Remembering Two UL Basketball Transfers That Didn’t Pan Out
Sometimes, things just don't work out as planned.
Such was the case for Leonard Flowers and Patrick Mosley, two highly-regarded basketball transfers for the Louisiana (then USL) Ragin' Cajuns in the mid-80's.
The Cajuns, in their last season in Blackham Coliseum (1984-1985), went 17-14, including a trip to the National Invitation Tournament, where they beat Florida, 65-64, before losing in heartbreaking fashion to Tennessee, 73-72.
There was obviously a lot of excitement heading into the 1985-1986 season, as the Cajuns prepared to move into their new home, the Cajundome, but three of their top four scorers didn't return, in George Almones, Drexal Allen, and Donald Jacobs, and it showed, as the team struggle early on, beginning the season at 1-3 on a team that would eventually finish 15-13.
Coach Bobby Pascal knew he'd be losing his outstanding scoring guard Cedric Hill after the season, and he saw a roster that didn't have a lot of freshman that he saw as differences makers, so there was some concern about the future of Cajun basketball.
A lot of those worries were alleviated when Flowers announced his intention to transfer to the Cajuns at mid-term.
Flowers signed with Oklahoma after a standout prep senior season in which the 6-foot-6 forward averaged 23.9 points and 14-plus rebounds per game. But he was kicked off the Sooners before ever playing a game.
How good was Flowers? Well, he was considered by many to be the best high school player in the state of Oklahoma during the 1984-1985 prep season, the same state that also had Stacy King. Yes, that Stacy King! The Stacy King that was the 6th-overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls, who went on to play seven seasons in the NBA.
Flowers, from El Reno High School in Oklahoma was viewed by many as one of the top 50 recruits in the nation prior to signing with Oklahoma, and viewed as a building block for the Cajuns.
Mosley decided to transfer to the Cajuns right after Flowers.
A 6-foot-7 forward from Baldwin High School in Milledgeville, Georgia, where he averaged 19.4 points and 7 rebounds as a senior, Mosley signed with Providence prior to the 1985-1986 campaign.
Mosley, who was viewed as a top-200 recruit coming out of high school, was actually the first player that Rick Petino ever signed as the head coach of the Friars.
These guys transferred at mid-term of 1985-1986, so they wouldn't have been eligible until the fall semester of 1986 was complete, but many Cajun basketball fans were anxiously awaiting the duo to debut in Lafayette.
Again, we're talking about two players who were considered big time recruits in the signing classes of two teams that went on to both play in the Final Four, including a runner-up finish by Oklahoma in the 1988 NCAA Tournament.
An athletic, super-scoring small forward, and a physical low post power forward, it seemed like the perfect match.
Flowers and Mosley were supposed to help return the Cajuns to national prominence.
The excitement was short-live however.
Flowers exited Lafayette pretty quickly, not even finishing out the spring semester, a guy who just didn't like going to class, while Mosley got homesick, didn't go to class enough himself, and transferred to a junior college in Tennessee.
To this day, I still don't believe how many Cajun basketball fans realize how crushing it was for the program not having those two work out.
Knowing he wouldn't have Flowers and Mosley to build around, facing at least a two-year rebuilding effort, and having an opportunity to become a head coach in his home state of Florida, Pascal left the program to become the head coach at South Florida.
If Flowers and Mosley had worked out, history maybe could have turned out really different.
Marty Fletcher became head coach of the Cajuns, in time for the 1986-1987, and void of a lot of veteran talent guided the Cajuns to an 11-17 finish, before coaching the Cajuns, who didn't have much experience, to a 12-16 record in the 1987-1988 campaign.
Interesting about Flowers, he made a return to college basketball, ten years later, at the age of 28, averaging 29 points and 15 rebounds per game for Redlands Community College, where he earned Division II All-America honors. And this was after not playing in an organized games for 12-13 years!
Word is that Flowers wasn't the most popular guy that ever walked on campus, at either UL, or Oklahoma, but we don't know his side of things.
Mosley currently works as an in-demand barber in his home state of Georgia. He was a guy that was well-liked by his teammates and coaches. He was just homesick, didn't go to class enough, and his heart wasn't 100% with the Cajun program.
Flowers, who never did interviews and preferred to stay quiet, is still a mystery.
The Cajuns have three high-profile players that will be eligible next year, including Marcus Stroman (South Carolina), JaKeenan Gant (Missouri), and Malik Marquetti (USC), who will hopefully pan out much better than Flowers and Mosley.