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Posted at 9:36 AM ET, 01/24/2011

With postseason hopes at stake, Terps' seniors find footing

By Liz Clarke

With their prospects for an NCAA Tournament bid looking increasingly grim, Maryland’s trio of seniors—Adrian Bowie, Dino Gregory and Cliff Tucker—came up big for the Terps in Saturday’s 79-77 victory over Clemson.

The three accounted for 37 of Maryland’s 79 points and 10 of 23 free throws—including critical baskets late in the second half, after Clemson had pared a 13-point deficit to one.

With the Terps’ leading, 61-60, and five minutes, 45 seconds remaining, Gregory scored on back-to-back possession (a lay-up on an assist by Pe’Shon Howard, and a jumper) to make it 65-60.

From that point on, Tucker hit a 3-pointer and did as instructed from the free-throw line with 1.6 seconds remaining, hitting the first and missing the second.

And Bowie, who showed impressive toughness after getting slammed into a camera when he knocked to the floor early, hit three of five free throws down the stretch.

Taking on the mantle of leadership has been a bit of a process for this group, as Bowie acknowledged afterward.

“It was a little different at first,” Bowie said. “We never played that type of role before….. [But] we showed [against Clemson] that we’ve been there before and can handle this situation.”

Added Tucker: “This year is our chance. Nobody’s in front of you [on the depth chart]. Adrian’s been working hard. I’ve been working hard. Hopefully the seniors will help this team.”

Coach Gary Williams proclaimed the Terps’ resilience against Clemson “a big step” for the seniors. “They were great today,” Williams said. “They have to grab control. I think that’s one of the themes with this year’s team: ‘This is your senior year.’ You’re remembered for what you do your senior year, there’s no doubt about it. I want those guys to go out with a great senior year.”

The Terps face an uphill battle, however, at 12-7 overall, 2-3 in ACC. Their hit the road for their next two games: Thursday at Virginia and Sunday at Georgia Tech.

Here’s a recap of the seniors’ performance against Clemson:

Cliff Tucker: 15 points, three rebounds, two assists (26 minutes).
Adrian Bowie: 13 points, four rebounds, five assists, one steal (32 minutes).
Dino Gregory: nine points, six rebounds, two assists (30 minutes).


By Liz Clarke  | January 24, 2011; 9:36 AM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  | Tags:  Gary Williams, Maryland basketball, seniors  
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Next: Gary Williams on Terps' starting lineup: 'We'll see ...'

Comments

Talk about trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear...

Posted by: petecard | January 24, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Strange game on Saturday. I wasn't ever really worried until the last few minutes, when it kind of dawned on me how close it was. PG play continues to be horrible. Not sure what Stogs has done to warrant the continued run time. I'd almost rather have Pe'Shon in there - he's at least a little more in control.

As bad as this year has been, there's still hope (and by the way, this is why college hoops is so much better than college football). If we take care of business, beat the teams we're supposed to beat within conference, and steal a Duke/UNC win, that should be enough to get into the tourney. Once we're in, who knows. Anything can happen.

Posted by: caphillterp | January 24, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Stoglin on Saturday had 13 points on 3-6 (3-5 from 3 and 4-4 from the line) with 2 assists and 4 TOs in 26 minutes.

Howard on Saturday had 0 points on 0-1 with 1 assist and 1 terrible turnover in 9 minutes.

More than just the numbers, the offense seemed to flow better with Stoglin on the court as he was actually willing to penetrate. Howard was extremely tentative, and has not really shown much improvement through the course of the season. Stoglin plays with a certain amount of recklessness, which does lead to turnovers and bad shots, but at least he tried to make things happen. Howard spends his time on the court trying not to do something that gets him benched.

In the VaTech game, he was flustered by the zone and shot 0-5 with 2 assists and 3 TOs, while Stoglin 3 points on 1-2 with 0 assists and 2 TOs. In the 'Nova game, he was equally ineffective with just 4 points on 1-5 with 3 assists and 3 TOs, while Stoglin had 6 points (on 3-9) with 8 assists and 1 TO. I would actually like to see some more time with both freshmen on the floor together, but Gary has been very careful to have at least one of the senior guards on the floor at all times during the past month or so.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 24, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Russ, I couldn't agree with you more. What a scene when Howard actually had the ball stolen for a breakaway layup when he was looking at GW to get the play. It's comical to see how he looks over there. Caphill, just don't understand how you come to your conclusions about those two...

Posted by: petecard | January 24, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Stogs is reckless and more suited to the SG role. Scoring's nice, but a PG must distribute and stogs doesn't do that. Nova stats on Stoglin were surprising to me, I didn't realize he played that well.

