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Gary Williams Is Happy

Happy to be asking you to go shop at Kroger! In 1987! Back before he always looked like he was stranded in a small windowless cell with nothing to drink but flavorless endurance beverage and nothing to eat but gruel and several pictures of Ralph Friedgen on the walls and nothing to read but the collected electronic works of Dick Vitale.

(Today's excerpt: "I know some fans will scream for the Yankees-Red Sox or Michigan-Ohio State in football, but let me tell you, there is nothing like the intensity, passion and emotion when Duke and North Carolina lace up the sneakers and do battle.")

I mean, did you see Gary's press conference last night? Pretty grim. He needs a hug. Of course, as you might expect, the msg board crazies have been out in full force last night and this morning, dropping ominous msg board foreshadowing.


* At what point do the Terps make the move? How many NIT appearances will the Terp faithful accept...

* Gotta hit the recruting trail Gary, or your tenure at MD will be shorter than anticipated.

* I am paying a lot of money for season tickets and will not renew if thing continue on this pace for more than another 2 years.

* I think GW has one more season to turn this around or DY needs to look seriously at the situation.

* I love Gary for what he has done for this university but with the last 3 years and the countless recruits in Maryland going elsewhere, maybe change is good.

* It's time for a change at the top.

Etc. So at times like these, I'd ask everyone to take a deep breath, relax and remember the days when Dinner Bell Naturally Smoked Bacon cost just $1.79 a pound and Gary looked ok with the universe, sort of.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 7, 2007; 12:56 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Next: Jerry Palm Handicaps Our Top Seven


Dump Gary Williams? There's substantive dialogue for ya. And replace him with who, exactly?

If UM tossed Gary to the curb, the school would be viewed across the college sports world as a friggin joke. Lefty nor anyone else took UM to 2 straight Final 4's w/ a NCAA Champ. to boot.


Posted by: Natsman | February 7, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

i agree that 3 years not making the NCAA tourney is unacceptable but how much do you blame on Gary? he wasnt the one taking all the stupid shots the last few years or being outhustled on every loose ball. He wasnt the one playing ole defense and lacking any sense of urgency. he wasnt dribbling the ball off his foot or missing front ends of 1 and 1's. True, the talent and recruiting is lacking but to call for him to be fired this year is premature. Remember, Juan Dixon and Lonnie Baxter were not highly recruited out of high school and Travis Garrison, Mike Jones, and Danny Miller were McDonald's All-American. However, i think Terps fans give him one more year to turn it around out of loyalty for all he has done: the 2 Final Fours, the National Championship, and the ACC Tournament championship. Lest we forget the cesspool Terp basketball was before he came. For that, he deserves one more year of slack from us Terp fans.

Posted by: gopterp | February 7, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Joe Forte, Keith Bogans, Linas Kleiza, Carmello Anthony, Linas Kleiza, Jarrett Jack, Mamadi Diani, Rudy Gay, Josh Boone, and James White were all decent but they can't really compare to THE Will Bowers!

Who really cares about Austin Freeman anyways?

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | February 7, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Travis Garrison was only an all american because his coach picks the damn rosters.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | February 7, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Weren't all five Mason starters from last year's team from Maryland?

Posted by: bryc3 | February 7, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Maybe terps won't throw the NITs again this year so they could get on with their spring break plans/ start their euro careers

Posted by: CreditZard | February 7, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Maybe terps won't throw the NITs again this year so they could get on with their spring break plans/ start their euro careers

Posted by: CreditZard | February 7, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

another way to look at this - the final four and championship years happened in spite of gary, not because of him...

Posted by: jj | February 7, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

what visionary had the foresight to hold on to that VCR tape, knowing that one day there would be an internet to which it could be posted? 50% of the time, YouTube blows my mind every time.

and yes, bryc3, Mason's top 5 last year were all from Maryland, including Folarin Campbell, the best player from Springbrook HS (16-2 #17 in WaPo area Top 20) since Kevin McLinton. god bless the internet part II: i found an old NBA scouting report on McLinton at the bottom of this page:

i should probably get back to work.

