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Missed Shots, Part II

Good afternoon. This is Eric. I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words, thoughts and perspective on the three-part Maryland recruiting series. Write anytime. The large majority of the many emails Steve Yanda and I received were positive. The second part of the series is right here and I am particularly fond of it because it deals with my favorite subject: the sordid world of summer-league basketball. I have covered the high-profile summer circuit since 1997, and it just doesn’t feel like July to me unless I am in a Las Vegas high school gym (they all look the same) mingling with street agents, handlers and some of the best 15-year-olds in the country.

In Part II, Steve and I wanted to give the reader, among other things, the sense of the challenges Gary Williams confronts in an ever changing and murky recruiting landscape. I am very interested in what people think of the second part, so I encourage everyone to drop us a note. Steve Yanda's email is yandas@washpost.com. You can reach me at prisbelle@washpost.com.

I will also be on Washington Post Live on Comcast at 5 p.m. talking about the series. And Steve Yanda and I will participate in an online chat at 2 p.m. on Friday, and we encourage any and all questions. This is a complex issue, which is why we wanted to take a deep look at it. But it is a topic worth exploring and discussing. At 3 p.m. on Friday, I am planning to post a large portion of the interview I conducted last week with Gary Williams. This was an hour of some pretty good back and forth, a little contentious at times, but not bad. I’ll post as much as I can of the on-the-record portions.

Here are a few questions I would like you to consider: Would you be willing to have your coach – not break rules – bend rules to sign top recruits? Is it possible to be an elite team today and not bend the rules? What is the price Gary Williams has paid for not compromising his integrity in recruiting?

By Eric Prisbell  |  February 12, 2009; 2:55 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Missed Shots, Part III

Comments

Great, well researched article! You don’t see the effort put into deep background stories like this any more. I love all the FOGs (friends of Gary) howling like babies. Gary is a curmudgeon who shouldn't be representing the University of MD. He can't build relationships with players and their families and isn't interested in putting in the time necessary to do so. I loved when the Patriot league and Missouri Valley conferences Gary cried about how unfair that was and how MD would easily win those conferences. The next day he got about 10 calls from coaches looking to do home and aways with MD. Of course bully Gary didn't call any of them back. I'm a life long MD fan, but I've been to a few Mason games this year and they have a better program at this point. I can't wait for the day when Gary leaves and MD can start the process of being a relevant player on the national scene again. Someone brought up a great point which I couldn't agree more with, the FOGs always go and on how Gary saved us after we were on probation. It's a false premise. MD was going to be saved by any decent coach. We have everything it takes to be a consistent top 15 school:

* passionate fan base
* history
* great facility
* located in hotbed of high school talent

Gary is a joke. He needs to take his watch, let us name the floor after him and go drink beer and eat chicken wings with the co-eds in Ocean City and let someone else take over the program.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Why is the post all over Gary and Maryland. Georgetown might have local recurits, but so does Maryland. DO YOU REALIZE GEORGETOWN HAS A BASKETBALL TEAM AND THEY ARE STRUGGLING MORE THEN MARYLAND, WHERE IS THE POST AND THEIR NEGATIVE COVERAGE ON THAT PROGRAM.

Posted by: thomassmith1 | February 12, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Probably because MD has struggled more than any other national champion in the last 20 years. The others that struggled saw coaching changes. Even Denny Crum who had two national championships at Louisville was forced out, because poor results were not tolerated as they are apparently for MD.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"The large majority of the many emails Steve Yanda and I received were positive."

Easy to say this, Eric, since we can't disprove it. However, it seems pretty unlikely given the large majority of comments on the blog that were anything but positive.

I'm sorry, but after yesterday's hit piece on Gary Williams, I am not even remotely interested in reading part II or part III of this series. And judging by the comments on the blog, many of your other readers feel the same way.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"I'm a life long MD fan"

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 3:20 PM

Suuuuuuuuuure you are.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@restonhoops: Uh, it's a bit cruel to tell Gary he can "go drink beer" since he's a recovering alcoholic and now sober. And, frankly, I think you're dead wrong assuming that any decent coach could have rebuilt this program after the Lefty/Wade debacle. Fact is, GW was the only good coach WILLING to come here. No one wanted the job because of the NCAA death penalty.

How about this? Let's actually give GW a chance to rebuild again. He got burned with that godawful recruiting class of Headcase Gilchrist, Can't-Make-A-Basket-Medley, and crew.