I am not saying that Pe'Shon is the panacea by any stretch, but I'd like to see more of him. Maybe more PT = more confidence. Don't recall the play you're talking about, pete - but I have no problem with these guys being a little more conservative on some of these "breakaways". Stogs in particular loves to go in one-on-three...

Posted by: caphillterp | January 24, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Pe'Shon when he was looking at his coach and had the ball stolen...is called "getting Blaked" as in Steve Blake picking Jason Williams pocket when he was looking at Coach K(not to be confused with "getting baked").

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

He started against VaTech, and look what happened (12-0 run). How could you have missed Pe'Shon's one turnover of the Clemson game? It was eerily similar to Jason Williams' pickpocket of Steve Blake in 2001 at Cole. I thought the team was going to crash then when Howard got picked, but they steadied the course, and managed to keep enough distance to get that much-needed ACC win. While Howard is probably a better distributor of the ball, both he and Stoglin lose contact with the set once they initiate it from the point, but for whatever reason, the flow of the set seems to be better when Stoglin starts the set. Usually the defender guarding Stoglin is a little farther away, respecting his quick crossover and penetration ability. However, defenders on Howard, have started getting right up on him, making it difficult for him to start the set with the propper timing.

When I first saw the two, I saw Pe'Shon as a Vasquez-type (afterall he wear #21), especially after hitting the game winner against CoC. Now, Pe'Shon is playing a lot more like Terrell Stokes did his freshman year, and while I think he'll eventually improve, his play is not brining much to the table right now (much like Mosely). Stoglin is the one that is playing like Vasquez did his freshmen year, and I think Gary sees that, and how he just let Greivis go, eventually turning out to be ACC POY his senior season.

Howard might get better with more minutes, but who do you take off the court? Stoglin has earned his time, Bowie and Tucker both played pretty good last outing, and Howard doesn't play good enough to warrant a 4 guard lineup. Courttime will definitely help Howard improve, but Gary can't just throw him out there for the sake of improvement when this team has little room for error.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 24, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Barno....

Posted by: petecard | January 24, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Getting baked is much better than getting Blaked, though. That should be mentioned.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 24, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Big step forward? Are you high? They beat a mediocre Clemson team by 2 at home after losing to a mediocre VT team by 17, also at home.

Posted by: JiminVA1 | January 24, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

PUT THIS ON THE OTHER POST, but I would be interested in your feedback if you are a Gary "lover"..

Barno and Russinator,,,we are all MD fans, but are you guys really happy with how the program under Gary has regressed over the past 7 years? Do you think we are in a good place right now? Does the future look any better?

This is Gary's program, so it all rests with him. And it/he is failing.

We can nit pick over players/stats etc.,,,but the fact is, we have the best recruiting backyard in the country, yet we "hope" to get into the NCAA's every year, we lose early in the ACC tourn, and the NCAA tourn. And you are right, we won the ACC tourn in 2004 because of one players crazy run, if he hadnt done that, we would have been NIT bound again. Point being, we should NEVER be a bubble team, MD Basketball should always go into the ACC tourn competing to win and know its going into the NCAA's as a higher ranked team. Neither has been true for years!!! Gary is failing, there is no other reason! He accomplished a ton of his STATS with one team and one group of players,,,thats the truth.

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

PS,,,how much longer should we give Gary to get this program as a steady contendor, another 5-10 years??? Seriously, when is enough? We feel 7 years now going on 8 years, is long enough!

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"How much longer should we give Gary"? Really? We won the ACC regular Season LAST YEAR! Not a lot of fans here from what I can tell.

Posted by: pb42 | January 24, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Sticking to the subject...seniors. This may be the worst group of seniors at UM...ever!

Posted by: 70Terp | January 24, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

PS,,,how much longer should we give Gary to get this program as a steady contendor, another 5-10 years??? Seriously, when is enough? We feel 7 years now going on 8 years, is long enough!

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

They were considered, and still are considerred a contender for the ACC Title this year. They've had a couple of setbacks (the BC loss at home really stings right now), but the team is back on track. If you just watched the last minute of the Clemson game, sure you could say the win is a little troubling, but if you actually watched the entire game, you would have seen a team that is starting to get their mojo. 3-pointers started falling, guards started penetrating, and free throws went in at the end of the game. Clemson got some fortuitous bounces in the second half, and got a bevy of 3-point plays to cut the lead. The Terps never relinquished the lead, though, showing me that this team may have turned a corner.

Even if the Terps were not contending this year, a coach should be given at least one year to right the ship. There was a lot of unrest in Chapel Hill last season, but you didn't see UNC pull the plug on Roy Williams despite their terrible season. They lost one heck of a senior class that won a title. Gary lost one heck of a senior class that won a title too, so in my mind he gets a get out of jail free card for this year, even though I think this team is an NCAA tournament team.

