The University of Maine at Farmington’s Terion Moss, middle, goes through a defensive drill during practice at Dearborn Gymnasium in Farmington on Wednesday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The University of Maine at Farmington’s Terion Moss takes the ball down the court during practice at Dearborn Gymnasium in Farmington on Wednesday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

FARMINGTON — His fancy behind-the-back passes, ball handling or pull-up jump shots are all dead giveaways that Terion Moss is Division I material.

His talent earned him a scholarship to the University of Maine, where he played for the men’s program. But now he is playing D-III hoop for the University of Maine at Farmington Beavers — with no regrets.

As a freshman, Moss started 29 games for the Black Bears the past season. He left Maine to play for the University of New Haven, but he also bowed out of New Haven and decided to enroll at UMF.

Moss said he needed to find a college where he felt comfortable and could concentrate.

“I was just not focused there (UMaine),” Moss explained. “I needed to find a better place for myself academically and basketball wise. I thought I should just find a different school.” 

NEXT STOP: FARMINGTON 

So Moss, who played for the Portland Bulldogs, followed his brother Amir Moss to UMF, where the 5-foot-10 sophomore is now the starting guard for the Beavers.

Over the past 13 games, Terion has averaged 20.8 points per game. He has gone 39-for-54 at the free-throw line for 72.3 percent to go along with his 51 assists.

Moss, who is majoring in community health, said UMF has been a good fit and he enjoys campus life and his teammates.

“I like it a lot,” Moss said. “At first, it was kind of like Bangor and Orono. It is kind of the same at Farmington. But I knew some friends who came here. So it wasn’t like a big change for me.”

After Terion bailed on New Haven, he discussed his next move to another school with his brother Amir.

“I wanted to go to a school that I could focus on school and basketball, and he said this is a good place to come, and I talked to my parents about it,” Terion said. “They said it was good for me to come here.”

“I feel really good to be here. I met new friends, teammates, fit in well in here.” 

Of course, Terion immediately saw the differences between D-I and D-III schools.

“It is a big change, size-wise,” Terion said “ Growing up, any division in basketball is good to play at. There is great talent at any level of basketball.”

Terion said playing for the Beavers has been a joy.

“I like everything about it,” he said. “I didn’t really know (my teammates) at first…then I became close with really all of them.

 “Everybody is close. We talk every day,” he said. “We go out and watch movies. It is actually a good environment around the team.”

Moss’ teammates and coach describe him as an unselfish player, which is how he wants to be known.

“That’s how I kind of grew up playing basketball,” Moss said. “I never really played for myself. I always play for my team. Doing that here and winning games is all I care about.”

STRANGER THINGS

Mention Terion Moss to University of Maine at Farmington coach Dick Meader and forward Riley Robinson and watch their faces light up with a huge grin.

Meader and Robinson are grateful Moss decided to join the Beavers after leaving UMaine and New Haven.

“He went to New Haven for three days,” Meader said. “All of a sudden his brother called and mention that (Terion) wanted to come here.  So it was a total surprise because we really never recruited him, except to say hello, because we knew that if he was interested he would come.

“But he is certainly close to a Division I player. So we were surprised but pleased.”

Meader describes Moss as a solid offensive player with cat-like reflexes. 

“A lot of Division III players have a tough time getting into the lane and shooting a jump shot with a defensive man right in front of you,” Meader said. “He does great job at that. He explodes up and has a very soft shot. 

“He is a very good passer. Finishes up very well. He gets to the rim very well. 

Meader said Moss’s passing and ball-handling skills as well as his playmaking ability open opportunities for UMF’s offense.

“He has enough zip on the ball, but it’s soft enough to catch,” Meader said. “He can play in traffic very well, plus he can shoot the 3-pointer. He doesn’t do it often because he gets in the lane more.”

Meader pointed out that Moss’s character comes shining through because the sophomore guard is an unselfish player.

“Instead of trying to take over the team, he is trying to fit into the team,” Meader said. “He’s good.”

Robinson said Moss is a good man to have around because he inspires his teammates.

“I heard he was leaving UMaine and I jokingly said to a couple of guys on the team, you know, it would be pretty nice if Terion came to Farmington,” Robinson recalled. “I saw him this summer at a hoops tournament…I asked him what his plans were this year. He said he wasn’t sure. I told him we would love to have you.

“I don’t think that had anything to do with it at all,” Robinson said. “But any program in the state would love to have Terion.”

But for Robinson, Moss makes all teammates look and be good.

“He is a true point guard in the sense that he makes everybody around him better,” Robinson said. “He is not overly tall, but he’s got very long arms. His first step is so quick. He can score on all three levels. He’s tough.

“When you have a great point guard like that,” Robinson added, “a player like me, he probably adds five points a game just by getting me an open lane and getting me an open 3-pointer. He really is so unselfish. He is so humble and everybody in the locker room loves him.”

But having Moss show up at UMF’s door was indeed a coup for Meader and his Beavers.

“I wish we could say we did something to deserve this,” Meader said with a wide smile.


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