Notre Dame coach Mike Brey was moments removed from watching Maryland's Terrell Stoglin scorch the Fighting Irish for 31 points Sunday. Still, he knew another player did just as much to sink his team in the BB&T Classic.
Terrapin senior Sean Mosley hustled after loose balls. He grabbed six rebounds. He didn't commit a turnover.
And while it wasn't the most obvious development, Mosley was more seamlessly involved in the offense than at any point in the previous two games, scoring 17 points as the Terps secured a 78-71 victory.
"He's just a man," Brey said. "He's steady. He doesn't do things he can't do, but he makes winning plays. He's a great college basketball player, because he's been here four years. He's a man. He knows who he is. I'm very impressed with him, and he made plays like a man tonight for their team to win."
Maryland (4-3) enters a six-game homestand spanning the next four weeks starting Wednesday against Mount St. Mary's (1-6). It will be a time for the team to improve, for coach Mark Turgeon to tinker and for the Terps to add a piece or two before conference play arrives.
Center Alex Len becomes eligible Dec. 28 and will miss three more games. Guard Pe'Shon Howard could return shortly after Christmas, though his recovery from a broken left foot remains a far-from-concrete variable.
Mosley, though, is one of the few certainties on Maryland's roster, which means it needs production from him at both ends of the floor to have a decent chance to succeed against capable competition.
That was a question coming into the season after he slumped through his junior season and struggled to handle greater attention. In the early stages of his final year, the concern isn't so much his offensive capabilities as it is the opportunities he has to exploit them.
Mosley took six shots in a Nov. 25 defeat of Florida Gulf Coast. After Turgeon acknowledged Mosley needed to be more involved, Mosley was held to four shots in a loss to lllinois four days later.
"It's not all about finding your shot," Mosley said. "It's about making your teammates better. For me, I can score the basketball. These last couple games, I took four or five shots and made most of the shots that I shoot. For me, it's about trying to get my team to execute and run the plays that coach wants us to run and just trying to do everything to win."
He did that Sunday. Even if his eight field goal attempts weren't a large increase, he was more connected with the rest of the offense. He hit two 3-pointers, increasing his season total to 12 (his career-high is 14), and also tried a season-high six free throws.
"It doesn't just have to be a jump shot," Turgeon said. "He has to get to the foul line some and maybe get three or four points a game at the foul line, second-chance points and there's other way to get involved offensively besides coach running a play for you."
While Stoglin remains Maryland's most explosive player, Mosley is the steadiest. And he'll need to continue to provide stability for the rest of an inexperienced roster as Maryland journeys deeper into its season.
That's the role, Brey might say, of a man — and one the increasingly self-assured Mosley intends to fill.
"I'm not looking over my shoulder if I take a bad shot or I make a bad play," Mosley said. "I'm just out there just playing basketball and enjoying a great time."
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Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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