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The last time Maryland hit a buzzer-beater ...

... it looked something like this:

Then-senior guard Drew Nicholas hit a game-winning three-pointer to send Maryland into the second round of the 2003 NCAA tournament.

Following Saturday's dramatic two-point win over Georgia Tech, Coach Gary Williams was asked which game-winning shot -- Nicholas's or Cliff Tucker's -- was more improbable.

"Drew was like a hired gun," Williams said. "If he got open, I knew he had an 80 percent chance if he was open, and he got open on that play. I think that was my 500th win too, that game."

It's easy to say that Nicholas's shot carried more significance. It did, after all, come in the NCAA tournament. But in terms of improbability, Tucker's shot arguably could match it. And so, I'll leave it up to you all to decide.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 22, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Vasquez earns ACC player of the week honors once again


Vasquez hit a buzzer beater vs Vermont last year to send the game into OT didn't he?

Posted by: Lee26 | February 22, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I remember that Drew Nicholas shot, and that team in general. I liked those guys. They did pretty well even after losing the heart of the championship team. Always liked Drew as a player.

Posted by: pipkin42 | February 22, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

SY, GW's 500 win was Drew Nicholas' shot vs. NC State? FREDTERP

Posted by: FREDTERP44 | February 22, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

That year was our last good year in the Tournament. 6 years of a real drought is more improbable than either buzzer beater!

Posted by: petecard | February 22, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think drought is the wrong term. I felt our 2007 team was better than the 2003 team. I still firmly believe that if Mike Jones gets that 3 pointer off vs. Butler (the same play that Tucker hits 4 years later) then we could've made some noise. If only that Nik Caner Medley class hadn't sh*t the bed, we'd have more then 3 NCAA tournament appearances in the last 6 years. Things are looking up though. It could be down in Florida.

Posted by: fushezzi | February 22, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Was hard not to like that team - the rising seniors from the NC team (Blake, Nicholas, Randle, Holden as well as McCall) plus the first ever big-time recruiting class under GW in Nik Caner-Medley, Gilchrist, McCray and Garrison. Yes, later we would turn on that lot - Gilchrists entirely misguided decision to go pro, McCray's academic dismissal a few years later cloud the ACC tournament championship that they did achieve with the monster recruiting class that followed them (Jamar Smith, Ibekwe, Strawberry, Fofana and Bowers). These were both heavily hyped recruiting classes - I remember Coach K. weighing in on them and stating something to the effect that GW had beaten him out for a few of those guys. The sad thing is, for winning only our second ACC tournament, the guy that I choose to remember from it all was Matt Grinnon. Gilchrist, McCray, and Garrison all delivered for the Terps, but it was great to see the seldom used Grinnon pick up the loose ball and hit is FTs.

I know last year a lot of arguments about whether GW can or can't recruit centered around those two classes. Injuries (Strawberry's especially), underperformance of key individuals (Fofana's hands, Bowers lead feet) and other issues already mentioned were the causes of the few lean times we had. Prior to that we were contenders from the day Joe Smith and Keith Booth showed up.

Petecard was right - the season began on Saturday, and kind of begins again on Wednesday because each of our remaining scheduled games is tough in its own right - including away at Charlottesville (where we LOST last year). But it is so exciting heading into this part of the schedule with so much positive (improving seeding versus making the dance) at stake.

Beat Clemson. end all bubble drama.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | February 22, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

fushezzi -

The Florida experience is a harsh and unexpected lesson. Since I only pay attention to the ACC, I really am not sure what happened. Were Donovan's recruits highly rated? Have there been significant injuries? the guy was a great coach prior to getting the "Sons of Stars" classes. I really do not understand what happened.

Oh yeah, Mike Jones - wasn't he part of the Strawberry class? Forgot about him.
Then again, fully expect Barno to correct me on who was in what class as he knows that stuff much better than I do.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | February 22, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse


Not when you lose your top three assistants, just ask Billy Donovan. He is on the verge of three straight NITs after back-to-back National Championships.

Or was MD's decline more improbable than NC on the verge of not even making the NIT?

Not that we should be complacent being in the 30-50 range of programs (which isn't even close to mediocre), but it is important to look at the reasons for the decline. Rebuilding the assistant coaching staff when the assistant staff payroll for the men's team is lower than that of the women's team was a tough job. GW has done a very good job of rebuilding his staff (and his recruiting has improved as a result). Not many coaches would be successful at MD given the support GW gets from Dr. Yow.

Posted by: larry31 | February 22, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

A few factors have played into Florida's downturn.

Loss of assistants (much like MD)
Transfers (including former MD target Jai Lucas)
And to be honest, it could have just been one ridiculous recruiting class that took them to those National Championships.

Most programs have ups and downs so it's not unexpected. Recruits don't pan out and bad decisions are made. It all evens out in the end.

Posted by: fushezzi | February 22, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Good comments all. Sometimes I am so focused on the results everything seems like an excuse. But 6 years of basically nothing in the tournament is rough.

I agree that many very good even elite programs go through rough patches, although 6 years is maybe a little more than a patch.

This year is amazing with UNC, UConn, Florida, UCLA and Arizona all at great risk in making the tournament. Arizona has made it 20 straight years.

It will be interesting to see how long their respective "droughts" last. Florida is really a story and Fushezzi's comment about "one ridiculous recruiting class" may be at the heart of the problem. Everyone knows that Florida, other than those few years, is really a football school.

At least this year we are having some fun. Better buckle our seat belts because the race is on.

Posted by: petecard | February 22, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I like how Hugh's favorite player in the post NC stretch is Matt Grinnon. He must have made a serious impact Hugh, considering his name is Mike and all.

G Tech game was wild, though if we don't figure out a way to box out we aren't surviving too long come tourney time.

Beat Clemson

Posted by: jpfterps | February 22, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mike Grinnon. Yeah thats him.

Good point on the boxing out with Clemson up next. Even better point about the ridiculous recruiting class - something that I thought the two after the NC were going to be. Had Gilchrist had received better advise, they may have turned out that way. back to boxing out.

How much time do you think GW is gonna spend in practice working the entire team on that bball fundamental? Not denying the obvious talent of Favors, but he did get a lot of rebounds that he shouldn't have due to our guys not boxing out. With Clemson's size and aggressiveness, the team has to show immediate improvement in that area.

Mike Grinnon. My favorite. besides John Dixon and Lorne Baxter.

regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | February 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Gary should do what Tom Izzo does at Michigan State. Put his players in football pads and run rebounding drills and let them beat the heck out of each other.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 22, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

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