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Emotion Evident In Terps Win

With little more than five minutes remaining last night and the Terps up by two, Greivis Vasquez set a screen for Dave Neal on the wing, and the senior forward drilled a three pointer. The basket elicited a huge fist pump and a primal scream from Neal, who acknowledged afterward he knew exactly how much was at stake against N.C. State.

In fact, all of the Terps seemed to realize as much. Maryland entered the night with little margin for error and could not afford a loss against a bottom-tier ACC opponent. The win put the Terps back to .500 in ACC play and provided them some momentum heading into tomorrow night's contest against No. 13 Wake Forest.

Coming off back-to-back games against top 10 opponents, Gary Williams was pleased to see the emotion with which his players competed.

"We're more mature," Williams said. "In other words, we gave everything we had in two home games against Duke and (North) Carolina. That doesn't happen very often. You know, to find a way to play with emotion down the stretch is very gratifying to me because I've had teams -- good teams -- that just couldn't do that. They're kids and you understand why. You don't like it when it happens, but you understand why they couldn't do it. But tonight we were able to do it."

As far as the NCAA tournament goes, Williams said he preferred not to get into a discussion of magic numbers and the like. But he did acknowledge that the selection's committee's job will not be easy. He's hoping that with another win or two, his Terps (18-10, 7-7 ACC) might make the committee's job a little tougher.

"I don't like to play those numbers," he said. "We've had 19 (wins) a couple years, and I thought we were good enough, and last year we had 19 wins -- well, we didn't have 19, but we were 8-8 in the league. I don't think there's any gurantees with anything anymore. There's so many good teams now that say they belong in the NCAA tournament, it's a very difficult selection process. I think it's a lot more difficult now than it's ever been."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 2, 2009; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

There is a reason Steve Yanda now gets ignored by Gary Williams at press conferences.

The Washington Post ought to think long and hard about whether it wants to continue down the current path they're on with respect to the University of Maryland's basketball program. Consider the Post's relationship with the Washington Redskins, which has deteriorated in the last 10 years to the point where Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder now refuse to speak with beat reporter Jason La Canfora, due to La Canfora and the Post's perceived agenda-driven, irresponsible and unethical coverage of the Skins over the last several years. That deteriorating relationship culminated this past season with La Canfora attempting to blow the whistle on the Redskins on a phony tampering charge that he called the NFL front offices on--which in turn resulted in Vinny Cerrato publicly calling out La Canfora by name on his radio show and creating quite a backlash among the Post's readers.

This in many ways seems quite similar to today's accusatory piece on possible NCAA violations.

Is this what the Washington Post wants to happen to their relationship with the University of Maryland? The Post has started down this ugly path just recently. But today's piece does not inspire confidence that the attacks will cease.

The blame should not stop with Prisbell and Yanda. Yes, to most observers it does appear that both of the Terps reporters are trying to make a name for themselves at the expense of the Maryland basketball program. But the responsibility should also lay with their assignment editors and all the higher ups in the Sports department involved in the recent attacks. This is a collective effort to go after MD--and one that had better stop if the Post does not want to see more embarrassments like Steve Yanda being ignored by Gary Williams at press conferences.

To the Post's assignment editors: Do you really want this to go where your relationship with the Redskins front office has gone, all just to sell a few papers and generate maybe a little more ad revenue?

To the 2 Terps beat reporters: Do you really want to become Jason La Canfora, and be despised by the team you are assigned to cover and most of your readers, all for the sake of making a name for yourself nationally?

There are other ways to make a name for yourself without losing your journalistic integrity.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 2, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

All these reporters and fair-weather fans who tried to throw dirt on GW's grave before he was dead will have to do some major brown-nosing after the Terps make the Tournament. (yeah, I went there)

Posted by: ecglotfelty | March 2, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey, say what you want about Yanda and Prisbell, but that's a nice move! First they attempt to bring down the reputations of a program that has always played by the rules. If that is too strong, then at a bare minimum these writers have used unsupported innuendo to adversely affect the future success of the program in its recruiting. Then they start a new post that talks about the tournament chances of the Terps, as if no harm was done! There is no way anyone can keep up with this duo. They are out of control.

Posted by: EdDC | March 2, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

From today's feature on NCAA tournament candidates on SI.com --

The comparison [of Virginia Tech] with Maryland (18-10, 7-7; RPI: 58; SOS: 24) is very close, but the Terps get the second-to-last at-large this week and the Hokies are left out because of Maryland's better top-end wins and the head-to-head victory."
"Maryland couldn't take out Duke but won at NC State to stay in the mix. The Terps get Wake Forest at home before closing at Virginia. Maryland has beaten top-two seeds Michigan State and North Carolina, but also has a host of blowout losses and a bad home loss to Morgan State."

Posted by: Samson151 | March 2, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Si.com and ESPN.com are powerful weak when it comes to bracketologists. If you want realistic bracket projections go with bracketology101, the historically most accurate projections out there. They have the terps as the 6th to last team in, and the more .500 weeks the terps have the further they move from the bubble.

Posted by: Lee26 | March 2, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

after the Terps make the Tournament. (yeah, I went there)

Posted by: ecglotfelty | March 2, 2009 2:14 PM

Make the tournament and do what? Get run out of the gym by a half-pint mid-major again? That may be acceptable and appropriate at Ducking Fuke, but not for us. Remember, we're trying to better than those clowns, not their red-jersey versions.

Posted by: mabkhar | March 3, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

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