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Terps Basketball, in One Word

(By Kevin C. Cox - Getty)

Following Maryland's narrow defeat to Duke yesterday, Gary Williams sounded remarkably composed in his postgame radio interview. "Get 'em next time," was his general message. "This is sports, and in sports, these things happen," he more or less said. Two big games next week. No need to panic here. "One game," he said three times in his presser. And so on.

Well, somebody tell the troops, because they're getting all restless-like. One enterprising blogger asked fellow Terrapin Club members to to sum up the state of the program in one word. Among the not completely distasteful responses:

Pathetic, clueless, DaveNealStartingCenter, nauseating, MattDohertyWouldDoBetter, HarrietMiers, disgusting, shameful, catastrophic, hemorrhoid, sad

Aside from a slight misunderstanding about what constitutes a word, there's a whole lot of agreement there. A North Carolina paper called it "a beating for the ages." Want to know what's even worse? Duke fans have feelings that also can be summed up in one word: pity:

Don't get us wrong, we enjoyed watching them take a beating, but this was a program that, not long ago, was on the verge of true greatness. The national title was impressive, but back-to-back Final Fours more so. So seeing them all but completely impotent, losing 85-44, and not only to lose that badly but to lose their will to fight back - well, it was definitely fun, but also a bit sad.

Other thoughts on the massacre:

* "My goodness what a beatin' that was," said Tom Brennan, captured by StetSports.

* "It started to get out of hand to the point where we couldn't come back," said Landon Milbourne, evidently discussing the first 20 seconds of the game.

* "I love Coach Williams... I love his demeanor... I love his willingness to fight.... I love his desire to compete. That all said, I am not a Pollyanna, or a 'Garyanna,' if you will," said Baltimore Sports and Life.

* "Hopes couldn't be any lower," said Mister Irrelevant.

* "As far as the score goes it doesn't bother me to lose by 40 or 20, it still counts as one loss," said Gary Williams.

Which is, more than anything else above, factually correct. Anyhow, while waiting to see how far the Terps fall in the Atlantic 11, here is the rest of last week's holiday week pith.

1. Georgetown

Still about three losses away from even coming close to losing the No. 1 spot. (Sean McLernon)

If the Hoyas go wire to wire atop this poll for a second consecutive season, we might want to take a page out of the Constitution and implement term limits. (Scott Allen)

2. George Mason

Barack Obama is expected to introduce Gunston as the new face of the "Go Green!" movement. (Scott Allen)

Has Obama ever stated his foreign policy toward the Mason Nation? (Christopher Ring)

3. Virginia Tech

To protect their inventory last week, Winston-Salem 7-11s moved their sodas behind the hot metal Big Bite / taquito heating machines. (Markus Videnieks)

It really is a shame you can't back your way into the ACC Championship in basketball too. (Christopher Ring)

4. VCU

Huge matchup for the CAA lead this weekend deserved the full-on "mute the TV I can't stand Vitale" treatment, but I'd have settled for the full-on "pass another beer, Glenn Consor is driving me insane" treatment.

5. Maryland

The Diamondback is sponsoring a haiku contest to describe the Terps' season. All entries must close with the line, "Burn mattresses, burn." (Bill Fitzgerald)

After the Florida State loss, Gary Williams said it was good that the Terps have "the understanding that we are that close to being able to beat pretty good teams on the road." Really Gary Williams? Really? (Sean McLernon)

Eric Hayes noted that Miami and Florida State are "two tough places to play." I supoose that's true when your only points of comparison are Verizon Center and Disney World. (David Larimer)

After years of running a squeaky clean program, it's time for Gary Williams to finally break down and illegallly recruit Shaq and Penny Hardaway. (Christopher Ring)

In keeping with Tuesday's "change" theme, Greivis Vasquez plans to pass to a teammate late in the Terps' next game instead of hoisting up a three pointer with 27 seconds left on the shot clock. (Chris Chase)

6. VMI

In losing to Liberty without the services of Chavis Holmes, we finally established that Travis Holmes is, in fact, the evil twin. (Christopher Ring)

Their rebounding margin against Liberty was -23, and, although official statistics are not yet kept, it seems likely that the prayer margin was just as lopsided. (John Albers)

The Keydets can defend freedom, but apparently they can't defend Liberty. (Michael Palan)

7. Liberty

After last Saturday's win at VMI, Richmond Times-Dispatch sportswriter Paul Woody called Liberty the best team in the state. Atlantic 11 voters refute his logic by making sophomoric innuendoes about his last name. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Seth Curry helped the Flames do what his brother Stephen and Davidson could not - win at Cameron. (Scott Allen)

The Flames and Seth Curry knocked off VMI in a victory that should help Liberty fans everywhere forget the tough losses in last year's WNBA Finals. (Christopher Ring)

Seth Curry is the most dominant player on the Flames since Jerome Iginla. (Markus Videnieks)

8. American

The secret to AU's success -- Garrison Carr looks like he could be a shorter cousin to the Currys. (Markus Videnieks)

9. Navy

n a familiar story, the Leopards attacked the Midshipmen Saturday at Layfayette, although normally the big predatorial cat is a Cougar and the location is Fleet Week in NYC. (Christopher Ring)

10. Virginia

Keep winning just enough to stay in the Atlantic 11, keep losing enough so that no one cares. (J. Jones. No, not that one.)

11. James Madison

No team that I beat eight straight times will get my vote in the Atlantic 11. This is too prestigious a poll to be taken that lightly. (Former W&M reserve Chris Stratton)

Dukes' loss at George Mason was the worst performance by a Brady under pressure since Greg ran broke the egg in the driving test. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Reserve forward Dazzmond Thornton had eight points in the Dukes' win over UNC Wilmington. Interestingly, Dazzmond was the middle name of the real James Madison. (Chris Chase)

Also Receiving Pith

Radford: Coming soon to theaters near you, "Artsiom, Artsiom: A journey from Minsk to Radford." (Chris Bocquet)

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 25, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball , Terps  
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Next: What Ails the Nats: Media and Bloggers


The Virginia-nization of Maryland. Welcome to our world, it's no dang fun.

Posted by: mike8 | January 25, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't planned on watching the Maryland-Duke game, but once I began to watch, I couldn't look away. It was like watching a train wreck. At least there is one "local" ACC team that is looking respectable in conference play. Two road wins in the ACC can go a long way.

Posted by: sitruc | January 25, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

f the terps

Go Hokies!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | January 26, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Gary Williams should trying yelling at his players. wait...nevermind...

Posted by: peterandmeredith | January 26, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

the word to describe maryland's performance on saturday:


Posted by: taupecat | January 26, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Since taupecat was only allowed one word, I'll help him out and use my one word to add...


Posted by: davekempson | January 26, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Sweet dreams of Madness - Now are recruiting nightmares - Burn, matresses, burn

Posted by: KingME1 | January 26, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

How do you justify Mason still being number 2 while VCU and tech continue to win. With the losses to Northeastern and VCU, Mason should fall, in my estimate to 4th, Tech should jump to 2nd with victories over the Deacs and Canes, both on the road. VCU should be 3rd, if for no other reason than they just beat Mason!

Posted by: RamBand | January 26, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

STEINBERG you need to start giving the CAA and VCU better coverage.

Posted by: alexpaone758 | January 26, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I told you pre-season not to bother with MD

Posted by: alexpaone758 | January 26, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

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