Yesterday's win was ugly for a lot of people, from Landon Milbourne to Eric Hayes to Cliff Tucker to James Padgett. All those players, though, have had good games not at all long ago, for most as recent as Monday - this game was an aberration. For only one player on the roster was that not true: Sean Mosley. And with last night's performance, it seems increasingly likely that these scoring issues aren't one or two game problems: Mosley has officially entered into a slump.
Sugar Sean broke his drought early last night after 22 scoreless minutes against UVA, but his performance was far from opened floodgates. He finished with just 4 points in his 30 minutes, on just 1-6 shooting. This marked another rough performance in Mosley's sophomore campaign - the past three matchups, he's averaged just 2.6 points per game; just 3.4 in the past 5. He hasn't reached double-digits since notching ten against Miami back in January, 7 games ago.
No player has hit a sophomore slump quite like Mosley has, seemingly running into a wall in ACC play. He's lost 20% of his scoring since entering into conference play, and has looked much more tentative, unsure, and generally less skilled offensively.
But as I said after Virginia, even though this is now sure slump, I would still oppose any major minute change for either Mosley or his main competition, Cliff Tucker or Adrian Bowie. For all the problems on this team, offense is by far least among them. And despite Mosley's offensive struggles, he still brings an immeasurable quality on the glass and on defense that Bowie brings to a lesser extent and Tucker, to this point, hasn't proven he can provide.
And it's not as if either of the other two are bulletproof, either - last night was a quiet one for the Tucker, just 1 point in 9 minutes. As for Bowie, despite a great performance last night, I still don't consider him anything close to consistent offensively. He had 8 points, but that was the first time he topped 3 since Miami.
With those things in mind, I'm still on the SSM bandwagon. He's struggling, but neither Tucker nor Bowie are sure shots and neither bring the rest of his game. Slight decrease in minutes? Okay, but I would suggest against anything major and certainly nothing that could become permanent.
That said, when Maryland is struggling offensively, like they did against Duke and at times against N.C. State, Mosley should not be in the game. He's the least effective offensive option right now, and when his fadeaway doesn't drop, he doesn't have anywhere else to go.
That little issue is especially worrisome as eyes slowly turn to life without Greivis Vasquez, which was expected to be led by Mosley. But as games like last night showed, there are concerns about Mosley's ability to do that.
For example, when shooting poorly last night, he passed up a few wide open shots. Smart decision? Maybe - he was shooting poorly, so common sense says don't take those shots, but a wide open shot is an easy way to get back on track. He made a glue guy's decision, not a scorer's decision.
That's not a bad thing right now - Greivis Vasquez has taken and holds the scorer mantle with pride. But scorer is, at least at the moment, not Sean's mentality, and the hope is that it will be next year.