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Sports

July 3, 2007

A Ray of Hope

WALTHAM - Former University of Connecticut assistant coach Tom Moore has already been peppered with questions.



"Since the draft, a lot of Celtics fans asked me what Ray Allen is going to bring to the table," said the current Quinnipiac University head coach. "I told them, you'll be watching a game and he's going to have a quarter where he's going to hit five or six 3-pointers and he's just going to take control of the game."



He learned long ago not to be surprised by Allen, the new Celtics guard who met with the Boston media for the first time yesterday.



"Ray was a better athlete than a shooter when he got to UConn," said Moore, who coached Allen during his sophomore and junior seasons. "He had a pretty-looking shot, but it was more of a line-drive. He worked so hard and once he got a little more of an arc on his shot, it developed into one of the best shots in NBA history."



And the stats back him up. Allen ranks second all-time in 3-points shot made (1,920), behind only Pacers legend Reggie Miller (2,560).



"There are so few people in sports that can do one thing superior," said Moore. "And Ray is a superior shooter. He has an incredibly quick release and his footwork in how he goes into his shot is perfect. He's always ready to shoot."



Moore also noted he's more than a great shooter



"He was one of those players you expected to be great," Moore said. "Boston will see how great a person he is. He carries himself with such dignity and class. He takes great pride in his appearance and he never wanted to look bad. And he has a hunger to improve."



Allen, a seven-time NBA All-Star, was the picture of confidence as he addressed the media yesterday. Wearing a traditional black suit with his wife and children off to the side, he expressed how excited he was to join the Celtics.



Allen joined the club in the blockbuster draft day deal with Seattle for Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and Jeff Green (the No. 5 pick). Boston also acquired the No. 35 pick, which it used to draft Glen "Big Baby" Davis.



"It seems like I've been in the doldrums for the last 41/2 years," said the guard of playing in Seattle. "Over the last few years, the (Seattle) organization has been in disarray. ... This is a long time coming and I would love to be a part of the next (Celtics championship)."



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