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Maryland men's basketball season recap: Sean Mosley

This week, Terrapins Insider will take a look back on the 2009-10 Maryland men’s basketball season from an individual standpoint. We’ll discuss how each player’s year went and look ahead to his role on the team going forward. Readers are encouraged to provide their thoughts in the comments section below or email them to

With the steps he’s taken thus far in his Maryland career, you get the sense now that the senior trio of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne are departing that the Terrapins are now Sean Mosley’s team. A fulltime starter since midway through his freshman season, Mosley has firmly entrenched himself as an integral part of the squad, someone who leads with his play and his words.

“He has an old soul,” Mosley’s former AAU coach, Carlton Carrington, said back in early November. “Way more mature than other kids in his age group.”

Mosley’s game is not so much about flash as it is about grit, and so it’s not difficult to see why Mosley was able to endear himself to Coach Gary Williams so quickly. Last season, Mosley established himself as the team’s best and most physical perimeter defender, and this season was supposed to be about expanding his responsibilities on the floor.

In some ways, Mosley accomplished that goal. Regardless of how well he shot the ball or how many points he scored, you knew that Mosley would find a way to make some sort of tangible contribution to Maryland’s effort pretty much every game. He would rebound, he would force steals, he would dish out a few assists, he would do something. Mosley always made his presence felt.

He averaged 1.2 steals and 5.5 rebounds per game in conference play, finishing second on the team in both categories.

But after the hot offensive start Mosley got off to this season, more was expected of him in the point production department heading into the ACC season. For the season, Mosley shot 50.9 percent from the field and averaged 10.1 points per game. But in conference play, he shot 41.8 percent and averaged 8.3 points per game. The competition on the whole, obviously, was much tougher during the ACC season, yet still, you often wondered what was wrong, what was different, what had changed.

And in perhaps his most impressive performance of the season, Mosley sat down with reporters on Feb. 19, the day before Maryland beat Georgia Tech at Comcast Center on Cliff Tucker’s last-second three-point shot, and answered every question they had regarding his shooting woes. The rarity that a Maryland player A) would subject himself to that, and B) would be allowed to subject himself to that is worth pointing out. Typically, if a Terrapin is going through a rough stretch on the court he is not made available for interviews off of it.

But Mosley sat there with that all-knowing, everything-will-be-fine grin and answered question after question.

“My teammates got a lot of trust in me, and they know that if I keep shooting, eventually I’m going to start hitting them,” Mosley said that day. “Right now it’s just a tough stretch for me because my shots are not falling. That just comes with playing this game of basketball. You’re going to have some off nights. You know, I had a couple off nights recently, but I do a lot of other things to help my team out to win. If my shots not falling, I make sure my man don’t score, make sure I get every loose ball and every rebound, just try to help the team out in any aspect that I can.”

Mosley shot 3 for 8 from the field and tallied six points against the Yellow Jackets, but four days later against Clemson he registered a game-high 20 points on 6 for 8 shooting.

The capability to be a scorer clearly is there. Mosley is a smart player who seems to hold a firm grasp on how to operate Williams’s offensive system. But he needs to improve on his ability to create his own shot, especially now that the Terrapins will be in search of some new go-to scoring options. Mosley might not turn into a guy who can shoulder the squad’s scoring load on a nightly basis, but he can be a consistent scoring threat, someone in the role of, say, Eric Hayes, a guy who picked his spots quite well.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 31, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland men's basketball season recap: Jordan Williams


Among Moseley, Bowie and Tucker, Moseley seems to have the highest upside for next season. Great recruit and solid performer thus far, but on a team that had GV and did not have room for another GV type player (scoring, assisting and rebounding) so SM evolved his game to the Mouton role. I actually think it will be easier to re-set his game to more of a 1 or 2, and it does seem CT is more of a natural 3 than SM. I don't think SM does GV better than GV. I do think SM will by definition raise his scoring and assist averages significantly next season. I think he is the key player for the team next year on which the success of the season will swing. If SM is the player I think he has the potential to be, then no bubble drama. given the streaky play of AB, CT & SM, it seems to me the SM is the MOST likely to deliver a degree of consistency in terms of scoring next season.

