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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?

By Matthew Rennie  |  November 12, 2008; 9:59 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: A Look at the Tar Heels


Sporting News picks Terps last in the ACC with Williams as "coach on the hot seat". They do not mention any Maryland players as 'best' in their 12 rating categories. Their summation is that Terps "may not be a bad team, but they are far from a good team".

Posted by: erniegogo | November 12, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I LOVE that no one is saying good things about our boys. It's all bulletin board material. We have the talent and the coaching. If Landon Milbourne can step up and we have good free throw percentage, I like our chances to get into the NCAA tourney.

Posted by: SKINSTERPS | November 12, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

This complete lack of respect is something that Gary feeds off of. I have a feeling he gets this group to exceed expectations and back in the tourney (provided that we get the bare minimum out of our frontcourt).

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | November 12, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"Not a lot of love out there for Gary Williams' bunch among the college basketball season previews." Luckily, the College Park Post has devoted an entire blog to the sports programs at the University of Maryland. I guess it balances out.

Posted by: andersot | November 12, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Kansas is still bitter about the Final Four. Priceless.

Posted by: Lee26 | November 12, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Now lets see..... You've got an almost new state of the art basketball facility a beautifull campus just outside of the nation's capitol and an area with some of the best talent this side of the Mississippi,but you can't get them to come to your school WHY? that my friend's is the question and only Gary Williams can answer that, poor recruiting for sure but why don't blue chippers want to come play in the ACC for the Terrapins? The assistants for the terps have changed so Gary has had to get more involved in the recruiting of prospects not a good thing,Williams is percieved as "old school" not a bad thing if you're the parent of one of these blue chippers but kids don't bond with screamers and no doubt Williams is emotional.So whats the solution? a new coach and maybe a new philosophy, sorry Gary.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 12, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse


I wouldn't extoll the virtues of College Park or the campus too much. Yeah, Comcast is great, but the city of College Park is a joke and the campus lacks both culture and safety.

I loved going to Maryland and I could not be happier never to have to live in CP again.

Posted by: pipkin42 | November 12, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Mindless banter from jock sniffers who never played sports. What other profession can you make meaningless predictions, be wrong most of the time and never be held accountable?

Gary Williams IS Maryland Basketball and has done more for the University than any other person in recent history. Gary's success with the Basketball team changed the whole attitude in College Park. He helped us move on from the Bias tragedy. Donations increased, applications increased and ultimately academic standards were raised. This doesn't happen without Gary. "He has a ring but hasn’t built on it — and the Terps might finish last in ACC." Nobody gave him that ring a@@h*le! He created it out of nothing. Where did this joker predict the Terps would finish last year? Probably not 6th. Again no accountability.

Posted by: UnitedWeStand | November 12, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Blair Kerkhoff Kansas City Star

HIS BIO SAYS IT ALL (no Carolina bias?)

He grew up in Raleigh, N.C., and never missed a Carolina Cougars game at the Dorton Arena.

Blair won't budge from these absolute truths: Texas A&M is the best place to watch college football. Kansas is the best place to watch college hoops. N.C. State's victory over Maryland for the 1974 ACC championship was the greatest game ever played.

Posted by: UnitedWeStand | November 12, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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