Nov. 14, 2007
For the previous two seasons, the role of the tough physical post player on the Florida State women’s basketball team was played by Nikki Anthony. With Anthony’s graduation last spring, that role has been anxiously taken over by sophomore Cayla More who is ready to elevate her game this season.
After redshirting her first season at Florida State, Moore was used sparing last season. She saw action in just 10 games, but was very effective when she saw the court, averaging six points and two rebounds with five steals in just 5.2 minutes per game.
On top of the normal pecking order of upperclassmen, one thing that hampered Moore’s ability to gain playing time was her battle with asthma. Often she would not be able to make it more than a few trips down the floor without having to be relieved.
When Anthony chose to graduate and not comeback for a fifth year, Moore knew she was going to get more playing, but in order to fill those minutes she also knew she had to get into better shape. Moore committed herself to stepping up her condition during the summer and preseason.
“I’m much faster, much more willing to go get rebounds and get to different spots,” Moore said. “I’m willing to go all out instead of having to save myself for the next play. It’s good that I know I can be there for my teammates and they don’t have to worry about me not giving 100 percent.”
The extra condition has paid off for Moore. Once a trusty companion on the bench, through the first two exhibition games she has not had to take a single puff off her inhaler. If any, Moore only expects to use it once a game.
The coaching staff has taken notice of her new endurance and dedication to playing a bigger role on the team. In the first two exhibition games she has more than doubled her minutes per game average (13.5) and upped her scoring and rebounding while shooting 75 percent from the floor.
“I worked a lot on finishing around the basket and doing everything that the coaches asked me to do,” Moore said of her offseason. “I worked on my ball handling, passing and looking for open shots; not being scared to be an offensive player. I was just focused on defense in the past.”
In addition to a jump-started endurance, Moore has valuable knowledge that many sophomores don’t. While redshirting she said she was able to see the game from a coach’s perspective and that has given her a new outlook on the game. She hopes to take advantage of that opportunity and put it to good use with her increased minutes.
Away from the court, Moore is just like her peers in that she enjoys relaxing on days off and hanging out with friends. While her off days are pretty low key, one thing she does make a point to do is change her hairstyle for the week.
Ever since she was in ninth grade, Moore began changing her hairstyle. She picked up the craft from her aunt who would do Moore’s hair and her mother’s. She said she tries to be creative with her hair and bases the style on how she feels that day.
Another talent that Moore willing shares is her singing ability. Considered by her teammates to be one of the best singers in the squad, Moore got her start in the church choir, but had to give it up once basketball became her focus. A fan of Beyoncé, she can be heard belting out a tune anywhere.
If she can play as well as she can carry a tune, Moore will be making sweet music for the Seminoles on and off the court.