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Byron Mouton on Gary's Future

(TWP file photo by John McDonnell)

"I love Gary Williams to death, but if this year he doesn't make the tournament, next year doesn't make the tournament, I think it's all over," Byron Mouton told an interviewer from Players Voice this month. "I think it's done. I mean, I love Gary Williams, but at the end of the day, man, it's a business. And through the business, you've got to generate revenue, and generate revenue means money. So the stands not filling up, people not buying season tickets, there's no money."

Having a former beloved player come out in public and give you one more year is bad. Even worse, though, was that this interview was conducted on Jan. 9, after the Morgan State loss but before the blown lead against Miami, before the thrashing against Duke, before this week's nuttiness.

Juan Dixon, on the other hand, came out pretty strong for Gary yesterday. Quoting from Ivan Carter:

"It's a program that wasn't doing as well and in 2002 he won a national title," Dixon said. "I know he's getting a lot of heat lately, but I think people definitely need to get off his back. I wish Coach all the luck in the world and hopefully, he can get them out of this little funk they are in."

Mouton was more critical, and again, this was before ACC play even started. He said the Terps "don't have any post presence, AND they don't have no true point guard," and then he discussed the team in more detail.

"Coach Williams is so right, some nights these guys don't buy into his system," Mouton said. "A lot of these guys think they're good enough to go one on one. Ain't nobody, even Greivis, none of them guys are good enough to beat ANY team one-on-one or to take it into their own hands to try to win by themselves. They HAVE to play as a team. First of all, they're probably the shortest team in the ACC. You've got Dave Neal at center, he's 6-4, and he is [as] non-athletic as they come. You know, one commentator said they wouldn't pick him up in a 35-and-older league, you know what I'm saying?

"So I think if they buy into Coach Williams, and if they can go 8-8 in the ACC and win one conference tournament game, I think they can make the tournament. The goal is, they have to at least go .500 in the conference to go to the tournament. If they don't go 8-8 or win a tournament game, they're done. Season over with."

Mouton also praised Gary Williams several times, specifically for not mucking around in shady recruiting tactics--"I know one thing, he ain't trying to give anybody no money," he said--but Mouton did say that something needs to change.

"Coach Williams is all about developing players," he said. "You know, he never wanted to get the guys that was All-Americans, he don't want a guy to come for one year and leave, he wants to build those players....I think it's time to open up for suggestions, but I don't think he's gonna change, but I think it's time for him to actually open up and figure out, 'Yeah, you know what, I need to get an impact player for one year. Ok, yeah, he might come change my program and leave, but I'm still gonna be an elite level, I'll just get another player.'

"And I think recruiting-wise he needs to open up and view those options. I mean, just think about it, my year I was a transfer in, this year he's got a transfer in, Jamar Smith was a transfer in, Ryan Randle was a transfer in. They're two-year players. Think about it, they're two-year players....Coach Williams needs to evaluate that and help the program grow, because right now man, I mean, it don't look good."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 29, 2009; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball , Terps  
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"You've got Dave Neal at center, he's 6-4, and he is [as] non-athletic as they come. You know, one commentator said they wouldn't pick him up in a 35-and-older league, you know what I'm saying?"


Posted by: Kev29 | January 29, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, he's a white guy, so of course he's unathletic. Even though in his younger days he was a swimmer, football player, and soccer player.

He's also made the Dean's list at UMD, maybe he's mastered the English language a little more than ol' Byron.

Posted by: mike8 | January 29, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

If the rest of the ACC can get away with paying players and hiring family members, why can't UMD?

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | January 29, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

what the ef is mouton doing now? I can't believe sold out Neal like that. Neal will probably out-earn Mouton the moment he graduates from Maryland.

Posted by: tedunni1 | January 29, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Make the team play in Ritchie Coliseum... That's likely not feasible from an economically and logistically, and it probably wouldn't awaken certain members of the team, but I like how the idea feels. In my gut.

Posted by: B_A_ | January 29, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think NBADL is about the longest word Mouton could spell.

Posted by: mike8 | January 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

you can all say what you want, the fact is everything is said is true..and thats all that matters. No one said he was a english major..just right about whats going on at Maryland

Posted by: skins954 | January 29, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd take an entire roster of Byron Moutons -- and handicap them with one gimp knee -- over Neal or any other current Terp. We're talking basketball here -- not a white kid's future earnings -- and Mouton had more guts than anyone Gary's coached since.

Haha, funny that a couple of Dave Neal defenders popped up, though.

Posted by: scrappledog | January 30, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

SCRAPPLEDOG: Mouton Sucks man. And Dave Neal out earning Mouton has nothing to do with him being “white”. Clearly Byron cannot spell and is an idiot. He was a role player on the UMD team and never was a factor. They could have anyone play his role. So hop off his jock. If Mouton were on this team, they’d be even worse. He is better than no one in the Terps starting 5 except for Neal.

Posted by: cj658 | January 30, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I mean, I can understand if Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, or Terrance Morris said this. They were actually good when they played for MD. But Mouton? He was by far the worst player in that starting 5 in 2002. It’s always the role players who like to criticize and run their mouths. And then you have the idiots on here that support Mouton. Maybe you guys play in the same church league? Cause that is all Mouton is capable of playing in, rec leagues. I cannot stand when athletes who suck bash other athletes. Sure, I agree Dave Neal is no good, but what gives Byron Mouton the right to criticize? He should look in the mirror.

Posted by: cj658 | January 30, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't saying Dave Neal was Len Bias or anything, I was saying that it's ignorant to say that he's non-athletic. He's doing what his coach asks him to, if you were 6-4 and asked to guard guys that are 6-10 you'd struggle, too. I guess I was implying that Mouton is a moron, though; I'll reserve my thoughts on his legion of supporters.

Posted by: mike8 | January 30, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

anyone who thinks that we would of won that national championship with out mouton is an idiot..or didnt watch one of those games. Maryland had never...never been past the round of 16 ever. In moutons two years we had 2 final fours. He was the best defender on all of those teams by far. Without him we get knocked out early like every year he wasnt there. Look at the terps record with him and with out him. He is better then any terp on this sorry team now and plays with twice the heart.

Posted by: skins954 | January 31, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Most people don't know how to recognize a good defensive player in basketball.

Posted by: alecw81 | February 1, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Whether he's correct or not about Dave Neal doesn't really matter here. He can be backstabbing and sell out his ex-coach all he wants. But what does that have to do with insulting Neal? Taking a random shot at him just makes Mouton look like a classless jerk. Pretty pathetic for someone not exactly tearing up the game of basketball himself at the moment.

Posted by: SilentAlarm | February 3, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

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