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Gary Williams and the first round


(By Don Ryan - AP)


In March of 1997, Gary Williams lost his first-round NCAA tournament game to the College of Charleston. It was the second straight year his Terps had lost to a lower-seeded team from a non-BCS conference in the first round.

"One of the most disappointing losses I've ever had to deal with," said Laron Profit, one of two starters benched at the beginning of that game due to a curfew violation.

And since then? First-round domination, baby. Friday night's comfortable win over Houston made it 10 straight victories in the NCAA first round for Williams. I was trying to figure out what other active coaches might have a better streak going, and all I could come up with was Roy Williams, who has at least 20 straight first-rounders.

(The best place to research this is The Post's incredible tournament database, which is probably the best thing The Post has ever done, maybe with the exception of Watergate. Maybe.)

Since I've watched 7,000 consecutive hours of basketball as I type this, it's very likely that I'm forgetting someone, but here are the active coaches who have won a national championship, ranked by their record in first-round games since 1998.

Roy Williams, 12-0
Gary Williams, 10-0
Mike Krzyzewski, 12-1
Jim Calhoun, 9-1
Bill Self, 10-2
Tubby Smith, 10-2
Tom Izzo, 10-3
Rick Pitino, 5-2
Jim Boeheim, 7-3
Billy Donovan, 7-3

Lot of famous names below Maryland's coach on that list. Of course, the Gary haters might point out that I'm arbitrarily starting my list after his last first-round loss, which isn't quite fair. And I'll grant you that point. So here are a whole mess of coaches ranked by their first-round record since the tournament expanded in 1985. Williams still holds up fairly well.

Roy Williams, 20-0, 1.000
Mike Krzyzewski, 23-2, .920
John Calipari, 11-1, .917
Rick Majerus, 10-1, .909
Gary Williams, 15-2, .882
Thad Matta, 7-1, .875
Rick Pitino, 12-2, .857
Jim Calhoun, 15-3, .833
Tom Izzo, 10-2, .833
Bill Self, 10-2, .833
Tubby Smith, 13-3, .813
Mike Montgomery, 11-3, .786
Bob Huggins, 14-4, .778
Jim Boeheim, 16-5, .762
Ben Howland, 6-2, .750
Billy Donovan, 7-3, .700
Tom Penders, 8-4, .667
Lorenzo Romar, 4-2, .667
Bruce Weber, 4-3, .571
Rick Barnes, 9-9, .500
Paul Hewitt, 3-3, .500
John Thompson III, 3-3, .500

(If you're wondering about guys who are retired, how about .500 for Bob Knight and Jim Harrick, .609 for Lute Olson and .714 for Nolan Richardson. Oh, and 1.000 for Dean Smith.)

If you can think of any big names I'm missing, please let me know. Regardless, Williams is in fairly solid company at the top of this list. And yes, most fans would likely prefer a Sweet 16 appearance every other year to an annual second-round knockout. Stay tuned on that one.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2010; 1:32 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball , Terps  
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Comments

I'm 25, and I don't have any recollection of Maryland basketball before Gary. Gary's been at UMD for 21 years now, which basically means most undergrads now weren't even alive before Gary came to UMD. I know there's been a lot of posts on here about the rapid turnover of head coaches for DC's pro teams, but as you've shown here, Gary's been pretty consistent here. I never have to worry about the terps not playing to the best of their ability, or Gary not taking an opponent seriously. I think that's why myself and a lot of terp fans here are so defensive of him. Living in the DC area all my life, I've seen a gazillion coaches come and go but I always knew that win or lose Gary would be fist pumping and frantic on the sideline. I just can't imagine Maryland basketball without him. It's just awesome to see him in that company and to realize how special he is. like, what is Maryland basketball after Gary? Watching the tournament for the past two days, there isn't really coach I could point to and say I'd rather have as my coach than Gary.

Posted by: elisabeth25 | March 20, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

elisabeth25: Since I'm an old guy, I do remember the Lefty years, which were pretty exciting themselves. But even Lefty's years were as great as Gary's. Since I've been here on earth, my school has managed to have only 3 coaches. (Thank God the Bob Wade era was short-lived).

Last year on T.I., I was lumped in with Barno and most of the other posters for being a Kool-Aid drinker by chumps like petecard and restonhoops, and crappy_mccrap. They said we were fools for standing by Gary through all last year. Even the hacks at WaPo decided to get on the bash-Gary bandwagon by saying he could not recruit, that he couldn't win the big one anymore, that he outlived his usefulness, and even tried to drum up some fake controversy about how he couldn't get along with AD Yow. (Really? A guy who doesn't get along with his boss? That doesn't happen in the real world, does it?)