At the moment, Maryland has some young kids who could develop well (Bowie, Mosley, Gregory, and Tucker) and some solid kids coming in.

I'm as anxious as anyone to see the Terps return to the upper-echelon of the ACC but at least this team is playing hard almost every night (can't say the same for those more highly recruited classes and how lackadaisical they were on the court from 2004-2007). Combine that with some of the kids coming in and our overall youth and why wouldn't you give Gary a chance?

Posted by: imageaid | February 12, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Restonhoops, you sure are an idiot. If Gary is losing out on kids because he actually has some morals, then I would gladly support an average overachieving, hard-working team rather than an one-year wonder team of the "Kansas State Model". I would take Gary as coach anyday rather than having someone like Bob Huggins for a flash in the pan moment.

Posted by: jzterps | February 12, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"but I've been to a few Mason games this year and they have a better program at this point." This statement makes you a mornon. This is what we heard from all the GW fans 3 and 4 years ago. They had passed MD. How's that working out for them?

Posted by: Lee26 | February 12, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

How much does Gary pay to keep you guys on the payroll? My earlies memories of the terps go back to the Dutch Morley days so not as long as some, but surely no fly by night fan. A lot of coaches could of turned MD around. Stop with the nonense. It was great the the Blake-Dixon-Baxter triumvirate came together at exactly the right time and all became great college players and far exceeded anyones expectations. I have news for you its never happening again. Our great recruits for next year when I last checked a couple weeks ago are just outside the top 100. Big deal. How does a team like Wake Forest, have you ever been to their campus?, bring in back to back recruiting classes that frankly Gary has never had in 20 years? The best story had to be Scottie Reyonlds. How about doing what Lefty would of done and not taken no for an answer put down the cell phone and drive over to Herndon.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Mason would beat MD this year 2 out of 3 teams easily. MD is not going to tournment this year, for what will this be 4 out of 5 years? Please tell me what other "major" coach in a power conference has missed the dance 4 out of 5 years and kept his job? I'll be waiting for the FOGs answer....

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I thank you so much for the great article. Great journalism.

The NCAA should heavily sanction the 3rd party recruiting. It seems that everyone is getting rich except for the players themselves, but I'm sure they're getting something under the table.

I do love the obsene amount of 3rd person references though, "I'm going down to Duke; Coach K loves Curtis Malone." I'm sure Coach K does.

We may have rioted, have low graduation rates, and be a safety school, but I'm positive our basketball recruiting is clean. Hopefully, we can chant "Coach K loves Curtis Malone.

Posted by: ianharte | February 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

restonhoops = Scotty Reynolds' dad.

Posted by: island1 | February 12, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Probably because MD has struggled more than any other national champion in the last 20 years." this is a stupid statement as well. Michigan State was out of the dance for a couple of years and is now back up. Florida is struggling. Duke would've missed the dance twice this decade if "Duke" wasn't the name on the front of the jersey. GT went to a championship game and then . . . The Terps danced twive after the championship and then fell back to 4th out of 12 in the ACC. 4th out of 12. 4th! During the 'bad years' and they will certainly be better next year. 4th out of 12. UVA is 11th out of 12 during that span...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 12, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

reston, that would be every coach in the ACC that isn't coach K or Roy Williams. and sure Mason would, just like GW... You have no idea what you are talking about. Seriously.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 12, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I believe a lot of this has to do with the turnover rate of his assistants. After the two that were around for over a decade there has been no stability. According to the piece, multiple recruits have said their ticket to Maryland was one of the assistants that bolted to coach other schools. What people don't see is that Gary might not be the best at recruiting, he leaves that to his assistants that he places a ton of trust in, perhaps too much but it was working. However once a kid actually signs with Maryland he (Gary) becomes the father figure that everybody wants in a coach. Everybody knows he can coach. I do believe that he needs to loosen up a little when it comes to refusing to recruit within certain areas. AAU for better or worse is becoming a major factor and it is nearly impossible to be successful without having that relationship. I also found it interesting that he doesn't want to talk about the coach of D.C. Assault saying "I know what he is" in regard to an arrest in '91 and '94. Gary has also had his issues with alcohol and whatnot, how would he like it if everybody wouldn't talk to him about their son/player because of his problems? He is in recovery and has earned another chance, doesn't that guy deserve the same? From just this piece there was no mention of another problem after '94.
Just my opinion on the matter, I think we should let Gary attempt to rebuild and pray his assistants stick around (Booth should for a while at least because of the ties) but also Gary needs to move into the new era of recruiting. I'm not suggesting he abandon his morals or integrity but if he doesn't come forward in the new age the losses will continue to pile up and his record wont look nearly as polished.

