While Sean Mosley didnt come anywhere close last year to averaging the 24.2 ppg that earned him Player of the Year honors from the Baltimore Sun, he managed to excel at the little things and earned a lot of playing time down the stretch.
I knew coming in it was going to be a different level, but I think I did a pretty good job as a freshman, Mosley said. Last season I just played my role and thats one thing that coach realized. Later in the season I think I got more comfortable coming off my ankle injury and thats why I got a lot of minutes.
Although not known for his defensive prowess in high school, Mosley quickly made a positive impact on defense for the Terrapins. Playing in the ACC, he consistently had to go up against some of the best guards in the country, including guys like North Carolinas Tywon Lawson, Florida States Toney Douglas, and Wake Forests Jeff Teague.
You have to slow them up, he said about covering Lawson and Teague. If they get a head start on you its hard to catch up. It was definitely a challenge for me to stay out in front of them, but I did a good job trying to slow them down and make them put up tough shots.
Last season could certainly be categorized as a series of ups and downs for Maryland basketball. While they eventually were able to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finish with a 21-14 record, it certainly wasnt always that promising.
The team dealt with rumors of Gary Williams demise, as well as some heartbreaking losses to ACC rivals. For a long time it looked like the Terrapins would miss the NCAA Tournament yet again, but eventually something clicked leading to wins over ACC powers North Carolina and Wake Forest.
After we lost to Miami and Boston College, said Mosley about when things started to get better. After that game something just clicked. We all just realized we have to take one game at a time and not look past any teams. We learned to play the hardest minutes of your life.
This off-season Mosley says he is primarily trying to get stronger and quicker but also to increase his shooting percentage. The noticeably bigger Mosley works out Monday through Thursday, as well as taking classes. Although he admits its a very long day, he doesnt mind putting in the work and that can largely be attributed to second-year trainer Paul Ricci.
Im more explosive and quicker than I used to be, he said. Im more fluent on the court than I used to be and Paul (Ricci) is because of that.
Ricci, who Mosley describes as a Tasmanian devil, seems to have instilled a change in the way things are done. Never has it been more competitive in the weight room than it has with Ricci now in charge, and the team is already excited about this upcoming season.
Even with just bench pressing, we all try to push each other, he said. We try to push past what even Paul says and show that we are pushing ourselves. We are not satisfied with last year and want to get better. We went to the second round (last year), but we want to go to a Final Four and win a national championship.
While there doesnt appear to currently be Final Four buzz concerning the Terrapins, there is considerable excitement surrounding the program. With all major contributors returning besides Dave Neal, plus the additions of freshmen Jordan Williams and James Padgett, the expectations are high.
By far, to me, I think we should be the top team (in the ACC), Mosley said. Just looking back and seeing who we are bringing back plus Paul helps out a lot because he is getting everyones bodies ready for the season.