That's why I'm so glad that Gary is finally getting the respect he deserves this year, winning ACC Coach of the Year, and being lumped in with some of the "greats". He may not have as many championships as some guys, but he is one heckuva coach who has made the Terrapins the most consistently successful team in the Washington area for the past two decades. If that doesn't get him into the Hall of Fame, I don't know what will...

Posted by: ecglotfelty | March 20, 2010 5:40 AM | Report abuse

I used to be able to get into Maryland games and sit behind the baskets during the Bud Milliken era which was prior to Lefty...wearing a safety patrol belt and a $1.
Lefty came along with his UCLA of the East proclamation and his advertisement of 5 recruits he wanted, and it was great.
Bob Wade, not so much.
and then Gary...there has been a lot of great basketball at the UM for many years.

Posted by: outrbnksm | March 20, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Gary Williams is the best coach Maryland will ever have I can't believe they thought about replacing him.

Posted by: Dlewis10 | March 20, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

elisabeth25,
MD basketball my whole life (42yrs) has had some great teams....plus we had Len Bias, who was a taller and more athletic Michael Jordan (a high riser, great defender and a sweet jump shot that took MJ years to master, Bias already had it) AND he was a TERP! Those MD teams under Lefty were competitive, BUT only would make the NCAA and lose to someone in the 2nd round.....BUT, under Gary, man, he has done every MD Fan proud, the team good or bad will always beat either UNC or Dukie at least once per season, MAYBE both in same season.....so we are in a great place, and if and when Gary retires, look at his staff (since he has been at MD) and see who might be the next coach, my guess it will come from someone who was or is an Asst Coach under GW - so to that, in GW and MD we TRUST!

Posted by: talbottj | March 20, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Thumbs up on all these comments. Great to see Gary and his supporters were the ones who prevailed, and those who trashed him and demanded he be fired last year had all that crow shoved down their throats this season.

Viva Gary

Posted by: Barno1 | March 20, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

FROM YESTERDAY'S BOG:

Gary Williams is an extraordinarily lazy recruiter and that's why recruits go elsewhere. More top talent leaves Maryland than anywhere else. Rudy Gay is just the tip of the iceberg. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Jeff Green are just a few NBA guys; there are a handful more who have been good college players elsewhere.

Gary Williams never even got a sniff at Maryland's best b-ball players after he won a national championship.

Posted by: CoachSweaty | March 19, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Gary is an extraordinarily lazy recruiter? Do you hate Gary, or are you just extraordinarily stupid? Sean Mosley was the Baltimore player of the year in 2007/08. Vasquez, out of Montrose Christian in Rockville, was just named ACC Player of the Year. Rockville and Baltimore are in the state of Maryland aren't they?

But honestly, who cares where the recruits come from? Only recruiting geeks care. Should Gary have not recruited Jordan Williams because he came from Connecticut? Should we have not have brought DJ Strawberry to MD because he was from Cali?

The bottom line is Gary has had top 25 recruiting classes in 7 of the last 10 years (including next year's incoming class) and including 2 top 5 classes. The ONLY 3 years in which he didn't have a top 25 recruiting class were the 3 years in which he had only 1 scholarship available (Gist in 2004, Neal in 2005, Mosley in 2008).

I seem to recall the recruiting geeks complaining about a few afterthought recruits named Juan Dixon, Lonnie Baxter, and Joe Smith. They weren't top tier enough for them. I'm sorry, my memory is a little hazy, how did those guys turn out?

Posted by: Barno1 | March 20, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

FROM YESTERDAY'S BOG:

Gary Williams is an extraordinarily lazy recruiter and that's why recruits go elsewhere. More top talent leaves Maryland than anywhere else. Rudy Gay is just the tip of the iceberg. Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, Jeff Green are just a few NBA guys; there are a handful more who have been good college players elsewhere.

Gary Williams never even got a sniff at Maryland's best b-ball players after he won a national championship.

Posted by: CoachSweaty | March 19, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

GW is the best at coaching to his team's stengths. Never mind how highly recruited the players are. Look at all that talent the other Williams had this year. To say that he doesn't recruit well...ok maybe..but nobody can coach as well as GW and no players play as hard for their coach as MD players do. Rock on TERPS!

Posted by: jbeard32 | March 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Gary Williams strikes me as one of the most miserable SOBs ever in local sports. Just a nasty miserable guy. And I root against Maryland because of that.

