Terion Moss of Portland has started several games during his freshman season at the University of Maine. University of Maine photo

DURHAM, N.H. — It only took a few minutes Tuesday night to see it: Terion Moss is an integral part of the University of Maine men’s basketball team.

It wasn’t his scoring. Or his passing. It was his voice.

Less than nine months removed from roaming the halls of Portland High School, the 5-foot-10 Moss, the 2018 Mr. Maine Basketball, was getting teammates into the correct defense. Moving players to better spots in an offensive set. Being the boss of a team with players from 12 countries.

“This year I’m working on being more vocal, more loud on the court, like more communicating with the team,” Moss said.

Wins have been tough for the Black Bears to get. Tuesday at New Hampshire— one of the few teams around the country that has struggled just as much — it was the same story. Maine led 45-36 with eight minutes left. UNH scored 15 straight points and won the regular-season finale, 60-53.

“We get good leads and then the second half just kills us so we have to work on that,” Moss said.


Maine (5-26, 3-13) had already clinched the final spot in the America East conference playoffs over UNH (5-24, 3-13) because it had more conference road wins. Maine will be at top-seeded Vermont (23-6 13-2) on Saturday.

“It’s March Madness so there’s always a lot of upsets. You never know,” Moss said.

Moss scored all five of his points in the first two minutes of the second half, getting a steal he turned into a layup and then being ready to receive the extra pass and burying a corner 3-pointer to give Maine its largest lead to that point, 27-21.

He added five rebounds and two steals in a team-high 33 minutes.

For the season, Moss has averaged over 27 minutes a game and started half of the 28 games he’s played. He missed three games in February with a concussion.

“He’s learned a lot of lessons this year and at no point this year have I felt it was either a mistake in recruiting or that he wasn’t doing everything he could to become a better student-athlete,” said Maine’s first-year coach, Richard Barron, who in seven seasons as Maine’s women’s coach led that program to consecutive America East regular-season titles.


Moss believes the same can happen with the men’s program.

“Yes, I can’t wait to be a part of it,” he said. “Next year we should be really strong. We’ve got incoming players, and really good ones, so it’s going to be a good rebuilding team.”

As a true freshman, Moss quickly made his mark, with 13-point efforts at Utah and North Carolina State.

“I played pretty well and I knew I could play at this level and that really helped me,” Moss said.

“As the point guard, he does a really good job of staying in control and not turning the ball over,” said junior forward Andrew Fleming of Norway (Oxford Hills), who is out for the season with a broken arm and a concussion. “He’s able to bring the ball up and stay in control, and not only is he good at it, it’s more of a leadership thing. He says, ‘Give me the ball, I’ll break the press.’”

Probably his best overall game was in mid-January against Stony Brook, a 23-win team. Moss scored 23 points, making 6 of 12 3-point shots, with five rebounds, two assists, no turnovers and three steals. Maine had a 16-point halftime lead but lost, 64-61.

But he’s had several games where his shot has been off. Overall, he’s shooting under 32 percent (28 percent on 3s).

“He’s got to work on it. He’s got to get better. He’s capable,” Barron said.


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