Different topic - UNC in the NIT title game? Who'da thunk it? I actually hope they win it - they split the $$ with MD. It re-validates Roy Williams a bit in my mind - I always hate the fact that when MD was sent to the NIT, our teams never came to play. The best way to smack the Dance selection committee - and a bonus come bubble selection time the next year - is to win the NIT. Show them that if you're gonna play, you're gonna play to win. This despite the fact that as an older alum, I dislike UNC a bit more than I dislike Duke.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | March 31, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Mosley's improvement from year 1 to year 2 was one of the bright spots of this season. If he makes any sort of comparable improvement entering his junior year, I think he becomes a 15 point per night player.

I think next year's team is going to be more of a defense-oriented team. GV and Hayes were outstanding for us, but both had their limitations defenseively. Bowie, Tucker, Mosley and Dino all have the potential to be skilled defenders. Hopefully, the increased minutes yield more consistent offensive output.

Posted by: PeteinAZ | March 31, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Here's my number 1 pet peeve with reporters, writing this "his most impressive performance of the season". Was it REALLY making himself available to reporters? REALLY? What a pathetic, self-serving and beyond over the top narcissistic comment. Sports reporters: first to whine they can't get an interview or the free food isn't good.


As to Mosley himself -

He's not a shooting guard, he's probably not a point guard, and at 6'4" he's too short to be a real small forward. MD has at least two if not three, shoot first point guards coming in.

So where does he fit?

Posted by: ckstevenson | March 31, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

On MIke and Mike ESPN this morning, Coach K was asked how he felt that the injured WVA guard is being treating at Duke Medical to get a shoe fitted? His response was we would do the same 4 MD. Rivals?????????????

He could have said UNC.

Posted by: jack51 | March 31, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My diatribe above aside, any chance Mosley could play point guard? The resemblance to Mateen Cleaves should be enough right?

I don't think Bowie can get it done.

Posted by: ckstevenson | March 31, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Mosley has the most the gain next season with the exit of a very distinguished senior class. He gives Gary a lot of versatility, and it will be interesting to see if Gary continues to use Sean at the 3 or if he plays some 2 or 4. He is more than capable of picking up the scoring load lost from the departing seniors, however, it will be important for him to not try to do to much. He will probably be the team leader (for the next two years), and has all of the tools to become a very special player. His role in the offense will be something to watch over the next two years, because he's a type of player Gary's never had to work into the flex. Sean's strong, has a great shot, and good quickness, but is not necessarily the fastest guy on the court, and does not possess the greatest ball handling ability. His smooth shot would suggest a Juan Dixon like player, but his build and ability to bang down low makes him more like Keith Booth. I'm excited to see what type of player Sean turns into next year. Does he try to be a do-everything player like Booth (in his junior and senior years), or does he do more facilitating and work within a team philosophy like Juan and Greivis. Either way, Sean is the most talented player coming back next season, and could experience the biggest jump.

Posted by: Russtinator | March 31, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Sean Mosley, from Bmore player of the year to ACC stud. Just another in the seemingly endless series of great local recruits that Gary got.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 31, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Right on Jack51.. I thought the exact same thing this am. When he was saying that, thought for sure he was gonna say Carolina....but no. What rival is at the tip of Coach K's tongue?

Posted by: asnis715 | March 31, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I was less surprised than Steve Yanda by Mosley's erratic scoring this season. If anything I think he's on a normal trajectory, showing marked scoring improvement from last year but still not quite there on a nightly basis.

I agree that Mosley does not look like someone who will ever shoulder the scoring load, and also that his off-the-ball contributions nonetheless make him extremely valuable. I think his offensive goals for next year should be to consistently average 8-12 points per game, and to pose a reasonable three point threat to help spread opposing defenses.

Most importantly, because of everything else he does, particularly on defense, Mosley is very much the kind of starter you can win with. If anything, players like him who do all the dirty work are harder to find than scorers. The team as a whole is typically better when he's on the floor. I am extremely positive on him overall and, with Eric Hayes departing, I think he takes over the mantle of "easiest Terp player to root for."

Posted by: AndJuan | March 31, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Don't think I could've said it better myself AndJuan

Posted by: fushezzi | March 31, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps we should infer from Coach K mentioning MD and not UNC is that a UNC player wouldn't get treatment at Duke :)

Posted by: Mikey14 | March 31, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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