Terion Moss said he nearly took the offer on the spot when new University of Maine men’s basketball coach Richard Barron offered the Portland High senior guard a full scholarship last Friday.

“I waited a little while and went home and talked to my parents about it, and talked to Coach Robert Pilsbury and they said it was a good decision for me,” Moss said.

Pilsbury is the director of basketball operations for Blue Wave Basketball, Moss’ club team.

The full scholarship, which starts his freshman season, combined with the Orono campus’ relative proximity to Portland, cinched the deal.

The 5-foot-10 senior guard, known for speed, quickness and court awareness, had been thinking he would play at Division II New Haven.

“I decided to stay in Maine,” Moss said. “It’s only two hours from here so it’s not that far. People can come up and watch games, my family and stuff.”

Barron, the former women’s coach at Maine, was announced as the new men’s coach March 5. He replaced Bob Walsh, who also recruited Moss.

Moss said he was comfortable with the coaching change. Plus, Barron’s offer was slightly different. Walsh offered to have Moss come as a preferred walk-on his freshman season with a promise of four years worth of scholarship to follow.

Moss said, “it was really important,” to know Barron wanted him to contribute right away.

“I just can’t wait to go up there and play, and get better and get stronger and play for Coach Barron,” he said.

In Moss, Maine is getting a proven winner. In his four years at Portland, the Bulldogs went to three state finals, won two, and had an overall record of 76-8.

This past season Moss averaged 19.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.9 steals. Moss also made 40 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting.

He is a two-time winner of the Gatorade Maine Player of the Year and also was named this year’s Mr. Maine Basketball as the top senior.

Portland Coach Joe Russo was with Moss as Barron gave him a tour of Maine’s team facilities last Friday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

The next night at the Mr. Maine Basketball dinner, Moss announced his intention to accept Barron’s offer.

“People have asked me, ‘isn’t he an undersized point guard at that level,’ ” Russo said. “I said, in stature only. He plays really much bigger than that because of his savvy, his ball-handling skills, his quickness, his leaping ability and his defense. He can not only play that position, he can defend that position. Terion actually epitomizes that position.”

The national letter of intent signing period for basketball is April 1 to May 16 for Division I programs.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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