Plenty of Poison Pens Out There for Terps
Not a lot of love out there for Gary Williams' bunch among the college basketball season previews. I don't think anyone has tremendously high expectations for this season's team, but that doesn't explain the level of vitriol in some of the attacks out there.
Let's start in the Kansas City Star, where in his season outlook, Blair Kerkhoff singles out Williams as the nation's "overrated coach" with the following observation: "He has a ring but hasn’t built on it — and the Terps might finish last in ACC." Ouch. In the Boston Globe, Post alum Adam Kilgore forecasts an 11th-place finish for the Terps and writes, "Point guard Greivis Vasquez is good enough to keep the Terrapins in games. He’s erratic enough to keep opponents in them, too." USA Today calls for five NCAA tournament teams out of the ACC, but Maryland isn't one of them.
The San Francisco Chronicle lumps Maryland in with Indiana, Stanford, Texas Tech, Princeton and Arkansas. The connection? One-time powers the author says could finish last in their respective conferences.
In the Raleigh News & Observer, Maryland is forecast to finish in a tie for ninth (with Boston College). The paper's basketball preview includes the following observations about the Terps (the second of which doesn't make much sense, to me at least):
(1) While sure to be entertaining, it will take a basketball miracle to get this group out of the NIT and in the NCAA Tournament.
(2) The only legitimate team more overdue to win big is the Chicago Cubs. And if there’s any justice, Gary Williams will have one more minute or two in the spotlight. But when your best returning rebounder is Landon Milbourne, you might as well be trying to pitch a no-hitter at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out to leftcenter.
The Terps are one of the five questions to consider in the Virginian-Pilot (Will small ball work at Maryland?). It's probably not a good sign that the question is answered with another question.
The Atlanta Journal-Constituion doesn't say anything bad about Maryland; it doesn't say anything at all. And that silence could be considered damning considering every other ACC school is mentioned in one way or another in the paper's lists of top five must-see games, impact freshmen, story lines to watch, players on the hot seat and unknowns who could step up.
Are these forecasts overly pessimistic for the Terrapins? And even if you think they're close to accurate, are some people particularly reveling in Maryland's lackluster prospects?
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