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Desperate To Move Forward

In case you were curious, the last time Maryland got beat by 27 or more points was Jan. 8, 2005 at North Carolina when the Tar Heels prevailed, 109-75. The last time the Terps lost a non-conference game by at least as many points as they got beat last night? That would be March 18, 2000, when they lost to UCLA, 105-70, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

So, as you can see, these kinds of losses don't happen often to the program at College Park. In fact, they happen so infrequently that they tend to catch Maryland Coach Gary Williams off-guard when they do occur.

The one thing Williams wanted to make clear after losing by 27 points to Georgetown was that the fact the Terps were playing a program that resides less than 15 miles from their campus had nothing to do with the off-kilter performance.

"I think we were tight, but I’m not sure it was because it was Georgetown," Williams said. "You know, at Maryland, we play a lot of big games against ranked teams. And we’ve done all right over the years with that, so I don’t know where it came from tonight."

What Williams did know was that the team had a lot of areas in which it needed to improve between the flight home Sunday night and Wednesday night's tip-off against Big Ten foe Michigan. Two of the bigger items on that list include:

  • Taking better shots and hitting the shots that are open. Williams said once again last night that the players had several opportunities to hit open shots and simply could not do so. Maryland has shot poorly from the field in its past two games, though to be fair, those were its two toughest games of the season to date. Perhaps the shooting numbers are more a reflection of Maryland's ceiling than anything else.
  • Fixing the typically stout defense. Not entirely sure who the imposters were that were defending against the Hoyas, but it certainly did not look like the usual Terps. Even against Gonzaga, a team that had superior size and talent, Maryland did not look out-classed on defense like it did last night. As Williams mentioned, the energy and effort that had come to define his team defensively simply was not present against Georgetown.

"I think nobody’s played a tougher schedule than us so far this year," Williams said. "I’m disappointed with the way we played tonight, but we did get a win over a top five team. That was good. Gonzaga, we played okay. And tonight we didn’t play. So, you’d like it to go the other way, obviously, but the thing with basketball is you don’t have a week to get ready. You have two days to get ready for a Michigan team that’s already beaten UCLA. So, we’re in a tough part of our schedule, there’s not doubt about it, but we’ll find a lot out about our team by the way we play Wednesday night."

By Steve Yanda  |  December 1, 2008; 11:09 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I know where it came from: it came from JT3 getting stud players in the area (and some out of area) and Gary getting the 2nd tier players in the area (and out of area).

The result was a reflection on the difference in talent between the two teams, and Gary's lax recruiting is the reason for our lack of talent.

It's as simple as that...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | December 1, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Agree with sargeantmofo. Gary hasn't had a top tier player coming out of high school in YEARS. So we Maryland fans have to realize this team is not going to be a consistent Top 10/Top 20 team.

Still not sure how we lose every key player from the state of Maryland but we do.

Dave Neal a starter??? Only for Maryland.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | December 1, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Two observations from the two games:
1. Obviously the shooting was horrible, but the defense was worse. Against Mich St, the Terps harrassed them everytime down the court, they used full court pressure, and forced the Spartans to play at their tempo. Not so against the Zags and Hoyas. The Hoyas were getting so many backdoor passes for easy lay-ups. They were less intense on the other side of the ball.
2. Recruiting is a huge issue. Why a team like MD--an ACC team with a national championship in this decade--cannot find a big man anywhere in the country, much less in their backyard is beyond me. And it's not just Gary's job; the assistant coaches like Chuck Driessel and others need to be more aggressive in getting players to come here. Otherwise, be ready for many NIT visits for years to come.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | December 1, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what game Gary was watching, but if G'town hadn't let up that would have easily been a 50 point loss. It was 30+ early in the 2nd half.

Posted by: jdumb | December 1, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Recruiting top tier players is not the issue. Danny Miller, Travis Garrison, Mike Jones...names ring a bell? All were McDonalds All Americans and all were tremendous busts.
Juan Dixon, Joe Smith, Lonnie Baxter, Steve Francis...names ring a bell? All were 2nd tier recruits who Gary turned into All Americans.

Please do us all a favor and don't post comments if you don't have any clue what you're talking about.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 1, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

fearturtle 44:

According to Scout. com Mike Jones was the second rated point guard after Lebron when he came out of high school so Gary has brough some talent in the past years. What hurt him more than anything in my opinion was losing Billy Hahn and Jimmy Patsos. Those assistant were obviously the major recruiting force behind the terps for years. Remember how Fofana and Collins other guys all transferred to Loyola after Patos moved there to be the head coach. Gary has had a hard time holding onto Assistants in the past few years and I think that is killing our recruiting efforts.

Posted by: jkblodge1 | December 1, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

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