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The Virtues of Scrimmages and Exhibitions

Gary Williams was asked yesterday whether he preferred to have his team play in scrimmages or exhibition games during the preseason. His choice varied, depending on the experience of the players to which he referred.

This season, the Terps experienced one of each. On Tuesday, the team traveled to scrimage at Temple. Due to NCAA rules, anything that goes on during a preseason scrimmage is to be kept private, and therefore, is supposed to be off-limits to the media. That's why you didn't see any reporting on how Tuesday's scrimmage went for either team.

In any event, Maryland concludes its preseason slate in a few hours with an exhibition game against Northwood University, a NAIA school. Exhibition games are open to the public, which means you, me and whoever else wants to go can attend.

"You know, I've always felt with players, when you turn the scoreboard on and there are people there, you don't have to have, I saw Coach K complaining about the crowd at Cameron, but anyway, it doesn't matter how big the crowd is, just to have people there is important, especially for young players," Williams said. "I think for veteran players, scrimmages are better. You know, they have pride. You're playing a Temple and they're a legitimate team, and you know, you want to play well. It's hard to say. I like playing one game, one scrimmage. I think it's good."

Regardless of whether the team participates in a scrimmage or exhibition, Williams said playing against a different team helps fend off restlessness as the regular season tip-off nears.

"You really find out about your conditioning, for instance, because you get the adrenaline going and after the first couple of minutes everybody's dying on both teams," Williams said. "And the people that come back, it takes about a half a minute or so. Then you get your wind back. Then you find out you're in pretty good shape, so that's probably as important as anything you do against outside competition is find out your conditioning.

"If all 10 guys, like we can put out there in practice, aren't in very good shape, they're playing against each other so you can't tell that. But if you put them against somebody else and you get run off the court, obviously you're not in good shape."

To be clear, you will not see Williams or his players treat this game as they would a regular season contest. Williams said he will not necessarily have the Terps play to the situation of the game, but rather he will try to get as many players and as many different combinations of players on the court against Northwood.

What do you all expect to see from the Terps today? In terms of evaluating the team and its prospectus for this season, do you take any real stock in how today's game goes?

By Steve Yanda  |  November 8, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Warm-ups


Does the fact that exhibition games are open to the public mean that tickets are free?

Posted by: danielos38 | November 8, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

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