Here's another example of a school making stupid coaching moves just for the sake of making a change...

In 2002, Indiana made the National Championship game under Mike Davis. Some would say the success of that season was due partially to the groundwork Bobby Knight laid, but that team was Davis' team. The following 4 years, he spent time trying to live up to that title game appearance, and in the eyes of fans, never did, despite going to the NCAA 2 out of 4 years. He was fired in 2006 to be replaced by Sampson, who broke every telephone and texting rule in the book, who has been followed by Tom Creen. In his 3rd year, Creen is no closer to the NCAA tournament than Davis was when he was fired. Creen was considered a great coach, and the "perfect" hire, but Indiana basketball fans are dealing with a 3rd straight year without an NCAA tournament appearance.

Do I want Maryland to be successful enough to be in the tournament every year? Yes, but in today's college basketball, consistancy is a thing of the past. Schools used to appear in the NCAA for 20+ year streaks at a time, the longest streak now is Kansas at 20 years and then Duke at 14. I would much rather have a coach that consistantly finishes in the top half of the conference EVERY year and makes the NCAA every two years than finish at the bottom of the ACC for 2-3 years and make a run at the Final Four once only to finish last in the conference the following year.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 24, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

So it sounds like you guyes, Russ and PB42, are happy with the quality of players we are getting, even with the Top recruiting area in the country, and the fact that we tied Duke for an ACC reg season title, which meant basically nothing when we were on the bubble for most of the year to get into the NCAA's, and we lost early in both the ACC and Ncaa tourn...again!

Russ, its not 1 year to right the ship, its 7-8 years, and it was not a HECK of a class, what did that class ever accomplish in its 4 years..tying Duke for a reg season title in the worst ACC division ever? No Sweet 16's and no ACC tourn Titles, did they even get to the Championship game in the ACC? Every year, we where and now again are a bubble team. Do you remember who we where losing to early last year, until we got into the cupcake 2009 ACC league?

Dont you think Univ of MD basketball should be much better than a bubble team for 7-8 years? Yes or No.

Not going to get in a stupid who is right argument, but the facts are Gary turned our program around, eventhough a ton of coaches would have, because MD is and always was a top program from Lefty's doing. He then had a great run with one group of kids, and got Paid!!! Now, he is on a losing run for 7-8 years of mediocore play, success, recruiting, etc. In business, you turn a company around, you get paid, when it starts going downhill i.e. stock price drops, the CEO is canned. This is the same, its a business and Gary is either past his prime/doesnt connect with recruits, but cannot do the job. He needs to be canned.

Plenty of coaches out there would take this program back to contender levels without cheating.

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Russ here. cm88, you've failed to take into account the hugely negative impact former AD Debbie Yow had over the past 5+ years in College Park. She attempted to undermine Gary at every turn and when she left it was like a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. And what happens in his first recruiting class post-Yow? He keeps the top Baltimore recruit in-state (Faust). That hadn't happened since Keith Booth.

In any case, Gary deserves to end his time here on his own terms. Think about how far he has brought the program, which was basically one small step shy of the death penalty when he walked through the door. Plus, he's 66. We'll be lucky to get another 5 years out of him.

Posted by: caphillterp | January 24, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty happy with the players Maryland is getting. I'm not a fan of the 1 and dones. I'm glad Stephenson went to Cincy (not that he beat the Terps in Maui though), and while I hate Calhoun for stealing Rudy Gay, Maryland was probably better for it. Calipari, Calhoun, and some of these "dirty" coaches don't seem to have a problem promising one-and-dones scholarships that aren't technically available. They'll just comb their roster at the end of the year and encourage someone to go pro, transfer, or they'll take away a kid's scholarship. I don't want to see Maryland basketball run that way. If a kid grows into a good player and leaves for the NBA because he's ready (like JW perhaps), fine, but I don't want a coach recruiting behind a kid's back hoping or assuming that he'll leave. That's how some of these coaches have been able to keep their head above the water, because if you don't lie and backstab, you end up with holes in your roster filled by guys like Parrish Brown (took Gilchrist's spot when he unexpectedly bolted to the NBA draft).

Roy Williams had to convince one of Ware brothers to transfer (and lost both in the process) so Harrison Barnes could come in since Drew Henson wasn't ready for the NBA as expected after his freshman year. Now UNC is dealing with chemistry issues that probably cost them 2 of their losses this year.

As far as players Gary gets, let's see...

Post NC recruits...