Posted by: Killerangel81 | February 12, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

hmmm Hewitt is hardly considered a dean in coaching. He is himself on the hot seat it Atlanta and just signed the number 2 recruit in the country to probably save his job.

hmmm let's look at Michigan State against MD the last few years and see if you know what you're talking about

1995–1996 Michigan State 16-16 9-9 7th NIT 2nd Round
1996–1997 Michigan State 17-12 9-9 T-6th NIT 2nd Round
1997–1998 Michigan State 22-8 13-3 T-1st NCAA Sweet 16
1998–1999 Michigan State 31-5 15-1 1st NCAA Final Four
1999–2000 Michigan State 30-7 13-3 T-1st NCAA Champions
2000–2001 Michigan State 27-5 13-3 T-1st NCAA Final Four
2001–2002 Michigan State 18-12 10-6 5th NCAA 1st Round
2002–2003 Michigan State 21-13 10-6 T-3rd NCAA Elite Eight
2003–2004 Michigan State 17-12 12-4 T-2nd NCAA 1st Round
2004–2005 Michigan State 25-7 13-3 2nd NCAA Final Four
2005–2006 Michigan State 21-12 8-8 T-6th NCAA 1st Round
2006–2007 Michigan State 22-12 8-8 T-7th NCAA 2nd Round
2007-2008 Michigan State 27-9 12-6 4th NCAA Sweet 16
2008-2009 Michigan State 20-4 10-2 NA NA


1998–1999 Maryland 28-6 13-3 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
1999–2000 Maryland 25-10 11-5 2nd NCAA 2nd Round
2000–2001 Maryland 25-11 10-6 3rd NCAA Final Four
2001–2002 Maryland 32-4 15-1 1st NCAA Champions
2002–2003 Maryland 21-10 11-5 T-2nd NCAA Sweet 16
2003–2004 Maryland 20-12 7-9 T-6th NCAA 2nd Round
2004–2005 Maryland 19-13 7-9 T-6th NIT Semifinals
2005–2006 Maryland 19-13 8-8 6th NIT 1st Round
2006–2007 Maryland 25-9 10-6 T-3rd NCAA 2nd Round
2007–2008 Maryland 19-15 8-8 T-5th NIT 2nd Round
2008–2009 Maryland 13-7 2-4
Maryland: 410-222 167-144


hmmm doesn't seem so....

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Lee26 do you even watch MD games? Vermont totally out played us period. Vermont has a better team than us let alone George Mason. So far in ACC comp MD has escaped by a slim margin over two terrible teams in GA Tech and UVA.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Gary is lazy in recruiting and building relationships and always had been. If would admit it and resolve to change then I could see keeping him around. All he does is get defensive and then FOGs go out and make lots of noise to try to distract everyone from the reality. I would love to see someone in here like Jeff Capel from Oklahoma. He would have us recruting from tide water to baltimore and in everyone's living room, period. MD would be a dominant power again.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the premises of your two poll questions.

Why is there nothing in between paying the AAU guys and telling them to take a hike?

What does it mean to bend but not break a rule?

In all that I read in your first two well-written segments, the problem seems to be that Gary doesn't build relationships. It seems that he is aloof and not completely invested on a personal basis with the process.

I simply don't accept the idea that a school like Maryland can only be successful in recruiting if it plays games witht the rules. Of course there are some cheaters, but I believe that there are many straight shooters doing much better than Gary.

Posted by: petecard | February 12, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

correction after reading the article, restonhoops = Curtis Malone

Posted by: island1 | February 12, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

At least the FOGs are good for a laugh. PeteCard hit the nail on the head. Gary wants to paint himself as some kind of victim and then write off all his lazy behavior. As PeteCard said he can invite AAU coaches out to camp, he can talk to them, he can build relationships directly with recruits and their families as Lefty used to say "I recruit their mama's" Could we have offered Hill a reasonable salary? He might of taken less to stay in the area.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

here's what FOGs need to understand

Maryland does not = Gary
Maryland = Maryland

Recruiting and building relationships is a large if not the largest part of being a D1 college coach. I think Gary is a good game coach and he would do great in some lesser league like the A10. Recruiting has gotten even more competitive in the last 10 years and we are not even in the conversation.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"A lot of coaches could of turned MD..."

