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Maryland’s Sean Mosley anticipates better year

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It wasn't much fun for Sean Mosley to watch film of his junior year.

Of course, the season itself wasn't too enjoyable for the Maryland guard, either.

His scoring decreased. His play grew tentative. His shooting percentage plummeted. And the Terrapins, who reached the NCAA tournament the previous two years, stumbled to a 19-14 season and missed the postseason for the first time since 1993.

"Watching video from last year showed I was uptight," Mosley said at the ACC's media day on Wednesday. "I watched film from my freshman and sophomore years and I was just out there playing and not worrying about anything. Last year, I was looking over my shoulder after missing a shot or turning the ball over."

That happened far more than the Baltimore native would have liked in his first college season without Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez playing in the backcourt with him. He was the Terps' most notable player returning on the perimeter and drew far more attention as a result.

It would have been tolerable if Maryland found itself on track for the NCAA tournament. Instead, it played the best teams on its schedule close for much of the season before losing three of their last four.

"Nothing last year went right," Mosley said. "We didn't win a lot of games last year. It was frustrating for the program and frustrating for the team."

Less than two months after the season ended, longtime coach Gary Williams retired. Mark Turgeon was soon hired away from Texas A&M, and it meant a new beginning for everyone in the program.

That included Mosley, who averaged 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds but came off the bench in four of Maryland's last seven games a year ago.

This season, he gets a new coach and a new system — a motion offense rather than Williams' long-preferred flex scheme. He'll play on a team with no established frontcourt options and minimal external expectations.

If Maryland is to crack the top half of the ACC and make a surprise push for an NCAA tournament bid, Mosley will need a significant bounce back. At the least, he's already helped make Turgeon's transition in College Park easier.

"Besides my wife and kids, there's no one more important in my life than Sean Mosley right now," said Turgeon, whose team was picked ninth in the 12-team conference by the assembled media Wednesday. "It's true. Sean's started on good teams, he's started on not-so-good teams, he's started at Duke, he's played on a league championship team, he's played in the NCAA tournament. He's seen it."

To do more, he'll need to return to the solid play of his first two seasons. Mosley reached double figures in only four conference games last season, and he'll be asked to score more in his final year.

But most of all, Mosley just wants to get back to playing without overthinking things and make the player on last year's film that he barely recognized become an even more distant memory.

"I wish I had two more years left," Mosley said. "But this is my last go-round, and I'm just looking forward to having the best possible year I can have, especially from last year's downfall and not making the tournament and having a terrible season for myself."

NOTES: Turgeon said center Alex Len, who has yet to be cleared by the NCAA, is not practicing with the Terps because a 45-day window that began when Len first started participating in individual workouts. Len still is allowed to watch practice.

• Turgeon said he hopes to play a nonconference game in Baltimore next season. "Hopefully it's a local team, a team from the state," Turgeon said. "That'd be a lot of fun. I can't promise you that, but that's what we're looking at."

• ACC commissioner John Swofford said no decisions are finalized, but he expects the conference schedule to grow by two games when Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the conference. "It's likely we'll go to an 18-game schedule when we go to 14 teams," Swofford said. "I think that's highly likely." Both schools accepted invitations to join the ACC last month, though it's still uncertain when they'll begin play.

• Swofford also said he believes league athletic directors would want the ACC basketball tournament to include every team. "I think there was a feeling that all 14 should be there," Swofford said.

ACC Predicted Order of Finish

1. North Carolina, 2. Duke, 3. Florida State, 4. Virginia, 5. Miami, 6. Virginia Tech, 7. Clemson, 8. N.C. State, 9. Maryland, 10. Georgia Tech, 11. Wake Forest, 12. Boston College

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