Mike Jones--#2 SG in the country behind LeBron. It's not Gary's fault he never wanted to play defense, thus not deserving of more court time.
Travis Garrison--First recruit in forever from DeMatha, who wanted to spend all his time on the 3-point line instead of on the block where he belonged.
Chris McCray--One of the best 3-point shooters coming out of HS. Not Gary's fault that he flunked out his senior year and missed the spring semester.
Ekene Ibekwe--One of the highest rated PF in the country, but very raw. Gary turned him into a solid low post defender.
James Gist--Was supposed to be the next Chris Wilcox, but developed more slowly. Turned in a great senior year.
Eric Hayes--the next Steve Blake who had one heck of a career in the shadow of one of the greatest Maryland players of all time.
Landon Milbourne--Highly recruited out of Georgia, but did not see many minutes in his freshman year. He was all about the spectacular, but eventually rounded out into a solid all-around player.
Jerome Burney---Also highly recruited out of Georgia, but succummed to injury, and never developed.
Vasquez--do I need to say anything here
Bowie--highly recruited guard who stayed home.
Mosely--Best player in Baltimore
Jordan Williams--broke the glass in high school, now breaking records in his second year.
Stoglin--2nd best player in AZ HS history.

BTW, when was the last time Kentucky won a title? Even with all of the 1 and dones, they still have been waiting since 1998, even after making the deal with the devil.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 24, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I believe the team will be even better next year...Seeing how Gary always plays his seniors regardless of how much better the underclassmen are...Stoglin is a better PG than Bowie, and he runs the offense a lot better...Stoglin will be much better next year...I do believe that with the amount of freshman this team has, theres going to be a lot of learning in the first year especially going through the ACC

Posted by: babycas2000 | January 24, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"MD is and always was a top program from Lefty's doing. He then had a great run with one group of kids, and got Paid!!! Now, he is on a losing run for 7-8 years" -Cm88

1) Md was hit with the worst NCAA sanctions in recent history after the Wade era. Gary came in a took over a program that wasn't allowed on tv, wasn't allowed to play in the post season, and had several scholarships yanked. It was THE death penalty and no other program in the last 20+ years has been hit with anything like it. So, yeah, MD didn't really have a "top program" when Gary took over, despite Certified Moron88's hallucinations.

2) "Gary had a great run with one group of players" actually he had a great run with multiple groups of players stretched out over 11 years with 7 sweet 16 appearances. How you have lumped in the Joe Smith/Keith Booth/Exree Hipp/Johnny Rhodes/Duayne Simpkins group with the Profit/Ekezie/Francis/Stokes/ group is beyond me, let alone actually grouping them all with the Blake/Dixon/Baxter/Mouton/Wilcox group. Yeah so Gary kinda had a little more than just one good group of players...

3) "he is on a losing run for 7-8 years" How the 3rd best record in the ACC behind only Duke and North Carolina over that time is considered a "losing run" you'll have to explain to me. How winning an ACC tournament, winning an ACC regular season title, and making the tournament 5 times since the national championship season is considered a "losing run" is beyond me. Not to mention how strange it is for you to keep using the "7-8 years" range, considering less than 8 years ago we were in the Sweet 16 and less than 7 years ago we won the ACC tourney with a bunch of freshman and sophomores (and 1 juco senior).

Does CM88 stand for Certified Moron?

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

(It's okay Poopy, I'm allowed to call this guy a moron, see the previous thread where he called me one first).

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

It's true we have had the 3rd best record in the ACC post national championship. Gary has been outstanding in the fact that he has managed to avoid having any "terrible" seasons. The worst finish has been 7-9, while even historically great programs like UNC have had down years. Gary does deserve to be commended for this.

Unfortunately, he also has avoided the really good season as well. Since 2003, he has not been able to get out of the second round and has not had a team ranked in the top 10 at any point in all these years. This is what is so frustrating to so many fans, myself included.

Posted by: elowe2 | January 24, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"The three accounted for 37 of Maryland’s 79 points and 10 of 23 free throws."

They shot 10 of 16 from the free throw line. Big difference. 62% versus 43%. And shot 12 of 23 from the field.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | January 24, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree, Debbie Yow was a nightmare, but Gary's lack of recruiting is very well known and documented, he spent less time and money than the womens program and it has showed. So, its Gary's program and its he gets the credit for the Nat Champ, but also the credit for the lack of success the past 7 years.

Yes, he got Mike Jones, we all know how that turned out, ugh!!! but after that Russ, he has never gotten a top ranked recruit. Mosley was around Top 25-35 and we see how that is turning out, unfortunately,,seems like a great kid. My point is, Gary or any coach should be getting some of the TOP 10-20 guys and doing something with them. Your list is a who's who of Turned out to be NObodys, except for GV(which he wasnt exactly loved by all) and Jordan, who looks to be another Lonnie Baxter type player, bit undersized for NBA but very good NCAA player.

