Byron Mouton on Gary's Future
"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."
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