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 4:16 PM

Could "of"?? What are you, 9 years old?

Beat it kid. The grown ups are talking.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's connect parts I & II.

Gay didn't come to Maryland because of a well publicized incident involving AAU.

Beasley never wore the black and gold because of the strong suspicion that it was a pakcage deal.

You have AAU "coaches" all but screaming that their relationships with College Coaches and AAU players matter in today's recruiting.

I do have to give props to Roy Williams for understanding that the recruiting game, especially with AAU, is indeed filled with pot-holes and shades of gray. It has been suggested that recovering alcoholics tend to look at the world as black and white. And of course, Carolina has never been on "death watch" (to their credit, I might add...), affording the Royster quite some more latitude.

Now, if we go back to the prior article, nothing was said about what role the AAU played for Deron Williams, Josh Boone, Carmelo Anthony, Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert, Scottie Reynolds, etc. Not that I am suggesting anything; the situations mentioned today are the only things we have documented. If anything, these two stories haven't been boilerplate.

And don't forget, Gary had to suck up to the city of Baltimore for years before he got a single recruit out of there. The "powers that be" just up and decided to punish Maryland for letting an unqualified coach in Bob Wade ruin a program. You think AAU coaches have shorter memories than charm city ones?

Again, this all goes back to the loss in Durham. For all his faults as recruiter, Gary is still an amazing coach. An Epic Fail like that game invites the doubt (and the subsequent finger-pointing) that he's not that good a coach anymore. Just no one has the stones to actually say that.

Posted by: mabkhar | February 12, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Barrno1 are you in terrapin club so you can listen to Gary give you pearls of wisdom about his offensive sets don't work anymore? There is a lot more that could be done without breaking the rules as both these articles point out well. I guess Texas, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Xavier and Tennessee all cheat quite a bit. I name these schools because they are not traditional powers like UCLA or North Carolina, but they have all passed us by in national relevance. Hey we’re still better than UVA that counts for something, right?

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

restonhoops said all that had to be said in what a Maryland "fan" he is:
"I would love to see someone in here like Jeff Capel from Oklahoma."

No thanks. I'll take 0-16 in the ACC every year before I ever want to see a Dookie in control at College Park.

Yes, Capel is a (pains me to say) great coach and recruiter and, yes, he is interested in Maryland. But I prefer to enjoy the rivalry and revel in the disdain and disgust Dook evokes in me every time I see those punks take the court.

I may be wrong but I think the last thing any true Maryland fan wants is a Dookie on the bench.

There are loads of good coaches out there. Loads. GW is one of them. Not without flaws and issues but a great coach. I just feel that his record and history at this school have earned him the right to try to right the ship again. I, for one, am happy to give him a couple more years to do it.


Posted by: imageaid | February 12, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"BTW, Maryland sucks anyway GO HOKIES"

Posted by: jdb70 | February 12, 2009 3:23 PM
________________________________________________________

See this is why I hate VT more than other school in the ACC, even more than Duke. Obnoxious fan base/alumni.

These guys make the NCAA tourny once a decade and they're on here talking smack.

Maybe instead of running down a clean program and a coach that does things the right way, the Post should do a story on all the troubled individuals that have been in the VT football program over the last 15 years, and how Beamer seems to look the other way.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 12, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

One more item:
"his offensive sets don't work anymore"

Really? I do believe that as early as last year we were one of the most potent offenses in the ACC, averaging around 80 points a game.

That's the same Flex offense. Yes, these kids aren't good on O yet. If this team could (they can't) shoot with the same FG% as last year, the Flex O would be fine. If you watch the games (not the Dook game, of course), you'll see Maryland getting a TON of open shots. We just miss them. I say that as a coach (yes, I coach in the secondary level but I do coach bball 5-6 months a year and the Flex O still works...just need more experienced kids).

The offense gets you the shots but the kids have to make them. Speaking of these kids, they're a bunch of freshman, sophomores and a couple of YMCA juniors and seniors. Give 'em a break and a little time.

Posted by: imageaid | February 12, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

sorry imageaid but have to disagree if Capel could come here for 10-15 years and do for us what Roy Williams did for Kansas I'll deal with him being from Duke. I have a feeling he's not a duke insider and on the fast track to take over from Coach K. Just a feeling I have. I bet he'd love to come here and beat Duke and Carolina on a regular basis both in recruiting and on the court.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that Lefty was a Dookie, albeit pre-Coach K (add expletive of your choice)...