Yes I am a moron for arguing with you Barno, but sorry Univ of Md has the greatest recruiting backyard in the WORLD sorry you cant understand that, but even with the death penalty, any normal coach would be able to get our program turned around. Do you think USC football is going to have a tough time getting back on track, even if they get a worse punishment???? I love alllll the players you guys mentioned, but I will ask it again, are you really happy with the state we are in today and for the last 7 years of limping into the NCAA's and losing early in both the ACC and NCAA tourn, excluding the crazy run by John Gil in 2004, I know, but again, without his run, we where NIT bound.

You really like being an avg team????

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

We could have lost in the first round of the acc tourney in 04 and were still headed for the ncaa tourney after beating nc state on the road the previous week and concluding the season with a big home win against UVA. So, no, we were not NIT bound without Gil's ACC tourney run.

But it's not surprising to see the guy calling for Gary's head to get his fact mixed up.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Good to see that a guy who has a man crush on the coach, cannot answer any of the questions. I guess I will just summize that you are ok with having an average team that has been outside the Top 10 for years and is a Top 50 team once again this year.

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The last time I checked, even "average" teams can make the Final Four, and it's coming incresingly commonplace to see teams in the middle of the pack make runs in the tournament. Butler was an inch or two from winning the whole thing, and I don't see any blue chip recruits on their roster.

If Gary gets us in the dance on a semi-consistant basis, I'm happy. There are teams with rich history that haven't seen that sort of consistancy since their heyday, many that are old-school Big East teams like Seton Hall, St.Johns (might have found something with Lavin), and Providence, and others Cincy, LaSalle, Houston, NCState, and many many more. There are also teams that tear up the regular season but flame out in the dance. How many times has Kansas lost in the second round to a #8 or 9 seed? Arizona used to have the longest consecutive tourney appearance streak, and how many titles did they win in that span, JUST 1. How many times did Boeheim get the Orange in the dance before he finally broke through, and how many Final Fours has he been to since? 24 and ZERO

Maryland's got a pretty good thing going here. Is it perfect? No, but what is these days. However, Gary fields an exciting, competitive team EVERY year that will almost certainly finish in the top half of the conference and have a good shot at making the NCAA tournament. What happens after that is sometimes luck, fate, and a bounce here or there, as fans saw last year against Michigan State. You just can't conceivably consider fire a legend without thinking about what would come next, which in my estimation would be realy mediocrity, not some made-up perception of mediocrity.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 24, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Russ, you make very good points, but I just think MD has a better program and recruiting ability than any of the schools you mentioned. We should be in the same breathe as UNC, DUKE, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA...not because we have as many NCAA Championships, but because of what Lefty built and because of the recruiting backyard we have.

I will admit, I have never been a Gary fan, but I had to keep my mouth shut since he won, but now, he is losing and still yells at kids, drinks like a fish, and cant keep a lead to save his life. Honestly, not too many coaches if any, give up 10 pt leads in 1 minute, give up 20+ point second half leads with a team of 5 players that go on to play at a pro level i.e. the MD team that lost to Duke in both games. We should have won 2 Nat Champ but we have a coach that causes kids to play tight and look over their shoulders. In 2002, when we started off slow, supposidly the players told Gary to lay off them, and then they started winning again. Sorry, but Gary has had his passes and now he needs to either change with the times or leave. Just my opinion,,,,and it seems like others are not holding their tongues anymore. Would you want your 18 year old star player son, playing for him, when its known he plays mind games and has mind F'd a bunch of players?

There is a good reason the Top kids dont come here and its not because Gary is the only coach in america that doesnt cheat.

Posted by: cm88 | January 24, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

cm88, I've seen this movie before and I'll let you in on the ending. First, the Terps lose a big game or two. Next, a new fan appears on the Terps INsider bashing Gary and demanding he be fired. Next comes a Terps winning streak and an eventual signature win against a top ranked team, culminating with a bid to the ncaa tournament. Lastly, I collect all the posts from people like you who blasted Gary and I re-post them on Selection Sunday. It was looking like a small list of those kinds of comments, thanks to the disappearance of restonhoops and Petecard's relatively calm and collective comments this season thus far. But thanks to you Certified Moron88, that list will now include at least a dozen of your posts.

Looking forward to our mid to late-season run and bid on Selection Sunday even more now. So, thanks for that.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Lastly, I collect all the posts from people like you who blasted Gary and I re-post them on Selection Sunday.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 6:19 PM
--------

Wait, I thought you just used The Google to dig up old posts? So you do save/collect some too?

Okay, I kid, I kid (kind of).