Posted by: jamie | February 7, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Everybody needs to calm down. We need to let these recruits cycle out and be patient. Gary hasn't lost it - sometime in recruiting players just aren't what they seem to be, and that seems to be the case for last year's senior class and this years. Some players have marginally improved, but MD does not have a go to guy when things break down. Of course patience with our sports teams is more of an epidemic around here in the DC area, but that's for another day.

Posted by: Justin(DC) | February 7, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

That second Linas Kleiza was supposed to be fellow Montrose Christian star Kevin Durant.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | February 7, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the irony is that the closest Kroger to College Park is in...Charlottesville.

I like Gary and what he's done for the program and university, but I'm wondering if he now knows how Bud Millikan felt when he coached Gary in the mid-sixties, when the Terp program was struggling and fans were getting upset with its direction.

Posted by: Vincent | February 7, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It's worth noting that in between Kevin McLinton and Folarin Campbell, Springbrook had two fantastic backcourts -- Darren McLinton (JMU) and Chris McGuthrie (Mt. St. Marys) in the early '90s and then Tryian Ridges and Shakil Brew in the mid '90s.

McLinton and McGuthrie wore like 10 pairs of socks between the two of them at each game. But it looked cool.

As for the Terps...and specifically in response to gopterp -- getting outhustled, making poor decisions, repeatedly making the same mistakes of execution and so on are not things that can be solely attributed to the players. The players do make the plays on the court, but the coaches are supposed to mold them. And unrealistic expectations or not, Gary and his staff have failed horribly with these last few classes of kids. Hopefully Vasquez/Hayes/Milbourne/Burney build on the promise they've shown and the incoming class of Dupree/Gregory/Bowie/Walker is the revelation everyone is praying they will be. I cannot imagine the weight of expectations that will be on Braxton Dupree's shoulders next season.

I still have hope, but we have fallen too far as a program to not take a critical look at whether Gary Williams should remain head coach next season.

Posted by: Markus V. | February 7, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

ive rooted for the Terps since gradeschool, when they featured Albert King, Buck Williams, Running Gunning Ernie Graham and Greg Manning. If you told me then that there would be a national championship in my lifetime, followed by a decade or more of mid to low-tier ACC play and NIT half-efforts, Id of taken that deal in a heartbeat.

even moreso Id have taken that deal after the death of Len Bias and an NCAA death penalty, which is when Gary took over.

So, criticize GW all you want, right as you may be, but as far as im concerned he can stay as long as he likes.

Posted by: pete | February 7, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I've never been a big fan of Gary Williams. Ever since he gave me the bird and Nick Caner-Medley threw a rock into a crowd I was a part of.

Posted by: FS | February 7, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Great post, JJ. You've reminded the world why freedom of speech is a not-so-great thing.

Posted by: Natsman | February 7, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why maryland fans are freaking out: Maryland over achieved for a couple of years under Gary and are now returning to mediocrity where they belong. Get used to it.

Posted by: CavsFan | February 7, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The UVA basketball legacy is sooooooo storied.

In fact, here's a picture of their trophy case --

Posted by: Markus V. | February 7, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey CavsFan,

Just cause your best team in years swept a not very good MD team don't get too full of yourself down there - things won't always be like this year.

Posted by: J(MD) | February 7, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

ever since the brief but frightening gilcrest ACC tourney takeover, i've always held out hope that one terp will take over the ACC each year and we'll get in on a roll...vasquez?

Posted by: CreditZard | February 7, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

As a Maryland fan, every day, I draw consolation from the fact that I am not a Virginia fan. That entire state is a waste of space. (And Gilchrist was from there!)

Talk of firing Gary is crazy. He's earned a lot more time than he's used up so far. Talk to me after the 2009 season if this is still happening. Until then, I'll be content with the fact that we won the national championship more recently than Duke has.