But yeah, I do cringe at the thought of a KryBaby leading the Terps.

If we are looking into Plan B, might I suggest Andy Miller (Xavier) or Anthony Grant (VCU), young guys who have earned their way up the ladder.

Posted by: mabkhar | February 12, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I was never a fan of the flex, but to each his own. If Gary was half as intense on building networks and relationship with local coaches and families as he is courtside we wouldn't be having this conversation. The fact is he's not and he's not going to change. I don't think one player on our team could start for the majority of the schools in the ACC other than GV and maybe Mosley if he develops.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

mabkhar: Sean Miller is at Xavier (I only point that out because he and I were students at Pitt in the late 80s and he's Pitt's only decent coaching alum :).

That said, I'd love to see someone like Miller here. Or, stealing Dixon from Pitt!

And good point about Lefty -- that said, growing up outside College Park in the 70s and early 80s, not a fan of the coach (much respect for how he put Maryland on the hoops map, though).

restonhoops: I do actually understand the desire for Capel, I just could never do it (support one). Coach K players disgust me in every way. Floppers. Whiners. Babies. No thank you.

Posted by: imageaid | February 12, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Gary likes to talk about his record. Well his record this year is 15-8. Of course only 1---that's ONE of those 15 wins came against a team that will actually qualify for the NCAA tourney. All the others were against either losing teams or inferior-talent lower conference teams. Them are the facts.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 12, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree about Duke, but if you remember Capel when he played it seemed like he almost didn't belong at Duke. I remember hime as a player a little short on skill, but a total fighter like a DJ Strawberry.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I do think if he came here and won you would cheer just as hard.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Sean Miller would be a good choice as well. Now we're thinking. The FOGs want everyone to believe that if Gary left we would somehow become Clemson, well they are better than us now, maybe Rutgers.

Posted by: restonhoops | February 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You are right about Capel, I'll definitely grant that but the stigma of going to Duke is too great for me to overcome. He is one helluva coach -- what he did at VCU was awesome and, now, having Oklahoma in the top 5 all year isn't exactly shabby. Still, DOOK :)!

Also, I do think you're right in that if GW put as much into recruiting as coaching, we would not be having the conversation. But, I do think the man deserves some credit for not bowing to the AAU coaches and potentially putting us back in NCAA hot water.

Ultimately, I think he deserves a couple more years to see if this younger group can develop (remember Dixon, Baxter, and Blake as underclassmen?!?). If they can't and he can't improve the talent level, then so be it: regime change.

Posted by: imageaid | February 12, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

All of the back and forth comments are interesting, but the real focus should be on the article and what it says. Sift through the facts presented and what you will find is that Gary Williams is not producing at the same level since the Championship season -- period! When the latest trend is questioned, he gets defensive and holds up his record as evidence of his coaching abilities. The article seems to point out one of Gary's failings -- he EXPECTS respect for his accomplishments and BELIEVES that he can ride that wave until HE decides to retire.

I think his attitude toward recruiting is questionable at best. His emotional state regarding wins and losses is also questionable. He casts aside losses with the standard "we didn't give it a solid 40 minutes", yet he actually cries when the team beats low-life programs such as GT and UVA. The years may be catching up to Gary both physically and emotionally. Maybe it is time to retire and get your name on the Comcast floor.

Posted by: Terp77 | February 12, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Not sure that I would call 'restonhoops' a Maryland fan. Sounds more like a Duke fan (or Cowboys or even Yankees). Why all the hate for Gary? No credit whatsoever for the man? With all the posts you have made it sounds like you have a vendetta against him. Feel free to change allegiance to George Mason.

Posted by: kevinb2000 | February 12, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Kevinb- Anyone with an IQ above a doorknob can see that Restonhoops is clearly not a Maryland fan. I don't care if you say yo root for Maryland, you are not a fan of the program if you badmouth Gary Williams.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 12, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I wondered why we didn't see this article or something very like it several years ago. The Gay recruitment was when you started to hear fans ask: why can't Maryland get the best local kids?

Arguing about the Flex or the open court game is sort of beside the point. Gary's a good coach. If the program had a better record over the past five seasons, you'd hear him mentioned with the best in the ACC. Sure, he's a bit of a martinet, but so are most coaches. They're control freaks, and Gary's no exception.