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 24, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Give Gary some credit...I would rather he go after recruits looking to stay all four years or atleast three...You can't build a program off of one and done's...Gary is about as successful of a coach as all the other top coaches...He's probably the only coach that has figured out how to beat Coach K on a consistent basis, as well as Carolina...Gary has since been involved with players on the AAU circuit, which players like Williams, Stoglin, Howard were apart of...He's changed his recruiting strategy, and he's now starting to get top level players to come to or consider Maryland...Not to mention, he's a hell of a coach

Posted by: babycas2000 | January 24, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Poopy, you added the word "save" but I didn't use that word. I said collect, and yes, I use google to collect them on selection sunday. I also just use the Terps Insider archive and g back to whatever week we had our worst loss of the season. This year, it will (hopefully) be the Vtech loss. There haven't been many people calling for Gary to be fired this week, though predictably there is at least one guy who is pretty adamant about Gary hurting the program. And, not surprisingly, he showed up on this blog as soon as the final buzzer sounded in the loss to Vtech. Wonder where cm88 was last year when the Terps were 13-3 in the league...I guess it was hard for him to justify firing Gary during a season in which we won the ACC.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Does CM88 stand for Certified Moron?

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

(It's okay Poopy, I'm allowed to call this guy a moron, see the previous thread where he called me one first).

Posted by: Barno1 | January 24, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

IMHO CM88 posted numerous comments on this thread that ask good questions and raise reasonable points. It's obvious that Russ and Barno don't agree, but that is no surprise. Barno, of course, slips into his emotional man-crush defense of GW and takes things through a level of minutia that is tedious. C'mon man.

At least let's not argue about the bottom line. If we miss the tournament this year that will be 4 times in 8 years. Don't make me repeat all of the other facts. Our program is mediocre. So here are the questions that need to be asked and probably won't get a straight answer from the Koolaid drinkers: What are your performance expectations? What will be good enough for you? Are you so all-in on GW that you will accept anything? Are you willing to lay out what is and is not good enough? Are you just waiting patiently for him to repeat a 3 year run that ended 8 years ago? Do you accept him as the coach for life? I challenge you Barno and company. Just answer the questions. Don't give us the spin. Answer the questions.

Posted by: petecard | January 25, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Russ, no need to answer on your part. You laid out your views pretty well in your last post. I respect your honesty. I do not share your view of the program or your standards. They are not high enough for me. I know you want to win and be great, but you accept a level of performance far below that. An honest and respectful difference of opinion is fine with me. We are both worthy fans and our blood has to black, gold and white as well as red in it....

Posted by: petecard | January 25, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

My unrealistic expectation, like any good fan, is to win a National Championship every year. Why bother playing if that is not a goal?...but as the cliche goes, only one team and set of fans will be happy at the end of the year.
So, realistically, my expectations every year is to field a team that has a chance to win every time they step out on the court.
In the last 8 years, I can say that there hasn't been one game we've played that I didn't think we could win. That is a credit to Gary.
Now go back to when Bob Wade was coach and pretty boy Greg Nared was our point guard...there were way too many games where I thought we had no chance of winning!

Posted by: mydogsnameisdixon | January 25, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

What are your performance expectations? What will be good enough for you?

I expect to make the tournament every year. Those are my expectations.

Are you so all-in on GW that you will accept anything?

Gary gives us a chance to go to a final four/win a national championship. How many other coaches can you say, regardless of seed or ranking or record, are capable of beating any team they play? I'd say no more than 10. Sure, Gary's teams will sometimes falter and not make the tournament but I'll take the good with the bad. Bottom line is I will take Gary and whatever he brings to the table because I know that as long as we have him, we've got a chance.

Are you willing to lay out what is and is not good enough?

No.

Are you just waiting patiently for him to repeat a 3 year run that ended 8 years ago?

Yes. And I predict it will arrive next year.

Do you accept him as the coach for life?

Absolutely.

Posted by: fushezzi | January 25, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

For me, as a reasonable expectation I look at the period before the final four teams. Sweet 16's every other year on average, competetive for the ACC title every year and some significant out of conference wins each year.

Final fours and national championships are combinations of luck and chemistry and circumstance. It is unreasonable IMHO to expect these type of achievements with any frequency. To set these achievements as goals, sure, but being upset if we don't make a final four twice a decade is too much.

I think sweet sixteens, winning a minimum of 2 games in the ACC tourney and 10 wins in conference are good, with a win or two versus quality out of conference schools are attainable goals.

Posted by: terpape | January 25, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Russ, no need to answer on your part. You laid out your views pretty well in your last post. I respect your honesty. I do not share your view of the program or your standards. They are not high enough for me. I know you want to win and be great, but you accept a level of performance far below that. An honest and respectful difference of opinion is fine with me. We are both worthy fans and our blood has to black, gold and white as well as red in it....