Posted by: Lindemann | February 7, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

As a Maryland alum, three thoughts:
1) I hate Gary, but I LOVE what he's done for Terp hoops ...
2) But, he's no JoePa. And I don't expect him to catch his mojo for one last hoorah. That being said, are we going to hang on too long to a guy because of what he's done for the school? Or will DY pull the trigger before Gary sours the entire fan base and mires the team in perpetual mediocrity?
3) GW is about to turn 62. I can't imagine him hanging around another five years. Then again, he's just bitter enough to do just that. After seeing my Terps win a championship this decade, I'd be glad to let Gary coast until he retires, sooner -- obviously -- rather than later. I'm with pete: a dozen years of mediocrity is well worth the framed SI cover of my terps winning the national championship.

Posted by: Kid Bro Sweets | February 7, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

oh no ... now you've done it steinz ... you shouldn't have opened this can of worms ... here come all the message board cretons! (is that even a word?)

Posted by: littles | February 7, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Only when you spell it correctly.

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | February 7, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I love Gary.

These teams are dreadful.

My heart hurts.

The Internet is serious business.

Posted by: Colfax | February 7, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The only issue is, these top tier players are slipping out of state and helping other schools rise to national title contenders. How long can we allow Gary to rest on his laurels, while the Kevin Durants, Rudy Gays, and Josh Boones leave home and allow other programs to compete for post season accolades. When does the realization occur that Gary just doesnt have the magic to wrangle talented enough players. Bottom line..we should be getting more in state talent. That incosistency falls on the head coach, pure and simple.

Posted by: Hoops | February 7, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Why won't you AIRHEADS realize that Gary is a great coach and will leave when he is ready to leave. I don't think he will be under pressure just because a few internet KNUCKLHEADS want him replaced.

Posted by: FredTerp | February 7, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

LOL. The knock against UM for years and years was that they couldn't recruit out-of-state players. Now there's the gnashing of teeth over local players - ?!

Geo. Mason makes some NCAA noise for the first time since the Model T, & there's panic in College Park! Silly.

Posted by: natsman | February 7, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: littles | February 7, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I believe the word is "cretins."

Posted by: Kid Bro Sweets | February 7, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't recall too much "teeth-gnashing" as far as Gary's inability to recruit outside the state. However, I do recall plenty of of belly-aching over the fact that Gary has consistently let the best in-state recruits go out-of-state. There really is no excuse for that.
That said, I love Gary. He coaches with passion, and you can tell he lives and dies with every bounce of the ball. I say give him 2 more years to get back to the tourney, if he can't hack it, it's time to bring in some new blood.

Posted by: AlecW81 | February 7, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Among Message-board-frequenting-MD fans uncommon ignorance is a common vice.

Posted by: Freestater | February 7, 2007 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"I love Gary. He coaches with passion, and you can tell he lives and dies with every bounce of the ball. I say give him 2 more years to get back to the tourney, if he can't hack it, it's time to bring in some new blood."

Or find a way to clone a male version of Brenda Frese.

Posted by: Vincent | February 7, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

ToT agrees with FredTerp. These knuckleheads need to calm down and realize what Gary has done for UMD. ToT does not overreact to one loss. That kind of attitude has led to great success in his volleyball league. Stick with Gary, he will bring us back. And if not, we can just hire Brenda. LOL!


Posted by: terpsontop | February 8, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey Steinz,

Didn't you get the memo?

Internet hating on GMU/Larranaga is the new Internet hating on MD/Williams.

Posted by: indy | February 8, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Gary has an awful track record with wasting talent. Every time Mike Jones looks at him wrong, Gary pulls him from the game to punish him. How is he supposed to gain confidence when he is in the doghouse all the time? If we had any other coach, Mike Jones would be national player of the year and the Terps would be national champs.

Posted by: NCTERPLOVER | February 8, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

You have to be careful of msg boards, especially when choosing what postings to "Highlight", if you're not careful you can easily give a skewed view of public opinion.

For instance, look at the responses to your selected anti-Gary msg board comments. The majority of the responses are pro-Gary, in fact, someone should "Highlight" these comments.

Posted by: Kari | February 8, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

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