4 questions for Evergreen men’s head coach Arvin Mosley Jr.

Photo from Evergreen athletics

Photo from Evergreen athletics

The Evergreen State College men’s basketball season came to a close a couple weeks ago in a season that saw the Geoducks double their win total from the 2011-2012 season. Unfortunately, that meant that they went just 2-24, 1-17 in the Cascade Conference. But Arvin Mosley Jr.’s squad improved dramatically and put up a much better fight competing against some of the top teams in the NAIA. And with just two seniors graduating and a full squad of players coming back, there is room for optimism at Evergreen after a rough couple seasons.

I caught up with Coach Mosley over email and he was kind enough to answer a handful of questions about this season, his budding star Frankie Johnson, his two seniors, off-season plans and his new coaching gig at Evergreen…

1. Thoughts on this season? You didn’t get the results but it felt like you guys competed a lot better and were close to a breakthrough at points.

“We tried to recruit the kind of student athletes that would help us change our culture and we took our lumps early as we learned to play with each other. We added 15 new players to the mix, so it took us a while to find our rotations and rhythm. The one thing I keep coming back to that let me know our guys are on the right track is the last game at Northwest. We were down double digits with 4-5 minutes to go and our guys took a charge and were diving for loose balls! There was no quit on our team, even though we were out of the playoff mix. We played with pride all the way to the end. That is the culture being developed right before our eyes!”

2. Frankie Johnson was named honorable mention all-CCC as a freshman. Talk about his impact on the team and what you expect out of him for the next few years.

“Frank was the most pleasant surprise for us! We had talked to him early about red-shirting, but as our depth thinned at the PG spot, he found himself playing early … And then ultimately starting for us. His ability to learn something and put it into play during a game was unmatched this year. Every time I told him to look for a certain player or shot or showed him a new move, he was able to use it. I expect him to lead our team for the next 3 years. He has proven that he can score on a given night and we will continue to lean on him to be a playmaker. One thing about guys that are Frank’s size; there is no pressure he can’t handle. Every shot he has taken in his career has been big because people doubt him at every turn. He plays with an emotional freedom that other players don’t have because he is not afraid of the moment.”

3. Just two seniors (Travis Wagner and Elzie Dickens) on your roster and the only two guys remaining from your first two seasons. How much do they mean to you for sticking it out through some rough times?

“I tell them all the time that I appreciate what they have done for us. It was difficult for them physically, battling through injuries, and it was difficult for them emotionally, playing with 6 guys at times last season, but they never wavered in their loyalty to me, to Evergreen and to seeing this program move in the right direction. Two great guys that are respected by their teammates and it was an honor coaching them. They were warriors for us on the court and never backed down or thought about quitting. That says a lot about their families and about them as men. It was an honor to coach them!”

4. Where do you go from here? What needs to happen in the off-season?

“We all need to get better. As shooters, as defenders, as coaches. We all have room to improve. We will spend the Spring in the weight room and in the gym like most teams. The returners have an edge about them. They are not happy with how we finished and with so many guys coming back, the energy, enthusiasm and competitiveness will be on full display for the next few months. I’m excited to watch us grow!”

Extra: What is happening with the volleyball team? You are the interim coach, right?

“I am the interim volleyball coach. I am handling workouts and recruiting until we can get a coach in place in the next month or so. My wife played and coached volleyball and is currently a college basketball coach (Amber Rowe Mosley at Highline Community College), so she has been instrumental in helping me understand the game better, the terminology, what to look for in players and how to communicate more effectively with women/young ladies. Recruiting is recruiting. But communicating with women volleyball players is much different than working with men’s basketball players. It has definitely expanded my skill set and caused me to look at coaching differently. It’s been a great experience for me so far, but I am definitely looking forward to having a permanent solution in place so the young ladies on our team can get some “real” coaching.”

Thanks a lot coach. We are already looking forward to next season.

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Basketball, College, The Evergreen State College. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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