No, it's recruiting that's the question. Maybe, as Gary never tires of suggesting, he's just too moral for the recruiting game. Bob Knight used to say the same thing, and there's truth in it. But maybe it's time to give somebody else a chance -- someone who's not so set in his ways.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

barno1: "Kevinb- Anyone with an IQ above a doorknob can see that Restonhoops is clearly not a Maryland fan. I don't care if you say yo root for Maryland, you are not a fan of the program if you badmouth Gary Williams."

OK, that's just stupid. Gary's not the program, and the program isn't Gary. He's a University employee like several thousand others. And if you're supposedly a Maryland fan and you're not asking questions about the team's problems the past few years, then you're fooling yourself.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 12, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Children,
Please stop this nonsense about who the next coach will be. Future Hall of Fame Coach Gary Williams will be here through the end of his contract, which expires at the end of 2012 I believe. So we can speculate around late 2011 who the latest flavor of the month is but no sense in doing it now.

Posted by: baloneyonwhite | February 12, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

samson(bacardi)151
you say "Bob Knight used to say the same thing, and there's truth in it. But maybe it's time to give somebody else a chance -- someone who's not so set in his ways."
The last time we gave someone else a chance they got UM NCAA probation and the near death penalty. So be careful what you wish for.
BTW, how's Indiana doing since Bob Knight was forced out? Did you know attendance is so bad they are selling upper deck seats there for $5.00?

Posted by: baloneyonwhite | February 12, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Imageaid says he would never want a "Dookie" in control at College Park. Generally, I would agree with that. However, last time we had a Duke alumnus at the helm, things worked out pretty well. (If you have to look that one up, you don't know squat about Maryland hoops.)

Still, I like having our current Maryland alumnus in charge. I offer no apologies to any of you who thinks that makes me a "friend of Gary." The fact is, he is honest and hardworking. He has won befoe and will win again. He runs a clean program at a great university. No need to stoop to a bunch of summer league thugs to create a basketball factory. Gary will win, in a way that we UM alumni can be proud of.

Posted by: SmittyATL | February 12, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

1. GW took the job when he had lots of choices and did not run when the NCAA made it a near impossible job. 2. Won a national championship some of us waited 30-40-50 years for. 3. Places his and the program's integrity as the top priority. Much worse things than being FOG.

Posted by: cscherf | February 12, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's an idea quit writing this garbage and let's talk about something important like the VT game tomorrow. GW isn't going anywhere til at least 2012 when the contract is up. No chance MD will buy him out and no chance he will resign. Quit crying and move on.

Posted by: beas13 | February 13, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Great articles and incite. I am a huge fan of Gary Williams and I don't want him to break or bend any rules, but I do want him more involved with recruiting and face to face time with players.

Posted by: lavar609 | February 13, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

baloneyonwhite: "The last time we gave someone else a chance they got UM NCAA probation and the near death penalty. So be careful what you wish for. BTW, how's Indiana doing since Bob Knight was forced out? Did you know attendance is so bad they are selling upper deck seats there for $5.00?"

Well, in 2004 we the voters elected George W. Bush. What a disaster. But does that mean we should give up and stop trying?

The trick isn't to replace the coach. The trick is to find someone better to replace him. It wasn't Mike Davis, it wasn't Kelvin Sampson. But it might well be Tom Crean.

And do you really think Bob Knight could have continued at Indiana? He himself has said he should have left several years before.

When the tree's poisoned, you should stop trying to eat the fruit.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 13, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Overall, I think that there has been a lynch mob mentality in the media trying to run Gary out of town. However, they do raise some very good points. Clearly Gary has not done a good job recruiting and I think these articles give some insight into some of the reasons why. Part II really demonstrates how sleazy recruiting has become and I am proud of Gary for running a clean program. However, there is no excuse for not putting in the effort to getting to know some of these kids and their families. Gary is a great coach and I still support him. That being said he needs to turn things around or he will tarnish his legacy.

I wouldn't bet against him...

Posted by: UnitedWeStand | February 13, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Mason really put it on Deleware last night. Won by negative 8 points. impressive.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 13, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Why should we care about missing out on Beasley? One year and a trip to the round of 32. Is that worth 450k and a possible NCAA investigation? How far did Texas get? Round of 16? I'll take sustained success and no NCAA investigations thank you very much...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 13, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

2002 was a top 20 class, can't find a link.

