Ronnie ‘Tuffy’ Moss leads team on instinct

Ronnie Tuffy Moss leads team on instinct

Sophomore point guard Ronnie Moss changed his commitment from Kent State to TCU a year and a half ago when Jim Christian, the previous Kent State Coach, was hired to coach for the Frogs.

Moss, a Fort Worth native, said he was glad that he made the decision to come home and liked the changes Christian had made to the program..

“Coach Christian loves someone that is going to come in and be a hard-nosed player for him,” Moss said. “He has our back, and we’re a team and a family.”

Assistant coach Jean Prioleau said Moss exhibited a strong work ethic as a freshman last season.

“(Moss) doesn’t give up,” Prioleau said. “Even if things aren’t going well on the court he doesn’t give up, he plays as hard as he can all the time.”

Coaches and teammates call Moss “Tuffy,” his childhood nickname. He was born with a hole in his heart that he still has and earned the nickname “Tuffy” from his uncle while in the hospital as an infant.

The heart did not bother Moss as a freshman when he averaged 10.2 points and 2.1 assists per game as the top scoring freshman in the Mountain West Conference. His scoring average was also the highest for a Horned Frog freshman basketball player in eight years.

A natural left-hander, Moss worked to improve his weaker hand over the summer in order to become a more dangerous and versatile point guard.

“I worked on my right hand and just seeing the floor when I played pick-up games and stuff like that,” Moss said. “Some days I went without shooting the ball and just passed, passed, passed and tried to get my team more involved.”

Moss is not focused on improving his individual statistics though. He said his main focus is to become a better leader.

“I want to improve on being a better floor general on the court … and getting my team doing what they’re supposed to be doing on the court,” Moss said.

He pleased the coaches with his progress in that very aspect of the game, Prioleau said.

“Last year he had to take on how we wanted him to play, how to play Division I basketball, outside rotations, closeouts, etc,” Prioleau said. “Over the course of time he’s learned how to adjust and adapt and learn those things, so obviously this year it makes it easier for him. That’s the improvement that he’s made and when that happens the game starts to slow down.”

Prioleau emphasized that every player on the team offered something in the form of leadership qualities, but that seniors and players who have more experience than others would naturally take on a larger role.

After one year in the program and the adjustment to college basketball, Moss said winning a conference championship and playing in front of larger home crowds are goals of his this season.

“I watch other college games and I see all the students and I know our students are capable,” he said. “If we give them something to come for, they will come.”

Moss and Christian will try to give fans something to come for in both of their second years at TCU.

“I feel like I have taken on a leadership role through Coach Christian because through my freshman year he guided me every step of the way,” Moss said. “I have a feel for what he wants on the court and what he wants me to do. So it’s just natural instinct.”