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Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 01/14/2011

How much is Cameron Indoor Stadium worth?

By Liz Clarke

How much is Cameron Indoor Stadium worth? (Not in terms of dollars, of course, but points.)

It’s a rhetorical question. But it was one Maryland Coach Gary Williams posed to reporters Friday during a wide-ranging interview in advance of the Terrapins' game at Villanova on Saturday afternoon.

The larger context was a question from veteran Terrapins beat writer Patrick Stevens about whether Williams believed any college basketball team could go unbeaten in the current era.

While conceding it was possible, Williams argued that what made the task so Herculean was the fact that “home courts” are such a powerful factor in the college game — far more so than in the NBA.

“It’s a much tougher game, to go into somebody’s gym and, even though you’re better than them, win all the time in college basketball,” said Williams. “What’s a good home court worth?”

Maryland lost to Duke at Cameron on Sunday, 71-64. On Wednesday, No. 1 Duke traveled to Tallahassee, Fla., and suffered its first loss of the season to Florida State, 66-61.

So, for argument’s sake, just how many points does Cameron -- the ACC’s smallest, loudest and most intimidating arena, in which undergraduates sit close enough to the court to yank on players’ jerseys -- automatically give Duke?

Stevens guessed 10. I was thinking 12.

Whatever the number, which only oddsmakers genuinely try sleuthing out in a statistical rather than abstract sense, that means visiting teams must be that many points better than Duke stepping onto the court to have a fair shot.

“That’s what home courts do,” Williams said. “Last year when Duke came to Comcast, that night, we were good enough to beat them because we had home court and we were a pretty good team. That’s why it’s tough to have an undefeated team.”

Williams’s answer, for the record: Cameron is worth eight points.

What’s yours?

By Liz Clarke  | January 14, 2011; 12:26 PM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  | Tags:  Cameron Indoor Stadium, Gary Williams, Maryland basketball, home-court advantage  
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Next: Maryland vs. Villanova: Will the Terrapins make the NCAA tournament?


Cameron Indoor worth 6 points.

The refs falling over themselves trying to appeasse Coach K's whining and the player's flops are worth an additional 10-12 points.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | January 14, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'd say 12 as well. Having attended a game there sitting behind the Terps bench, I can attest it was unbearably loud. Not only are the fans right on top of the players on the endlines and baseline, there is very little separation between the fans and then bench. The facility is so small, you can't help but feel a bit claustrophobic. I had always underestimated the effect of Cameron until I went there.

Posted by: fushezzi | January 14, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

After seeing a Duke player slide 10 feet on his back with a loose ball and no traveling call during the Maryland game, I would say Cameron is worth 10-15!

Posted by: fatlabriley2 | January 14, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

There's a great article in Sports Illustrated about "the value of homefield (court) advantage". It's significant, and statistically results (surprise!) from the refs. At CaMoron, it's at least worth 10 points. Minimum.

Posted by: WheelsRI | January 14, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It's a blend based on the teams experience. Someone who has played there twice, I'd say 6. Someone once, 8. First timers 10-12. For the Terps it was probably 8-9 last Sunday. Does that mean we won?

Posted by: petecard | January 14, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd say an even 10. You also have account for the way the fans there can get under the skin of players and coaches, so much more than anywhere else in the country.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 14, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Like Gary says, it's a matter of getting to the first TV timeout. Once the initial jitters are conquered, any athlete worth his salt will be able to tune out noise and distraction, regardless of volume, via his intense focus on the task at hand.

Several psychological white papers have addressed this phenomenon, common to high level athletes.

Cameron = 5 - 8 early game points.

Posted by: MerlinTerps | January 14, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

One of the reasons Terps fans always over-rate their team is Comcast Center.

Gary told the press when the gym opened that he has asked the architects to design him a place that gave him a distinct home-court advantage. The "wall" (student seating area) was built as vertical and as close to the court as allowed by the building codes.

For every game since the gym opened, Maryland has played toward the wall during the first half, thus requiring the visitors to play toward the wall in the second half...with predictable results (markedly weaker shooting by the visitors down the stretch).

When you add the officiating (always titled toward the home team, especially in the ACC), it probably gets MD a few extra wins every year (and certainly results in MD fans thinking their team is better than it is).

Posted by: hfmd | January 14, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone watch the Oregon game and their new arena? Looks like they copied the wall from Comcast. Some major issues with the lighting. Then again, Oregon's uniforms in the NC FB game (fiesta bowl?) were pretty odd to look at...was wondering if I was supposed to be wearing 3-D glasses when I first tuned in.

Of course Comcast gets a few extra wins for the Terps - Cole always did. I think that Cameron is worth 8 points for Duke.

Like the black unis the Terps wore vs. Duke & Wake.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | January 14, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I thought I remember the reason for The Wall was because the builders came across some hard ground while construction was underway. The steepness was adapted into the plans since it was easier to continue construction and work around it.
...or I could have just imagined that fact.

Posted by: mydogsnameisdixon | January 14, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what Cameron is worth?? MD needs to go out Saturday and get some. Beat NOVA and get in the big dance. No excuses, play D and rebound. go Terps

Posted by: Redtopper2 | January 14, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Had comment sections existed back in the late 60s and 70s, the same question could be raised about Pauley Pavilion.

Winning programs produce intimidated opponents, regardless of arena size or configuration.

Posted by: MerlinTerps | January 14, 2011 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Depends on the opponent. The Cameron Nerdies aren't going to get as loud/rowdy for Elon as they are for UNC. Comcast's homecourt advantage is negligible against mid majors, probably just a couple points... but against ACC foes I'd put it at about 5 points and against Duke it's more like 10...

Posted by: Barno1 | January 14, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I dunno if anyone is catching the MLK special on ESPN but it's "interesting" to say the least............

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 14, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting indeed

Posted by: fushezzi | January 14, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

It's very "interesting". Interesting that ESPN would put not one, but two bigots on this panel. MLK is turning over in his grave.

That show was a disgrace to race relations in this country.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 14, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I remember reading somewhere that Gary did NOT want to move out of Cole privately, even if he embraced it publicly.

Posted by: break20 | January 15, 2011 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Does UMD have a game against a highly ranked opponent TODAY?

What is going on with Parker? Does he dress for games anymore? He was supposed to be the cornerstone of this recruiting class? I hope I am wrong but this feels like it has the makings of a quiet period followed by a spring announcement of "Transfer"

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 15, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

There is a thread on the Sun comment section about Parker going to G-Town......

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 15, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse


I was born in Oregon and my folks both went there. My first football game ever was at the old Hayward Field in the pouring rain against Washington State. As just about everyone knows, Phil Knight has turned Oregon into Nike's biggest benefactor. But what may be less known is that Oregon's legendary track coach (long retired) Bill Bowerman co-founded Nike as the result of his work in designing track shoes.

The Oregon unis run from riduculous to sublime. The combo they wore in the NC game was a little odd. I liked the helmuts and socks, but not the jerseys.

It's great that Maryland is developing a similar relationship with Under Armour, although it has not reached the depth and breadth of the Nike/Oregon relationship.
Some of our unis, the black that we wore in the Garden and the yellow, I really like.

Let's see what they are wearing today when we pull the big (read HughG) upset in Philly!

Posted by: petecard | January 15, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see us make some changes to our football unis too...particularly the helmets....I liked the Bobby Ross Red with the white letter Terps....white helmets just dont look as good and the silly ones with the M and Maryland flag that Vandy used were just ridiculous

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 15, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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