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Gregory makes impact upon return

Junior forward Dino Gregory started and played 33 minutes Saturday in his first game back from an eight-game suspension. Coach Gary Williams said he did not anticipate Gregory seeing that much court time against Eastern Kentucky, but the circumstances of the game (the pesky Colonels did not fade until the final eight minutes of Maryland's 83-72 win) demanded Williams keep his top players on the floor.

Against an Eastern Kentucky squad that used its big men as its primary long-range threats, that meant Gregory received many of the minutes that otherwise might have been distributed to freshmen forwards Jordan Williams and James Padgett. In addition to possessing more experience, Gregory also was better suited to guard the Colonels’ agile forwards than was Jordan Williams.

Though he had started the first eight games of the season in Gregory’s absence and performed admirably, Jordan Williams played just nine minutes Saturday. While effective in some areas during that time (he tallied four points and five rebounds), Jordan Williams was somewhat of a liability defending out on the perimeter.

“They had a weird team,” Gary Williams said of Eastern Kentucky. “In other words, I couldn't put -- all right, you're the coach, who do you put Jordan Williams on? See, that was the problem today. They didn't have anybody that kind of matched up with Jordan. He got burned with two threes quickly when he went in the game, and that's why they're good. See, they realized with Jordan in there that it was a tough matchup, and they went right after the guy who was guarding him. Dino had to play a lot more minutes than I thought he'd play today, but we had to win the game.”

As for Padgett, he didn’t play at all. No explanation was provided for Padgett’s first DNP-CD, although to be fair, no explanation was requested, either.

Regardless, Gregory had a decent outing in his first game back. He tallied eight points on 2-of-5 shooting and grabbed three rebounds. He also blocked two shots. But aside from the stat sheet, Gregory provided the Terrapins with an experienced post player to line up alongside Landon Milbourne. That paid off in ways stat sheets can’t measure.

Gregory passes the ball well out of the post, and the entire offense seemed to flow more smoothly during the first couple of minutes of the game with him out on the floor. Gregory was solid on defense as well, though that was to be expected of a player often lauded by Gary Williams as one of the top front-court defenders and rebounders in the ACC during the final months of last season.

“Dino, during the summer, put time in at the gym like a Sean Mosley or a Greivis Vasquez, so I expect him to be better,” Gary Williams said of Gregory’s offensive development. “We've had a history around here of guys who come here freshman, sophomore year and work hard and get better, so Dino's one of those guys.

“What he did in February and March for us last year shouldn't be underrated, because Dave Neal did a great job, but we needed somebody big inside that could control things. Dino did that for us even though it didn't result in a lot of points. When you play Wake Forest and North Carolina and California, you better have some big people who can play. Dino is one of those guys who can play, rebounding-wise and defensively for us. Too many people judge how good you are by how many points you score. We'll have guys that score. We need guys who can stop people, and Dino's one of those people.”

By Steve Yanda  |  December 14, 2009; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland has work to do on defense

Comments

This is more football related but atleast there's one coach and AD who get it:

"It is critical to this program and to its place in the university and college football that we compete at the highest level. That we compete for national championships." - Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick

"It's about winning championships and being in the BCS and being nationally prominent." - Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly

Anyone ever heard .500-Fridge or Debbie Yow (or even Gary-The-God) say that?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 11, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Please research the advantages of being a private university, especially a prominent one like Notre Dame with a ridiculous endowment (moneywise). Until then, you are on posting probation.

Posted by: fushezzi | December 12, 2009 8:48 AM
----------------------------------

Nice excuse. Too bad it's nonsense.

It's not about money. It's all about having a winning attitude/mindset and not settling for mediocrity. To actually strive to win NCAA titles. Not to settle for 7-5/8-4 seasons with a random 10-2 season sprinkled in or going 20-12 or 22-10 and making it to the round of 16.

Yow and UMD athletics must love fans who only settle for average to slightly above average.

Makes you wonder how these same fans act, as parents, when their kids bring home average grades, maybe with an A+ sprinkled in every once in a blue moon.

"Hey good job Johnny, you didn't get A+, but atleast you got a C+. You could've done worse so we'll take that C+ and be ever so proud of it. Don't worry about getting too many A+'s, we'll settle for C+'s from you mostly."