Posted by: petecard | January 25, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I would love to see the Terps contend for a title every year, but reality is that it just cannot be done in today's game. Only 1 NCAA tournament team can win its last game, and it takes a certain amount of magic, luck, and fate to even get to play for a title, as the Terps found out in 2001. It does bother me that over the past few years, early-season non-conference losses have handcuffed this team, and put them into situations that have caused panic, deparation, and nail-biting on Selection Sunday. That is something I definitely would like to see improved, and I don't like going into the ACC season having to rely on the perceived strength of the conference to push the Terps into the dance.

I've also not been crazy about the Terps' performance in the ACC tournament, aside from 2004. I was particularly frustrated in 2005, when the ACC finally hosted the tournament at Verizon Center, and the Terps got blown out in the first game. Despite scheduling other games throughout the season that should prepare the team for that 3 games in 3 days or 4 games in 4 days senario, they still find a way to just do the bear minimum in the ACC Tourney.

The performance in the NCAA tournament I chock up just to fate. Sure the Terps could have earned higher seeds by winning more non-conference games or more games in the ACC Tournament, but the NCAA Tournament is all about matchups and the luck that goes along with having your side of the bracket blown up, like it was last year. I contend that the Terps would have been in the Final Four last year had the buzzer beater not gone in against Michigan State. The Terps matched up favorably against both Tennessee and Northern Iowa, and might have been a better matchup against Butler. The previous tournament appearance, the Terps got saddled with Memphis on their half of the bracket, and never really had a chance. Of all the 2 seeds, that was the one that the Terps just did not match up with. The time before, the Terps got burned by a Butler team that the Terps did not take seriously, and probably should have made it to the sweet 16.

However, I like to actually examine the alternatives, and despite the anguish and frustration the current situation creates, I know for a fact it is a million times better than the alternative. UVA has been looking for a coach for 20 years with just limited success. Clemson had one and let him walk. Sometime you just have to stay on the horse until he's done.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 25, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

MOST 20-WIN SEASONS, ACTIVE COACHES
1. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse 32
2. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke 26
3. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut 23
4. Bob Huggins, West Virginia 22
5. Roy Williams, North Carolina 20
6. Mike Montgomery, California 19
T7. Gary Williams, Maryland 18
T7. Rick Pitino, Louisville 18


Gary wins significantly more games than he loses in historically basketballs best conference.

He ranks #5 among active coaches with 649 wins

14 Tourney appearances in 17 years

2010 ACC regular season champs and 1 lucky shot from our 8th sweet 16


He brings it EVERY night, I guess if you dont win consecutive NCs, some fans are unhappy

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 25, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

No one I know on this board has ever mentioned "consecutive" NC's or even competing for one every year. Most of us would just like not to go eight years without even a Sweet 16. 20 win seasons are not much of a barometer. They're nice, but teams play more than 30 games a year now. Here is a pattern than I don't like: We seem to start almost every year losing to good teams, getting into a hole and having to scratch and claw our way out. 3 times in 7 years we haven't been able to do it. This year might make it 4 in 8. We have become a school that makes the dance only half of the time and doesn't win more than one game when it does get in. That is what we have become.

Posted by: petecard | January 25, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

No but my point is that unless you go undefeated and win a NC, there will always be some shortcoming to focus on.

20 win seasons not a barometer? Look at the names on the list.

I see 14 NCAAs since 93...if you want to cherry pick the stats and say we missed 3 in 7, and make the dance half the time, I can cherry pick and say we made the last 2 and therefore are 100% in...who is more right?

If you are making the point that Gary is no longer competitive, I think thats a stretch...again, we won the ACC regular season last year and came within a fraction of a second of going to the Sweet 16 for our 8th time under Gary

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 25, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

My rest of the season prediction:

@ VA - Win
@ GT - Win
vs. Duke - Loss
vs. WF - Win
vs. Longwood - Win
@ BC - Win
@ VT - Loss
vs. NCSU - Win
vs. FSU - Win
@ NC - Win
@ Mia - Win
vs. VA - Win

10-2 down the stretch, 22-9 overall, 11-5 in the ACC....and a 8 or 9 seed in the tournament.

Just because I don't feel like doing work yet today.

That is all....carry on....

Posted by: fushezzi | January 25, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Amazing how civil we can be without Barno involved. Great points, very good point about VA's coaching issues. I admit I am not a Gary guy and never have been, just dont think you need to treat people/kids the way he does, but as long as we were winning and "competing for titles" or in the Top 20, I cant complain, but when we arent, its frustrating to see him freak out and mind F kids, and lose. Plus be lazy/cocky when it comes to recruiting.

