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Williams Talks About Losing Assistants, Recruits

During today's chat with local reporters, Gary Williams was asked whether he thought losing talented assistant coaches who were skilled recruiters, such as Billy Hahn, Dave Dickerson and Jimmy Patsos, has hurt his program in regards to recruiting in recent seasons.

For those of you who wonder whether the athletic department plays -- or has played -- a role in Maryland basketball's recent recruiting struggles, I imagine you'll find Williams's response quite interesting.

"Well, we've signed two players that will be in the top 50 in the country for next year, and I'm looking forward for those guys coming in here," Williams said, referring to Maryland's 2009 recruiting class of Jordan Williams and James Padgett. "We've had, um, people that were here for different lengths of time. The kid, (Shane) Clark, up at Villanova was turned down for admission here at Maryland. The guy starting at South Florida, (Gus) Gilchrist, was here for a year. He'd be playing now. You know, Tyree Evans would be playing now. And they're all qualified to play at other schools. So, that's part of it. You know, in basketball one player's a lot. It's not like in football where you've got 25 (recruits) every year. So we've been through that.

"I was very fortunate to have Dave Dickerson, Billy Hahn and Jimmy Patsos for the length of time that I did. I always felt because I was an assistant coach for nine years, part of my job as a head coach is to prepare guys for head coaching positions that are my assistants. You know, Mike Lonergan is doing a great job at Vermont. Jimmy's up at Loyola. He's really changed that program. Dave Dickerson's in a very difficult situation at Tulane, because of the hurricane (Katrina). All of those guys have benefitted from being here and become head coaches. So that's one of those things that happened. It's not like they left or I got rid of them. It's just that we did well enough where they could get head coaching positions. Whether it's Randy Ayers or Ed Tapscott -- people like that, they've been my assistants. You know, I must be doing something right if people on the outside think that (Maryland assistants) are ready to be head coaches."

Then Williams was asked whether losing players such as Gilchrist and Evans in the same offseason was an unusual development.

"Yeah, and it wasn't my fault that they're not here," Williams said. "You know, that was somebody else's call."

I'm not going to put words in Williams's mouth, so I'll let you decide to whom he was referring.

Your thoughts on his comments?

By Steve Yanda  |  January 26, 2009; 5:13 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: A Review Of The First Five Minutes

Comments

Fire Debbie Yow!!!!!!!!!! If Shane Clark, Augustus Gilchrest, and Tyree Evans were here this team would be a top 25 team. Gary can't be held accountable for all those guys and Terrance Jennings bailing and don't forget about Bobby Maze. I'm tired of hearing Gary can't recruit. If all those guys were here like they should be this team would be contending with the top of the ACC and without a doubt be going back to the tourney!!!!!!

Posted by: beas13 | January 26, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

As much as Yow has screwed up this 2008-2009 mens basketball team she was also the force behind bringing in Friedgen and Frese. Dont forget the mens soccer team, womens field hockey, etc. You cant doubt that she is overseeing a tremendous overall sports program at MD. I just wish she would give Gary more slack with some of the kids he has been trying to bring in.

Gilchrist was the killer. He is exactly what the Terps need right now. Evans shooting ability would be great considering the cold streak that Vasquez and Hayes are in right now.

Posted by: DMoney28 | January 26, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

UMD does not have any tougher standards than most of the other ACC schools it competes with. Gary needs to do a better job of recruiting guys that have a chance of qualifying rather than targeting guys with suspect backgrounds and/or academic issues. Passing the blame is just his way of deflecting the issue at hand. He hasn't brought in the talent that is needed to compete at the highest level. The guy can coach his a$$ off but he needs to go after some better assistant coaches or quit spending so much time in Dewey Beach and do some recruiting of his own.

Posted by: SkinsFan991 | January 26, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Gary needs to quit blaming every thing and everyone else. Look at the class student athletes that dook recruits and it it doesn't seem to have problems winning games. Gary is a HOF coach because of what he accomplished up to the national championship. He has been mediocre, at best, since then. His recruiting has sucked and his teams have underachieved; he can blame the AD and the school and all of the other coaches who he accuses of bending the rules. But he really hasn't done much since 2002. I guess that is what you call sweet redemption.

Posted by: Phillip258 | January 26, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

with the facilities, support, and success of the program, all 3 of those kids should be 2nd-tier to the caliber of player we SHOULD be getting.

so despite the fact that our Administration kinda screwed us with those guys, it doesn't excuse GW from not getting top-level talent in here, especially the top-level local talent.

Posted by: sargeantmofo | January 26, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Why did the administration screw us??? why can't gary recruit kids without criminal records and actually have a chance of graduating? The graduation and the winning percentage of the men's basketball team must get better or gary needs to retire and we get someone who can win and stop blaming everyone else.

