When Phil Martelli talked to Malachi Moreno in April, the Michigan associate head coach told him how he and Juwan Howard would personally watch him play in an April tournament. It was a meaningful moment for the four-star big out of Kentucky, but not nearly as big as what happened after the tournament.
“I got the call back from Coach Martelli saying that I had received an offer,” Moreno told UM Hoops. “And I was really blessed to receive it because Coach Howard told me on that phone call that I reminded him a lot of himself in high school, so it was really good to hear that from him.
“Hearing it from Juwan Howard of all people, that means a lot.”
Whether Howard said that out of admiration or recruitment, lofty comparisons stem from talented play. Putting up 14.9 points and 11.4 rebounds alongside 4.8 blocks, Moreno’s play is hard to stop on either end of the court.
As he works on an unofficial visit with the Wolverines this summer, the seventh-ranked center in the nation has also received player comps to Hunter Dickinson from Michigan’s staff. That part of the recruiting pitch seems the most intriguing because it lines up with the goals Moreno has for himself.