The recent play of Maryland and Greivis Vasquez in particular -- is there a point guard in the country playing any better than No. 21 at the moment? -- has overshadowed the prolonged shooting slump of Sean Mosley.
After starting out the season shooting ridiculously well in his first eight games, making 45 of his first 70 field goal attempts and going 11 of 14 against Villanova, the sophomore from Baltimore (St. Frances) has fallen off badly.
Since hitting all eight of his attempts against lowly Longwood last month, Mosley has gone 15 of 45 in the last eight games, including 0-fors against both Florida State and, more recently, against Virginia.
"It just comes with playing the game of basketball," Mosley said during Friday's media availability at Comcast Center. "Every shot you take you're not going to make. When you're going through a stretch like I'm going through right now, it's kind of tough. But you've got to keep shooting. The only thing I can do is keep shooting until I make 'em."
Mosley said he took extra shooting on Thursday, even though it was supposed to be a rare day of rest for a team that's about to play its fourth game in eight days. He also watches tape of the games, but sees nothing out of sorts about his mechanics. It's not physical or mental, just basketball.
Gary Williams sticks with Mosley in the three-guard lineup because of the other things he adds: on a night when he missed five of eight against Wake Forest in an overtime loss, Mosley got a career-high 13 rebounds. Against N.C. State the other night, Mosley hit his first shot and then missed the other five. But he had two blocks and helped in his team's comeback.
"I try to help the team out anyway I can," Mosley said. "I try to get every loose ball, try to be there to help my teammates out. Things like that doesn't show up on the stat sheet. But I definitely think I do a great job on the defensive end."
Mosley struggled last season as a freshman with his shot, finishing at only 37 percent. He worked over the summer and seemed to have found the same touch he had in high school when he finished as the second-leading scorer in state history. Even now, it doesn't feel any different than it did back in November and December.
"It feels like every time I shoot the ball it's going in, but it don't," he said.
Mosley takes solace in the fact that even the world's best players have similar stretches.
"At the end of the day, Kobe don't make all the shots," Mosley said. "Kobe has some off nights, so I guess I can have some off nights."
Gary Williams doesn't seem too concerned.
"I've told him, 'Don't judge how you play on how you shoot the basketball,'" the Maryland coach said Friday. "That's true for everybody. There are so many more things to the game than that. It's nice if you have a guy who can make a lot of shots. I want Sean to feel that way. As long as he generates those other things, he's going to get his playing time."