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For Jordan Williams, a 'courageous' night

There have not been many times during ACC play when freshman forward Jordan Williams played like an overwhelmed first-year player. But his outing at Duke on Feb. 13 certainly was one of them. Williams tallied six points on 3-of-9 shooting and seven rebounds in 24 minutes, which is not all that bad of a stat line.

But it was the manner in which Duke was able to attack the glass, gain frequent second-chance points and remind observers that Williams (listed at 6 feet 10 and 260 pounds) is, in fact, a movable object that revealed the freshman's struggles.

Wednesday night, then, provided Williams -- who has been one of the top freshmen players in the ACC this season -- a chance to atone for an off performance. Matched up once again against Duke's 7-foot-1 center Brian Zoubek, Williams played with a dogged ferocity in the post. He finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

"Jordan Williams was just picking it up a notch as the game went on," Coach Gary Williams said. "And that’s a courageous performance from Jordan, because he really got schooled down at Duke. They have a way of doing that with their size and everything, and I thought Jordan really learned from that game. When you coach a freshman that has the potential that Jordan has, that’s really an encouraging sign to me as a coach. You want players to learn. You don’t mind if they get beat early in their career, but you want them to learn. You don’t want them to get beat the same way. And he came out tonight and he was determined to show that he could play with Duke’s big guys. And he did a very good job for us."

Though Duke outrebounded Maryland on the offensive glass (14-8), the Blue Devils were not able to capitalize on many of those opportunities. Maryland outscored Duke in second-chance points, 13-6. Zoubek, who had a career game against the Terrapins a few weeks ago in Durham, tallied four points and 13 rebounds.

Zoubek was able to maintain a presence on the boards, but he seemed out of sync whenever he had the ball in his hands. He was not as sure-handed as he was the first time around against Maryland. His movements were more disjointed. And to a certain extent, that was due to the defensive adjustments made by Jordan Williams.

"You do a lot with young players off the court with video and things like that," Gary Williams said. "You try to show them their mistakes, but you’re trying to build them up that you belong. You can play. This is why it looked bad down at Duke; this is what you did. And you just keep working on that mentally and physically. Jordan has great tools. He can catch the basketball. He’s got good feet for a guy that big. Now, he can get stronger and he can get a little more lift to his game, but in terms of heart and determination, that came with the package … I knew that was coming. And he’s not afraid. I think that’s the biggest thing. He wants to be out there in crucial situations."

Jordan Williams shot 5 for 5 from the free throw line in the second half and 7 for 9 from the charity stripe on the night.

"That’s definitely what we need, especially from a freshman," senior forward Landon Milbourne said of Jordan Williams's performance. "How big of a game this is, for him to come out there and not be rattled and play like he did, that was real big. Without him, we might not have gotten this win."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 4, 2010; 12:58 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland offense surged in final six minutes against Duke


Awesome game last night and for the most part an awesome day of sports.

Was able to watch the Caps win on actual tv before the Terps game. Now, had the US soccer team won it would've been a heavenly sports day.

Watched the 1st half of MD/Duke at home and the 2nd 1/2 at Dave and Busters, where I was able to get a free dinner and drinks thanks to Hills pet food.

It was cool too because everyone at the bar was rooting for UMD. Nnot so much because they were Terp fans, but just because they hated Duke. So it was nice to be 3000 miles away from CP yet still be in a bar where everyone was rooting for the Terps.

Petecard mentioned in an earlier post that he thought it was gonna be a good night when Jordan Williams banked in that free throw. Personally, I thought it was gonna be a good night when Jordan threw down that monster dunk, while on the run, over Scheyer. Take that jerk-ass.

Also, if I was actually 'toasted' last night at Bentley's that's funny and flattering. One of these days you all will get to meet Mr. Poop. Although I'll admit I was hoping to see someone holding up a "Wish You Were Here, Poop" sign on tv.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Great win! I love watching Coach K get his panties in a bunch cuss and cry to the refs and look askance at GW when UMD beats Duke. Priceless. Poop I hope the US can link three consecutive ground passes together before the Copa.

Posted by: Realness1 | March 4, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse


where is your 3000 miles away from CP?

mine is seattle..

Posted by: deadskin | March 4, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

deadskin, where about it in Seattle? I'm living in Ballard now-a-days.

Posted by: andreic | March 4, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse


That outrageous dunk was my second inkling that things were going to go well. I didn't like the problem with the net. That kinda stole the mo we had going.

I liked GW's comments about JW's hand and feet. His hand are good but his feet are great: He almost never draws a travelling fould for shuffling them underneath while getting ready to go back up with an offensive rebound. That's a great sign.

I am waiting to hear how the pre-game summit went at Bentley's. Don't know how many of those guys already knew eachother, but I hope it doesn't lead to too much kissy face on this site. Did anyone get a word in besides Garo? How could he be there when he was getting the team ready?

Posted by: petecard | March 4, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

JW might be gone after next year. ESPECIALLY after his junior season. He's having one HELLAFIED year. We need to re-up on our big men, whatever it takes... Anyone shorter than 6-10 need not apply.

Wonder how that cat Hippolyte Tsafack is gonna do next year; I was REALLY hoping that the Terps could land him. Oh, well....

Posted by: ntlekt | March 4, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse


im in bellevue crossroads.

would love to be on the westside but wont deal with a commute across the lake!

Posted by: deadskin | March 5, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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