Posted by: Phillip258 | January 26, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"As much as Yow has screwed up this 2008-2009 mens basketball team she was also the force behind bringing in Friedgen and Frese. Dont forget the mens soccer team, womens field hockey, etc. You cant doubt that she is overseeing a tremendous overall sports program at MD."

The soccer and field hockey coaches were here before her arrival. SHe had very little to do woth bringing in Ralph that was Dan Mote's call and hire.

Posted by: terps2002 | January 26, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I don’t believe Yow has any control of who gets admitted and who doesn’t. I believe it starts and ends with the Chancellor. It’s the Chancellor who sets up the frame work for admissions that in turn dictates the direction in which the University must abide by. At this time the University of Maryland believes in sacrificing athletics rather then compromise the integrity of Maryland’s academic standard and place in the University system. I don’t agree with that but that’s the way it is. You want to change things, get rid of the Chancellor.


MB

Posted by: Bean1 | January 26, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"Well, we've signed two players that will be in the top 50 in the country for next year, and I'm looking forward for those guys coming in here," Williams said, referring to Maryland's 2009 recruiting class of Jordan Williams and James Padgett.

HAHA..assume he meant top 50 at their position. Good luck to ya if you are banking on these 2 to save face

Posted by: jhull78 | January 26, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Yow brought the athletic department back from being the laughing stock of the ACC. It is one of the greatest accomplishments in NCAA sports. The department was so far in the red and the facilities were crumbling with no money to pay for repairs, let alone enhancements. The minor sports had to compete on an uneven playing field because Md could pay for the complete allotment of scholarships allowed by the NCAA. She did remarkable things and (and was criticized along the way) to get the program into the black so it could compete. Gary Williams brought the Maryland basketball program back from the dead. He took the job when no one else wanted it and won a national championship. He is a HOF coach because of what he did; but he has underachieved since that national championship. The facts are that they both have done great things for this university. Yow created an athletic program that allows the teams to compete on an even playing field. The construction of the Comcast Center, the renovations of Byrd and the upgrade of all of the facilities have set the stage for coaches to compete. If the coaches can't compete, then it is time to get new coaches. Gary is a hero, but he needs to get back work and quit blaming everyone and every thing for his shortcomings the last few years. Look at all of the successful programs that recruit players who can succeed in the classes as well as on the court. Maybe we ought to try that path.

Posted by: Phillip258 | January 26, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

"Well, we've signed two players that will be in the top 50 in the country for next year, and I'm looking forward for those guys coming in here," Williams said, referring to Maryland's 2009 recruiting class of Jordan Williams and James Padgett."

LOL at this, Gary is now lying. When was the last time the Terps even had a true top 50 recruit? Mike Jones, I guess, and he sat on the bench for 3 years for allegedly not playing defense.

Posted by: cmterpsnskins | January 26, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

UMDs admissions requirements are equal to Montgomery College compared to Duke. And what are they ranked? So puleeze Gary gimmie a break.
When did Williams become such a winey cry baby? Way to blame everyone else.
Gary is a hero for what he did for the University. But even coaches-for-life have to be cut loose sometimes. Right Mike Shanahan?
Terps are regressing at warp speed and won't even make the NIT this year. It's really time to reevaluate.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

There are a number of very amusing and alarming comments in this string. The recrimination for the university failing to admit players who are either under some sort of legal cloud, or who so clearly fail to meet even minimal academic standards, is just pitiful. Using those standards as an excuse for failure is nonsense, and is so easily countered by the success of Wake, UNC, Duke, Davidson etc etc that I cannot fathom why anyone would even raise the point. Say what you want about the Cameron Crazies, but the reference to graduation rates is on the mark, and those percentages would, as hard as it is to believe, have gone even lower if the players referenced in the string had been admitted.
Targeting the wrong guys for the program is bad enough; advocating that the wrong guys didn't meet any kind of standard but should be admitted anyway reveals the worst thought process possible in support of a team or a university.
Implying that Maryland cannot recruit against other ACC schools because of admission standards is delusional. It's no wonder that other conference members not only don't consider Maryland a rival, but also take such pleasure in beating hell out of an arrogant, ill-informed, and illogical bunch of apologists. And sorry Terps- the refs DIDN'T do it-

Posted by: ttravenblack | January 27, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

MB says - "At this time the University of Maryland believes in sacrificing athletics rather then compromise the integrity of Maryland’s academic standard and place in the University system."

So, we should sacrifice the integrity of academics in favor of athletics? Look at Wake Forest University. 6000 Students, among the highest academic standards in the country, and they will kick Maryland's butt in both football and basketball. A university can have both if it has the right coaches.

