Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mosley, freshmen shine in exhibition

Sean Mosley tied for the team high in points and rebounds last night against division II Indiana(Pa.) with an impressive 14 point and 6 rebound performance on 7/9 shooting. In the scrimmages Mosley looked like a much more confident and offensively impressive player this season and may add a reliable scoring element to complement Vasquez that Maryland didn't really have last season.

Freshman James Padgett was given a start at forward and played well with 8 points and 4 rebounds in 22 minutes. With the nebulous suspension of forward Dino Gregory for academic violations it seems probable that Padgett will get to start his first collegiate game next Friday against Charleston Southern in the season opener. Padgett and fellow freshman Jordan Williams have shown flashes in the scrimmages and exhibition game that would indicate they can be effective if they have to replace Gregory for the rest of the season.

There was some concern in media reports about the rebounding but as of now I don't think that is a serious issue. Jordan Williams is a better rebounder now than Dave Neal was last season and Dino Gregory was vastly overrated in regards to his rebounding. Both Williams and Padgett have posted decent rebounding numbers in the scrimmages and the exhibition game. During last season Neal and Gregory combined for 7.5 rebounds and 11.1 points per game in 40 minutes of play. In the exhibition game, even with a rebounding effort that could have been better, Padgett and Williams combined for 10 rebounds and 15 points. It may have been an undersized opponent but it wasn't as if Gregory and Neal were posting better numbers against the Delaware State and Elon level opponents on Maryland's schedule last season either.

Certainly Dave Neal did some things that neither Padgett or Williams can do right now but it is equally true that Padgett and Williams bring things to the table that Neal couldn't do last season. The loss of Gregory is more a concern of depth right now with Steve Goins nursing a tender knee. That leaves Landon Milbourne, Jin Soo Choi, Padgett and Williams as the only frontcourt players. To be honest that still strikes me as an improvement over last season. It does guarantee that Williams and Padgett will get their chance to develop with plenty of playing time in the early part of the season until Gregory returns (unlikely) or Goins recovers. I felt Goins was behind both Padgett and Williams before his knee trouble but he would at least provide more depth.

There are areas that Gary Williams would like to see improvement such as perimeter shooting, defense and rebounding but usually those areas are rusty this early in the season. It will be worth watching those areas, along with the play of the freshman, when Maryland tips off the 2009-10 season next week.

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