability to board and push it himself

    • Understands how to draw the defense in

  • 1st inclination is often to put it on the floor

  • Tends to turn the ball over in clusters

  • Good in one-on-one situations in transition.  Gets to the rim, uses his body well, and either finishes with skill or draws the contact to get to the line. 

  • Can struggle against strong/physical ball pressure

  • Finishing

    • Capable of finishing with his off hand, and will do so from time-to-time, but prefers to finish with his strong hand even on the left side of the basket

      • He sometimes likes to drive hard left and jump more vertically than the defender, who is carried through by his momentum.  He then takes his time and finishes with his right hand to give him more control and strength.  Proven to be effective for him.

    • Struggles to finish through contact; unable to absorb and finish consistently

    • Lack of explosiveness limits him around the rim.  As a result, he has learned how to draw contact very well.

      • Forces him to be crafty

  • Playing outside of his natural position as a 2, he spends most of the game functioning as his team’s primary ballhandler

  • Overall, his ballhandling is hot and cold: on one hand, it can be picture perfect.  He keeps it tight with good ball control and effective dribble moves as he maneuvers around the defense -- he can really look good with the rock.  On the other hand, he can be very careless, loose, and will play around with the ball too much.  See the breakdown below.

  • Good handle in the open court, where he stays low, under control, and keeps his eyes up

  • Handles full court 1-on-1 pressure well, but runs into issues in the half court and against trapping defenses

    • He likes to split traps with the dribble and can be hit or miss with success

      • Sees a lot of doubles away from the basket

  • Possesses a good change of direction with the dribble when he is on the move

    • Again, he stays low with the ball, slightly dips his off shoulder

    • Uses an assortment of dribble moves; generally uses single dribble moves as opposed to double moves

      • Performs the moves purposefully and without disrupting his momentum

    • Shows a good ability to navigate through traffic, but can get himself into trouble when he tries to do too much and dribble through multiple defenders

  • Utilizes a series of lull-dribble moves and a nice change of pace with the ball

  • Tends to be careless with the dribble, appearing to be almost too relaxed.  Allows the defender to gain an advantageous on-ball position by getting up into him; and because he lacks strength with the ball, it can sometimes cause ball security issues.

  • Has a habit of getting too close to the defender and leaving the ball exposed outside of his body without protection. Rather than placing his body between the ball and man, he maintains a forward angle and attempts to complete a dribble move. 

  • His dribble moves can be stationary at times, where he will hit the defender with a single or double move, but his feet are barely moving.  The wiggle is all in his upper body.  Therefore, he can be easy to stay in front of from a defensive perspective.

  • Not opposed to giving it up

  • Decent court vision

  • Overall, throws a lot of lax, lazy passes

    • Has a tendency to throw careless passes that go the other way for easy baskets   

  • Accurate passer with good touch from short distance, but anything longer in distance and off the dribble can be inconsistent and inaccurate

    • Good accuracy off the drive and kick, as long as the pass is made to his driving side

    • Nice touch on dump offs when drawing bigs in the paint

  • Lots of one-handed passes, bounce and non-bounce (right hand only)

    • Will throw these passes dangerously across court

  • Very lazy defender – no real effort

    • On-ball, he plays all the way off without any ball pressure.  Allows his man too much room to operate, yet still gets beat off the dribble consistently.  Lacks energy and activity.

      • Opens up too much on the drive

      • Tends to play back on his heels with one arm extended out as a placeholder

    • Lazy close out all the way around

    • Standing straight up and down off ball

      • Non-existent on the help side

    • Allows cutters to cut in front with no resistance

    • Loses track of his man and will get beat back door

    • Little interest and awareness

  • He is capable of getting down and moving his feet, but it almost never happens

  • Lacks physicality

  • Rebounding – good ball skills; able to anticipate where the ball is coming off

    • Lacks desire to board

    • Does not block out – stands straight up and down; just turns and looks when the shot goes up

    • Often languishes on the perimeter waiting for an outlet pass

Basketball IQ
  • Again, playing outside of his natural position and being asked to make decisions he would not normally be required to make is something to consider here.  But in terms of overall Basketball IQ, it is telling.  He is actively learning the game.

  • Has the mind and perspective of a scorer, and focuses on this   

    • Roughly 1 out of 5 shots is a 3.  This is a good ratio because it supports his ability to understand his opponent and identify scoring opportunities.  As talented of a shooter as he is, he does not try to rely on his range too much.  Instead, he takes advantage of another strength, which is getting to the line.

    • Has a nice feel for the defense

      • It’s when he tries to do too much that he finds himself in trouble

    • Understands how to adjust his shot type accordingly

  • Mentally, he sees the game but his eyes can sometimes get too big for his plate, and he is not able to pull off what he envisions

    • Overall, he has good basketball instincts

  • Solid understanding of time and score

  • Struggles to make decisions under duress/pressure

    • i.e. Does not handle traps well

  • Developing leadership skills during a trying season

    • Steps in for teammates to prevent conflict with the opposing team

    • Celebrates the success of his teammates

    • Provides direction on the court

    • Not afraid to get on his teammates to hold them accountable

      • Pushes teammates to get better

  • He seems to have a relaxed way about him naturally, but there are times when it just seems like he is trying to exert as little energy as possible

  • Low motor; calm, laid back demeanor

  • Exhibits poor body language by slumping and decreasing in energy as frustration grows, whether with himself or with his teammates

  • Does not hustle

    • Loafs back on defense after committing turnovers and missing shots

    • Slow to loose balls, etc.

  • Holds consistent commentary with refs; exhibits frustration

  • His overall aggression level is low outside of his offensive attack


“He is one of the most coachable and respectful young men I’ve had the pleasure of coaching in 15 years… He was like an assistant coach on and off the court.” 

                                                                                 - Head Coach James Pope, Cesar Chaves PCS

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