Posted by: poguesmahone | March 20, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Boy how would we ever go a minute without barno and his typical antics?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 20, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey barno when your trumpeting the good recruits why do you leave out all the busts?

McCray, Gilchrist, Caner-Medley, etc. etc.

That list is a little bit longer than yours isn't it?

hahahahhahahahahhahhaha

keep paying for friends.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 20, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

John Gilchrist was All ACC, Chris McCray was All ACC defensive team, 2nd in the nation in FT percentage, was MD's leading scorer, and Caner-Medley was All ACC and is in the top 10 in several career categories in MD history. Yeah, they went to the NIT twice, they also won an ACC championship and went to the sweet 16 the year before. And the 2 years they missed the NCAA tourney by one game both years, and that was mostly bc MD lost DJ strawberry for the season in 05 and McCray in 06. And they've all gone on to have successful pro careers.

But I love how Poopy tries to have it both ways on Gary's recruiting. He has attacked Gary in the past for not having more highly touted recruits, but then he points to Gary's top 5 recruiting class of 2002 and talks about how terrible they were. So which is it Poopy? Do you want Gary to have more top 5 recruiting classes, or do you want to point to his previous top 5 classes and how they were busts? Make up your mind clown.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 20, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Gary Williams strikes me as one of the most miserable SOBs ever in local sports. Just a nasty miserable guy. And I root against Maryland because of that.

Posted by: poguesmahone

Well, it's just stupid of you to charcterize someone by his gametime coaching. It's well documented that Gary's a friendly funny person off the court, and a great teacher in practice...for anyone to hang onto the notion that he's only the person that is demonstrated during games indicates you don't know much about college basketball. Gene Keady was the nastiness gameday coach and one of the most respected coaches to have recently retired. pay attention beyond the obvious.

Posted by: minhle1 | March 20, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey barno when your trumpeting the good recruits why do you leave out all the busts?

McCray, Gilchrist, Caner-Medley, etc. etc.

That list is a little bit longer than yours isn't it?

hahahahhahahahahhahhaha

keep paying for friends.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop
lol, poopy not bashing again...you cannot even help yourself. pathetic.

Posted by: minhle1 | March 20, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Barno, he's not even bright enough to know that those players were part of two back to back top 5 national classes, that happen to not pan out. The uninformed recruitniks complaining while crushing their own point. Poopy and Eric Prisbell and Yanda should not be discussing MD basketball...hopefully they'll follow Josh Barr to no man's land.

Posted by: minhle1 | March 20, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Guys, we've got Michigan State in 23 hours. Let's focus on that.

Posted by: jake177 | March 20, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Good point Jake. We should all be enjoying this great season and still being alive in the NCAA tourney. It's too bad one clown who calls himself a MD fan feels the need to, amazingly, still attack Gary Williams..even after he was just named ACC Coach of the Year.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 20, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Barno, maybe you should live by your own words and "enjoy this great season" instead of digging up and continuously posting quotes from over a year ago, crying about that article the Post did on Gary last year, etc.

Of course if you gave those things up and actually just "enjoyed this great season" you'd have nothing to post on here about.

hahahhahaha.

go pay for more friends.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

What else is funny is you guys propping up Gilchrist, McCray, Caner-Medley, etc. like they actually led UMD to anything, other than 1 ACC Tourney Championship.

Other than that, they were all busts.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 20, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

crying about that article the Post did on Gary last year, etc.

Of course if you gave those things up and actually just "enjoyed this great season" you'd have nothing to post on here about.

hahahhahaha.

go pay for more friends.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 20, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

McClown, I specifically wrote that it was time to move on about the Post's 3 part series and said the authors have more than made amends by both being very objective in their reporting ever since.

As for your newest absurd claim that joining a fraternity is "paying for friends" I simply can't put into words have laughable this is. I would explain to you that i knew and was friends with most of the guys in my fraternity well before I "joined", but that would require you to have some semblance of common sense, which you don't, to be able to understand.

I can however see how a person who clearly had very few, if any, friends at Md would resent those that did.

Anyhow, I'm off to hang out with some friends from college. We had a great time last night watching the Terps game together and will do it up again tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend Mcclown hanging out with yourself and your bong. You're going places in life.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 20, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

bashing gary right now is really dumb. recruiting isnt the end-all the hype machine makes it out to be

Posted by: jpfterps | March 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Barnos frat partied with the omega-moo tpyes

Hahahahahahahahahahahaa

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 20, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Minhe1: it is stupid of you to assume that I was basing my comments on his on-persona. I wasn't.

Posted by: dcsportsdude | March 21, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

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