During a Tennessee men's basketball practice about a week or so ago, freshman point guard Armani Moore sliced up floor and made a sly no-look pass leading to an easy layup.
One possession later, Moore dribbled at midcourt and rifled an overhand pass through a maze of defenders. The maze won. Turnover.
A whistle filled Pratt Pavillion.
"C'mon, Armani," coach Cuonzo Martin followed. "It's either a home run or a strikeout with you, man."
Teaching a freshman point guard to adjust to the college game is one thing. Teaching a freshman who didn't play the position in high school to adjust to playing point in college is entirely different.
You can guess which Armani Moore is.
"Keep it simple" is Martin's constant reminder.
As junior point guard Trae Golden's primary backup, Moore is being given every opportunity to learn on the fly early in the Vols' season. He played 12 minutes in a victory against Oakland on Monday and 11 in a prior victory against Massachusetts in Puerto Rico.
In each game he made one field goal, scored two points, dished one assist and committed two turnovers.
"I've still got to get adjusted to playing in college basketball games," Moore said Wednesday.
Martin concurs, but believes progress is being made.
Moore starred as a wing at Mt. Paran Christian School, a lower-rung school in Georgia high school basketball.
Not exactly the SEC.
In the transition to a new position, Martin said Moore doesn't need to be a traditional point guard. In UT's offense, it often doesn't matter who brings the ball across halfcourt and starts the offense. Jeronne Maymon did it at times last year.
Moore's task is to keep the Vols' motion offense moving when Golden catches a breather. Steady play, smart defense and no turnovers are the requirements.
The home runs are nice. The strikeouts are not.
"That's his game, but now he has to maintain the spectacular and also know when it's time to keep it simple," Martin said. "When you get to this level, you're asked to run a team, which is not an easy thing to do, along with defending and rebounding.
"By my gauge, you get more opportunities and more minutes when you do those things."
When Tennessee (4-1) travels to Washington, D.C., for a meeting with No. 20 Georgetown (4-1) on Friday (TV: ESPN, 6:30 p.m.), Moore will get his first taste of a true college basketball road game.
He said he's "excited" for the matchup, but admitted, "I'm still not used to always running the show and I don't feel 100 percent comfortable right now. "
Thus, Moore's development continues to be a focal point.
Asked if he rides Moore a little more than others in practice, Martin began nodding before the question ended.
"Oh yeah, oh yeah," he said. "I'm on him because he has the ability. It came so easy to him and now all the sudden it doesn't come so easy. He can't be so loose and careless with the ball. That's a turnover. We'll pay for it on the other end.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/BFQuinn