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Gary Williams: James Padgett needs to see more playing time

On Sunday, for the second time this season, freshman forward James Padgett did not play in a game because of a coach's decision. On Wednesday, for at least the second time this season, Coach Gary Williams expressed regret for not playing Padgett more in games.

Padgett, who recorded DNP-CDs Sunday at Clemson and Dec. 12 against Eastern Kentucky, is averaging 11.9 minutes per game and has played more than 13 minutes in a game just once since Maryland played in the Maui Invitational in late November.

"It’s up to us to use our team to play well," Williams said Wednesday. "Whether you’re the first guy on the team or the ninth guy on the team, if you have a nine-man rotation. For instance, if I had a thing to do over again I would have played James Padgett some against Clemson. I didn’t get him in the game, but he played very well against Florida State, so he’s somebody that has to be a part of our rotation as we play our last 10 games now. So I’m looking forward to that. He had a good practice yesterday, and I want him ready to go for tomorrow night."

Against Florida State on Jan. 10, Padgett logged 10 minutes, shot 1 of 2 from the field and tallied four points and four rebounds.

Even during games in January in which the Terrapins were comfortably ahead in the second half, Padgett did not check in at the scorer's table until the closing minutes. He played four minutes in a 16-point win at Boston College. He played three minutes in a 24-point win against N.C. State. He played eight minutes in a 22-point win over Miami.

And then, against Clemson on Sunday, Padgett did not play at all. He is averaging 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

"You know, the game’s a two-point game all the way in the second half," Williams said of the Clemson game. "You know, you like to go with Dino Gregory, who’s been there before and that type of thing. But you have to get over that as a coach. You have to put guys in, and James will work hard when he gets in there. He’s not going to be perfect, but nobody else was either on Sunday, so we’ll see how it goes."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 4, 2010; 10:07 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Gary Williams: 9 p.m. start times rough on all parties involved


WHOA! Gary Make Mistake! FIRE HIS A$$!


Posted by: info_stuporhighway | February 4, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Fridge and Gary have the same issues with playing their guys more early in their careers. These coaches are both old school and are probably more hesitant than some of today's coaches to trust an untested freshman in key situations. On the other hand, Padgett has looked lost at times on the court this season and against FSU I thought he didn't look ready yet for the ACC.

It's a tough balancing act, getting your young guys experience while not hurting the team. Padgett needs to realize his role should be defense, blocking shots, getting rebounds, boxing out, etc...and not worry too much about scoring pts. So far, he seems to have an itchy trigger finger and looks to score more than we need him too.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible the reluctance to play freshmen hurts recruiting?

Posted by: jpfterps | February 4, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

A fan telling players how they should play. Priceless.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 4, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Reluctance to play earlier in their careers could definitely be used against us in recruiting by other schools...Why come here and sit on the bench 2 years when you can come to my school and play right away?

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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