2003 #3 ranked class in the nation
http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=910&CID=188535

2006 #19 ranked class in the nation
http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=910&CID=549097

You also have to take into account the size of those classes. when you only have 2 schollys to give you aren't going to have a top 25 class no matter how good the players are. MD has had some bad luck. But the entire premise of this article is recruiting has been worse than it was before the championship. That premise is 100% inaccurate.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 13, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Twenty one years ago if you were asked if you could have a coach that would bring you 15 NCAA tourney appearances, including 11 in a row, a handful of sweet 16's, a final four, a National Championship, an ACC regular title an ACC Tourney title, the third best record over the span in the ACC, a first NBA pick, a second NBA pick, a few other lottery picks, 20+ players in the NBA and with all that success the ability to raise alumni money to afford a state of the art facility all while running a squeaky clean program..
What would you have said?
I understand were not happy with very recent developments with the program, but look at the bigger picture and what Future Hall of Fame Coach Gary Williams has brought to the school.

Posted by: baloneyonwhite | February 13, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

samson:
"And do you really think Bob Knight could have continued at Indiana? He himself has said he should have left several years before."

My point is anything less than a well thought out transition can wreak havoc. You can continue by looking at Michigan (Fisher), UNLV (Tark), Arkansas (Richardson), NC State (Sendek). I can go on and on.

Having said that Bush did have a good transition but not ready for prime time Obama fumbled. Hope we can't change in.

Posted by: baloneyonwhite | February 13, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

2002 was a top 20 class, can't find a link.

2003 #3 ranked class in the nation
http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=910&CID=188535

2006 #19 ranked class in the nation
http://rivalshoops.rivals.com/content.asp?SID=910&CID=549097

You also have to take into account the size of those classes. when you only have 2 schollys to give you aren't going to have a top 25 class no matter how good the players are. MD has had some bad luck. But the entire premise of this article is recruiting has been worse than it was before the championship. That premise is 100% inaccurate.

Eric and Steve, I think that this point needs to be investigated and addressed.

Posted by: UnitedWeStand | February 13, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Dude, Eric. Did Gary Williams steal your girlfriend or something? Seriously, the guy is a solid coach and a bad recruiter. Let it go. No one cares. You are always negative about Maryland whether they win or lose. What about G'Town,UVA, Mason, Va Tech, tell us about their recruiting practices.

Posted by: G-TOWNBALLING | February 13, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Those poll results make me proud to be a terp.

I've said all along I'd rather have an up-and-down program that has some integrity than have sustained success without integrity. If the Maryland-Duke divide for the next 20 years is that Duke stays in the top 10 every year by "developing relationships" with drug-dealing AAU coaches and Maryland swings from good year to bad while staying above it all, then Maryland wins that comparison every. damn. year.

yeah, I'll stick by Gary's principled stand and take rebuilding every few years.

One aspect of this that's overlooked, though -- Gary coaches better when he DOESN'T have supposedly "elite" talent, anyway. Historically, given a highly-touted recruiting class, he tanks. Given overlooked guys with a chip on their shoulder, he develops real players and wins. When the papers start talking about a Lance Stephenson visit, I worry...Gary doesn't handle those personalities well.

Posted by: sctucker | February 13, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Born Ready would be one and done though like Stevie Franchise. I think it could work out and really rejuvinate the fan base the same way Francis did in 98.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 13, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"Sifting through the facts" I come to this conclusion, Gary is clean. Actually despite all his missteps, it makes me proud to know that up until recently, Gary has been extraordinarily clean.
For all the people that want to say he can't recruit, what would you say if he went Bob Huggins Dirty, and got caught? You would rip him too. So here's a thought, stop whining. Just admit, you just don't like Gary! Did he not shake your hand at Bentley's? Get over it.
Let's look at Indian since 2002, what happened to Arkansas 20 years after their title, Florida didn't make the tourney last year and might not make it this year. Gary coaches better than most, period.
There are times I get pissed at Gary, but honestly Greivas, and Eric hit more shots last year. Last I checked, a coach shouldn't have to sit with his SHOOTING guard, or leading scorer, and walk him through shooting drills. Dixon had keys to the gym, maybe Eric or Grievas should ask for those. If they hit their shots, UMD would be 6-3 or 7-2 in the ACC. Assign blame where it should be, the players!

Posted by: bmdugan | February 13, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

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