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A few leftovers from visit with former Terps assistant Chuck Driesell


I spent some time last week down in Charleston, S.C. with new Citadel Coach Chuck Driesell, who you all likely remember from the past four years he spent as an assistant at Maryland. Driesell began his career as coach of the squad up at the Naval Academy Preparatory School from 1985-88.

Between then and now, he served as an assistant under his father, Lefty, at James Madison (1989-96), as head coach at Division III Marymount University (1997-2003), as an assistant under Craig Esherick at Georgetown (2003-04), as head coach at Bishop Ireton High (2004-06) and as an assistant under Gary Williams at Maryland (2006-10).

Now, he takes over his first Division I program. At The Citadel, Driesell will face the additional challenge of recruiting to an institution where military life is part of the environment. Driesell did not seem deterred in the slightest.

"I think you just need to sell (the military aspect of The Citadel) and really sell it," Driesell said. "I would imagine that if a young man comes here and you haven't really explained the military to him too well, it could be a big culture shock and it might end up being such a negative that they end up leaving. I don't want that to happen. I want to do a really good job of explaining how the military works, what they'll go through."

For those of you who plan to keep an eye on Driesell's squad, here's what you can expect:

"In terms of a system, just like Coach Williams, just like my dad, I want to get up and down the floor," Driesell said. "I want to fast break, I want to make a living on defense. Defense wins champships. I want to have teams that are really strong defensively, man-to-man, and take a lot of pride and passion playing defense. You've got to be able to play hard. And defense as much as offense, you've got to be able to play together. There's got to be help. There's got to be the help side and everybody talking and communicating. And you've got to play with passion. You've got to be fired up."

Driesell also pointed out a few key lessons he learned under each of the head coaches for whom he served as an assistant along his path to being in charge of a Division I program himself.

"My dad was the harder you work the luckier you get," Driesell said. "From Coach Williams, to really run good offense, to really make sure the guys execute offensively. Don't let them get away with anything. Make sure that they run each play exactly as it should be done. From Coach Escherick was organization, to have a way to do things and stick with that plan. He never really rushed a decision. A lot of times I would be like, 'Let's make a decision now.' And he would say, 'No, let's make sure we have all the facts. You dont always have to make a decision right away. Let's make the right decision, rather than a rushed decision.'"

By Steve Yanda  |  May 17, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

Good luck to Chuck. He has a very tough road in front of him. Hope this is a step that will lead him to better opportunities.

Posted by: petecard | May 18, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

We may have been dismissive previously about the notion of Maryland-to-the-Big-Ten, but that rumor is definitely out there pretty credibly. So I read a bunch of different things and it seems that at minimum there is a Maryland dossier being put together by the Big Ten in their research.

Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, Pitt, Maryland is one combination for invitations if they decide to go to 16. Notre Dame and Texas are their top targets but just not happening. 'Maryland is in the AAU, is in a relatively wealthy non-rust-belt, non-farm region, is a land grant U, is in a major media market, is contiguous to the Big Ten geographically and could be persuaded to leave the North Carolina-centric ACC' goes the argument for why there is a fit.

I have zero idea if this going anywhere, but I must admit that is a big change from previously thinking I was certain it was not going anywhere.

Posted by: jake177 | May 21, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Jake, you make some good points and there is something quite intriguing about Maryland moving to the Big Ten (16?). Maryland is a more natural fit with the Big Ten line-up than with the ACC with regard to academics and size and being a dominate state university. It makes a lot of sense for the Big Ten with regard to the TV market and travel would not be crazy at all.

The major reason it is hard for me to see has to do with our lack of commitment to football. I just don't see us ever making that commitment. We don't make enough of a commitment to basketball!

For me, if we accept the premise that the move is toward super conferences, the best ACC solution would be the following: Add UConn, Rutgers, WVA and either Syracuse or Pitt. Create a Up-Coast Division that includes BC, UConn, Rutgers, WVA, Maryland, Virginia, VTech and either Syracuse or Pitt.

It would be a shame to lose Rutgers from that equation because that would solidify the NY market.

Will it happen... probably not.

Posted by: petecard | May 23, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

From the perspective of their evaluation process, yes, I agree that "Maryland Football" doesn't "move the needle" on the sexy buzz-o-meter. (Can you tell I've been reading a bunch of jargon-laden articles on all this?)

On the other hand, given that Maryland is a large AAU school inside the beltway, something that may be highly appealing on numerous levels, Maryland's steps over the past decade to expand the stadium, along with several solid seasons, could render the football part of the evaluation net-neutral or whatever the right term is. "Viable" is probably the word these days.

No matter how one evaluates the basketball program, as a whole it is unquestionably a positive I think.

And just to be totally clear, I was not making the arguments I mentioned, merely citing the common themes I read others putting forward.

I will say, in the interest of full disclosure, that from 7th through 12th grade I lived in Ann Arbor as a strongly-disliking-Michigan person.

Shortly after moving there, I spent a good deal of time walking around checking out the town and campus, talking to the students, etc. On the whole I found them to be almost comical in their arrogance and foolishness. I knew very quickly I had zero interest in ever "having what they were having." It did serve as a nice foundation for a robust Duke antipathy though. (I'm not saying I didn't enjoy some things about living there. It was cool to bike over to campus for various public lectures sometimes and that sort of thing.)

I went to high school across the street from Michigan Stadium and graduated in Crisler Arena. Spent every "Football Saturday" of my junior high years working at the several concession stands my scout troop had inside Michigan Stadium. It was very lucrative for our troop but I certainly never rooted for Michigan.

So, while I'm interested in this subject, and admit it would heighten some intra-family rivalries, I would be totally fine if this doesn't happen.

Last thing I'll say is that I did make the trip to attend the Maryland at Michigan football game in 1989 while a student at Maryland. I sat in the Michigan student section with my sister, who was a freshman at Michigan. I was wearing a new, bright red Maryland seatshirt and cheering the Terps loudly. I took a fair amount of verbal abuse, but when the Terps went ahead 21-7 early I am quite certain that for a few minutes there I was literally the most ecstatic sports fan in the nation.

Posted by: jake177 | May 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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