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The New Lobbyists: Basketball Coaches

It might be a little early to be talking basketball, but it isn't too early for basketball coaches to be talking about Selection Sunday, apparently. Maryland Coach Gary Williams spent part of last week's media day pleading the case for the ACC to get six teams in the NCAA tournament, and you can expect Williams and his ACC colleagues to continue that refrain at Sunday's media day. At yesterday's Big East media day, our Liz Clarke reported that Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said, "I honestly believe that we ought to get 10 teams [in the tournament] this year."

Williams and Pitino know more about basketball than I ever will, but I think it's worth pointing out this one detail they might have overlooked: NO ONE IS PLAYING ANY GAMES FOR 18 DAYS!

Honestly, I don't understand the point of these early campaigns. Do coaches honestly think their efforts will have any effect on the tournament selection committee?

I get that perception is important in influencing any subjective decision, but here's the thing: Seton Hall or Syracuse or Maryland will be judged on its own merits at the end of the season, and while part of that conclusion will entail a somewhat subjective judgment of the league each plays in, no one is going to say, "Well, Syracuse doesn't seem that good, but we've got just seven Big East teams in and we need an eighth." I'm willing to assail the selection committee for any number of errors in judgment in a given year, but that's just not one of them.

It makes sense that coaches lobby for their own teams; after all, an NCAA bid is the ultimate referendum on a season's success. But pleading for X number of bids for a conference in October is ridiculous, no matter what the conference is.

By Matthew Rennie  |  October 23, 2008; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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10 % graduation rate for Maryland Basketball - nice job, Gary Williams (he said with a heavy dose of sarcasm !)

I can't believe that Debbie Yow, has not fired Gary Williams.

There is no way, that a parent should ever send their son to the University of Maryland to play basketball.

Maryland will finish with a 15-16 record and 4-12 in the ACC.

No NCAA bid

No NIT bid

I am glad that Maryland football, is no longer recruiting Tavon Austin.

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | October 23, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

As a reminder for those of you with early senility memory problems coupled with I.Q.s substantially lower than normal body temperature, MARYLAND won a NCAA Championship with Gary Williams as coach.
I've watched the TERPS since Bud Millikan was coaching.
Lefty was first class.
Gary IS first class.

Posted by: lmiller328 | October 24, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Barring a drastic change of heart, it appears unlikely that Dunbar running back Tavon Austin will stay in Maryland for college.
Austin told's Mike Farrell this week that he’s narrowed his list of schools to three.
“I haven’t taken any official visits lately,” Austin explained. “I went to West Virginia a little while back and that went pretty good. I’m not going to take all five of them.
“I’m taking an official to UNC on November 7, and I think I might make my decision after that. I’m looking at West Virginia, North Carolina and Michigan right now, but I might not make it to Michigan. I’d say West Virginia is leading by a little bit.”
• In Mike Farrell’s Weekly Whispers column, the analyst says that Hawkins and his Quince Orchard teammate, defensive end Jason Ankrah, have been impressed with Penn State’s 8-0 start.
Speaking of Penn State, numerous prospects who didn’t have interest in the Nittany Lions suddenly are interested after the team’s awesome start. While Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard defensive end Jason Ankrah has always loved Penn State, teammate Travis Hawkins - a cornerback - once again is showing a lot of interest.
* Jelani Jenkins and Isaac Holmes will be signing with the University of Florida.

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | October 24, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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