Pointing the Finger for Terps' Struggles
It appears the blame game has started in College Park, where Coach Gary Williams and associated AD Kathy Worthington had a nice tit-fot-tat as they disagree on why Tyree Evans and Gus Gilchrist aren't suiting up for the Terps this season.
Maryland's struggles are a topic of strong interest for most area high school coaches, players and parents, who want to know how the team went from being a national champion to a middle-to-bottom of the pack team in a weakened ACC so quickly. The consensus is that this year's team simply isn't very talented and that Williams' hands-off approach to recruiting - allowing his assistants to do much of the work - has hurt the Terrapins.
That said, I look back to the teams when Maryland won the national title in 2002. (Shameless plug here.) Look at the key players on that team and the ones around it. Juan Dixon certainly wasn't a high-profile recruit; I can remember rumors circulating during his freshman year when he enrolled in January that he was too skinny and would never play at Maryland. Lonny Baxter? Byron Mouton certainly wasn't a big addition when he transferred from Tulane. Steve Blake was a well-known recruit, but also not in the superstar category. And so on and so on. Doesn't seem much different from the current team.
So what's the difference? With the growth of the Internet, is it just a case of things circulating quicker and knowing more about more players? Or did Williams and the Terps simply hit home runs with those previous recruiting classes and strike out with later ones? I'm sure this will be discussed much, much more in the next two months.
| January 28, 2009; 7:48 AM ET
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