Posted by: baseballguy | January 27, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Let the name calling & fingering pointing begin. With the inclement weather and the Durham debacle fresh on everyones mind it will be interesting to see what kind of crowd/lack thereof will show tonight.

As for recruiting, ESPNU has 9 kids from MD/DC in there top 100. None are coming to College Park & even more alarming is that only 2 even considered it.

Posted by: KHTerpSkinfan | January 27, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

UMD Basketball = UMD Football

Both coaches get the most of of their players, but cannot recuruit the area. How many DC/MD kids go to Penn State (football)annually? When you cannot recruit your home turf, something is terribly wrong. I personally think both coaches are great at their craft. However, why couldn't Maryland ever open its coffers and pay Mike Locksley a few mill? Recruiting is the lifeblood of any major university and Maryland competes with the Big East in football and A-10 in basketball for recruits. Oh, and for all you idealists that think major college sports is about athletics, take at look at Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, VA Tech, or Georgia. Duke is the exception. You want scholars, go to science or engineering. You want playas, the SAT or ACT is irrelevant.

Posted by: duh2mag | January 27, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Make it real easy,

Those schools above grant "ACADEMIC EXCEPTIONS" to many of the Basketball players and Football players.

MD has got a harder line and is not letting in kids that are total morons. Wake and Villanova may be harder to get in for you and me, but not for a basketball player.


It's about priorities and right now UMD doesn't think it should lower standards for athletes. I do, simply because a athlete can't just go home after class and study. The grades will take a hit, but it doesn't mean they aren't smart and learning.

Posted by: khornbeak | January 27, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Come on Gary, you can't be serious!! You look to blame everything else except the face in the mirror. After the Duke embarassment, you said the team wasn't ready to play. NOT READY TO PLAY??!! You're playing the number 2 team in the country on national TV and you're not ready to play? Sounds like a coaching deficiency to me. Please Gary, start coaching -- get your team ready to play for 40 minutes every game and teach your players the right attitude (turning around and screeming at the bench does not constitute coaching to most people). It's not about the losses, it's about the how the team plays that bothers me (and apparently the other few thousands that don't show up at Comcast anymore). I can take a loss if I know the team played their best. The problem is that we win ugly and we lose uglier -- and that seems to be a coaching problem!!

Posted by: Terp77 | January 27, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What happens when the Turtles don't even get picked for the NIT this year? Then some feathers will fly.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 27, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

MD men's basketball is just fine.

GW is a HOF Coach.
The Comcast Center is World Class.
UMD is a great academic institution.
Keep you standards high.
Don't change anything.

Losing is not so bad once you get used to it.


Posted by: ks32 | January 27, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

So, baseballguy, apparently you consider Wake losing to the Terps 26-0 "kicking Maryland's butt in football".

Would losing by only 10 be considered "whooping our a$$"?

You should probably restrict your comments to baseball. Maybe you actually know something about that.

Posted by: NickHammer | January 27, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Villanova isn't harder to get into than Maryland (at least out of state). Gary needs to recruit good kids that can get into school (even if they may need some help because of their basketball talent) but not dirtbag kids with criminal histories or kids who could barely pass the NCAA Clearinghouse. With Maryland's campus, academic reputation and athletic facilities Gary should be competing for the top talent in the country who also happen to be good kids.

Posted by: terps11 | January 27, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Gary thinks these guys should just come to the university to play basketball. Sorry guy, those days are over. Maryland now requires incoming athletes to be STUDENT-ATHLETES.

If Gary had his way, we'd have ex-rapists (Evans) and guys who can't complete a sentence of English (Maze) on our squad.

I'm providing a link to one of Maze's brilliant forays into the English language.

http://ncaabasketball.fanhouse.com/2008/07/03/vols-recruit-bobby-maze-freestyle-youtube-video-smacks-on-mary/

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | January 27, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

For those of you blaming Debbie Yow, she is not making the call on these prospective athletes. The Office of Admissions renders these types of decisions.

So if you don't like ex cons, ex rapists, and those who can't compose a sentence of English, post your rant to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and tell them to make academic exceptions for these guys.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | January 27, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say if you don't like the fact the Office of Admissions rejects these guys, etc.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | January 27, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of hearing about the academic standards. If that's the case, explain why almost none of our elite scholar athlete's who play basketball actually graduate? It's not as if we are loaded with Rhodes Scholars (not since McMillan anyway). After twenty years, Gary should be aware of what will fly and what won't. There are plenty of talented basketball player who AREN'T academic exceptions.

Posted by: jcyr4 | January 27, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

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