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 14, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Poopy -

Understand the logic; however look at ND's recent results. Even when you make the big splash hire, it does not guarantee anything. They are striving for NCs and that should be commended.

That said, I honestly believe GW is striving for NCs. The disappointing seasons are really a reflection of players f-ing up - McCray the most obvious example. He has won a NC - not many coaches available who have done that. recruiting was illogically bashed last year by WaPo; however there is no denying that we have not sustained the success level that UNC has over the last decade. For a ton of the non-revenue sports, we do have programs that compete year after year for NCs.

Back to football...yeah, I think we are settling. But given the economic climate and contract situation - it is the right thing for the university to do. I hope RF does turn it around. I hope also that Franklin delivers some form of potency on offense. Now if we had the alumni/endowment of Notre Dame and could pay for a Kelly, not sure that we would. Don't think it is a provate/public thing. Notre Dame needs to win big at football. They have the independent TV contract and are utterly dependent on providing a NC contending team.

The above said, I think its pretty classless the way Kelly left cincy and hope it comes back to bite him time and again. I hope every recruit from Southern Ohio looks at him as a scumbag and goes elsewhere. He shoulda stuck around for the bowl game and split shortly thereafter.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | December 14, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Notre Dame Athletics National Championships: 14 (4 in the last decade)

Maryland Athletics National Championships: 33 (9 in the last decade)

If "Yow and UMD athletics must love fans who only settle for average to slightly above average," then what exactly does that say about ND? Attack the football program all you want, but Yow as an AD has a resume few can hold a candle to and the AD at ND only wishes he had.

Posted by: fushezzi | December 14, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Another thing - what constitutes an A+ in college foot ball? Getting the NC is like being valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar as well as winning the Westinghouse Science competition in the same year - it is worth one heck of a lot more than an A+. That said, about 500+ kids do just that every year. Seriously. Expecting that out of your kids is an Asian thing (I am asian and my mother is STILL disappointed in me). I would give the top 10 teams in the country an A+. Can Maryland be a consistent top 10 team? Well I used to think so in the first few years of the fridge era. We were in the Clairborne and Ross eras.

The fans support comes with winning. If they start to win again, the seats will be packed and contributions will flow. They need to commit to better recruiting and more recruiting resources.

They truly sucked this year - far worse a performance than I think even the haters on this board expected. And I do not blame the players for the record. The coaches have to take responsibility and do whatever it takes to improve dramatically. If they double or triple their wins next year so what? They need to quadruple it (8 wins) for any form of respectability and a decent-enough bowl game....which I would grade as a B+ performance.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | December 14, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Fushezzi -

To be fair, FB and BB NCs count more because of the exposure and revenue involved. Most folks don't recall the details of the women's BB NC (I remember the 1st half was ugly, the second was almost as good as a men's game) and honestly I never watched the mens soccer team. I did take my family to women's and men's lax games though.

That said, 9 NCs in the last 10 years is truly impressive. We have to guage Yow on the decisions she makes at the time she makes those decisions. The extension for Fridge made absolute sense at the time and was deserved. The Byrd Stadium renovation and expansion was long overdue. Designating a coach-in-waiting made sense for recruiting purposes BUT not sure that Franklin was the best answer at the time. Keeping fridge given the buy-out constraints is the right answer. And I agree that a winning record should be the minimum expectation from him next year. I could not pick Yow out of a police line-up to save my life. However the results are pretty clear - MD wins at a lot of sports, contends and wins NCs in more than a few, and the programs stay clean. There are a lot worse ADs in the ACC and throughout the NCAA.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | December 14, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I've bought into the idea that Gregory has value that doesn't show up in the stat sheet. He was quite valuable defensively down the stretch last year. And he does look much smoother and more comfortable in the offense (though he still lacks touch and body control in the paint).

All that said, we only outscored EKU 66-62 when he was in the game, compared to 17-10 when he was out. I get that this wasn't a good matchup for JWill. But Padgett has been excellent defensively and has shown offensive flashes...I don't get why he didn't see the court. I'll chalk this up to a funny matchup, but I'm hoping Gregory isn't playing 30+ mpg all season.

Posted by: Jeremy76 | December 14, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

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