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Williams's Cliche Might Be Wise Approach

In what was the final question of Gary Williams's postgame press conference Saturday night, he was asked if he felt good about his team's prospects for the rest of the season.

"I feel good today, right now," Williams said. "I feel real good. But, you know, it’s a long battle. It’s 15 games, but you never look past the next game. And not because you won’t prepare for Miami; it’s because you put everything you can into getting ready for Miami. And then after that, you go play the next game. See, if you look at the 16 games, given the fact we play Duke, Carolina twice, Miami twice, that could look really tough if you looked at it on paper; that’s really a tough schedule. But if you look at it as we have to play this next game; that’s all we have to do. That’s all we can do between now and Wednesday night is get ready for the next game. So that’s what you do. That’s how you handle it."

We've all heard this mantra countless times before from coaches and athletes from a variety of different sports. Just take it one game at a time. It's a cliche that's been around for a long, long, long time. In some cases, the people who use that particular cliche simply are operating on auto-pilot. They might mean it. They might not. But it sure sounds like the right thing to say, so why not throw it out there?

But given the composition of this season's Maryland squad and all of its apparent vulnerabilities, the one-game-at-a-time mindset would be a good idea. For this team, it's not so much a tool for remaining focussed as it is a method for survival.

Now, I'll turn the question over to you. One game into ACC play, do you all feel good about Maryland's prospects for the rest of the season?

By Steve Yanda  |  January 12, 2009; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Mosley's Subtle Gift


No I do not feel good about MDs prospects after the first ACC game. They are as bad as I thought they were, and I believe we were handed the game Saturday because GT is young and experienced (therefore the turnovers and lack of execution). Any other team would have blown us out. We have NO post players at all and you cannot shoot jumpers all day and expect to win.

Posted by: ejharrisjr40 | January 12, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

It sure seems likely that Terps will struggle against any team with a decent inside game. But Gary's teams always play hard and will steal at least 1 win against a superior team. I still think an 8-8 record is going to be tough to get.

Posted by: erniegogo | January 12, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

No. This team has major weaknesses and unfortunately I do not see the mental toughness or maturity to overcome them. The GV issue is a prime example.

Posted by: srcog | January 12, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

UNC has lost twice in the conference already. This tells me that any team can win any game on any given night. If the Terps play hard - anything is possible.

Posted by: TerpGrad | January 12, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

This team has weaknesses for sure, and they are heavily dependent on guard play. They will get manhandled inside some night. But I like the fact that they won on Saturday despite not being able to shoot, being down by 10 halfway through the second half, and were led on the back of someone besides Vazquez. This could end up being a big game for Hayes.

I don't think this team will be top of the ACC, but on those GOOD shooting nights, the opposite of Saturday, they may pull out some surprise wins. That, coupled with some wins against the lower rung of the ACC could get them to 8-8 or 9-7.

The big question is will they be a typical MD team (football or basketball) and win impossible games while losing unexplainable ones? Because their schedule is tough enough that there isn't much room for the bad losses.

Posted by: CharlieF | January 12, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...On the nights that the Terps shoot well, they should and will win. On the nights they shoot badly, they might lose. We see already that in 2 games where the Terps shot poorly, they lost 1 and won 1. The same can also be said for the Georgetown game.

Anything can happen, but there is a bigger probablility that we are in for a long winter. With no big guys, all we have to rely on are the guards...which means that the guards have to be on fire every nite in order to beat teams.

That is not going to happen.

Or I could just live in denial and call the next game. MD: 82 Miami: 70.

Posted by: de_11 | January 12, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I see reasons to be optimistic (Mosley, Hayes coming alive, pressure defense working) and reasons to be pessimistic (continued lack of inside game, idiotic jump shots, Vasquez and his mouth). So I'll say 8-8 and hope I'm one win low.

I would expect 9-7 to be sufficient to get us into the tourney.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | January 13, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

The Terps can beat anybody in the country. Unfortunately they can so lose to anybody. They are a wonderful, maddening team! They may not have the talent on paper that other teams have, but I think they make up for it with heart. I'll say 9-7 in the conference and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Posted by: terpin | January 13, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

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