I just want us to freaking not have to stress and wonder every freaking year if we are even going to make the NCAA's. And, it would be nice to get the occassional 1 or 2 year and done type of kid that takes over games. I love this years team, but we need to get a "take over the game" guy that we havent had for years, even GV would disappear so dont bring him up...I am talking more about a Steve Francis/Joe Smith kid.

Barno, please send me your seat number and section so I can come say hi at the Duke game, it will be interesting to see who punches me for stating that I am not a fan of Gary Williams, but I am a huge fan of Md Basketball. As you stated in another post :)

Posted by: cm88 | January 25, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I admit I am not a Gary guy and never have been, just dont think you need to treat people/kids the way he does,
Posted by: cm88 | January 25, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

What is that supposed to mean? Are you talking about the inexplicable yelling and screaming he does to whoever is sitting on the bench during a game? That's just the way he coaches and how he controls and focusses his anger. Try going to a practice and see how Gary really coaches. All of his kids love him, and will defend him to the end, which is why so many former players come to games or have come through his coaching staff. He is one of the best teachers you will find. Please don't be blinded because of the way he acts on the bench under extreme pressure.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 25, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Petecard, you wanted direct answers to your questions and comments, here you go:

"At least let's not argue about the bottom line. If we miss the tournament this year that will be 4 times in 8 years."

No, that's not the bottom line. You always try to frame our football and bball programs as negatively as possible...and that's your prerogative. But don't claim 4 NITs in 8 years "is the bottom line" bc we both know it isn't. I could just as easily say 3 NCAA tourneys in the past 4 years is the bottom line, but in reality the bottom line is 14 tournaments in 17 years, 7 sweet 16s, 3 ACC regular season titles and 1 ACC tourney title, 2 final fours, and 1 national title. THAT'S the bottom line.

Oh and thhe "4 NITs in 8 years" drum sounds a lot like your "4 NITs in 5 years" that you repeated ad nauseum 2 seasons ago...all the way up to Selection Sunday when we didn't end up going to our 4th NIT. One would think you'd have learned your lesson by now.

"Don't make me repeat all of the other facts. Our program is mediocre."

No, this SEASON has been mediocre, thus far. But 14 NCAA appearances in 17 years does not a mediocre program make.

"What are your performance expectations?"

Depends on the year. Last year my expectations were winning the ACC and going to the sweet 16. We won the ACC, and missed the Sweet 16 on a fluke 3 pointer at the buzzer. Overall, it was a very good season with a very disappointing end. This year my expectations were to finish in the upper echelon of the ACC and make the tourney, anything more would be house money in a rebuilding year.

"What will be good enough for you? Are you so all-in on GW that you will accept anything?"

Anything? We won the ACC title last year homey. We had the ACC coach of the year and ACC player of the year. You act like we lost 20 games. If we did lose 20 games, I'd probably think it's time for Gary to retire...but I don't see that ever happening on his watch.

"Are you willing to lay out what is and is not good enough?"

Again, it depends on which season...something you apparently don't understand. Expectations are clearly different for a senior laden squad with years of starting experience like last year vs a team that has 3/4 freshman/juco players in the rotation and 3 new starters like this year.

"Are you just waiting patiently for him to repeat a 3 year run that ended 8 years ago?"

Truthfully, I don't know if we'll ever have another run like that again in my lifetime no matter who is coach. Going to back to back final fours is pretty damn rare in college basketball. I'd like to get back to going to the Sweet 16 often...that's my goal right now for our program.

"Do you accept him as the coach for life?"

Unquestionably. I think the vast majority of MD fans do as well.

"I challenge you Barno and company. Just answer the questions. Don't give us the spin. Answer the questions."

Done and done.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 25, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Amazing how civil we can be without Barno involved"

Give me a break. You called me a moron and later I called you a moron, yet I'm the one who is uncivil...hah! You show up on this blog the day that we get smoked by V Tech demanding Gary Williams be fired and repeatedly call everyone else who doesn't share this ridiculous opinion "not a real fan of MD baskeball."

"Barno, please send me your seat number and section"

Directly behind Johnny Holiday. Can't miss us. Introduce yourself as the guy that wants Gary fired. I'm sure that will go over well in that section.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 25, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I admit I am not a Gary guy and never have been,
Posted by: cm88 |

Never???????

Does NEVER mean even after the ACC title? After the Final Fours? After the NC?

If it does, then you may as well admit that there is nothing and no amount of wins that will get you to like Gary and therefore your posts are pretty hollow? You are just anti-Gary regardless of how well he does for MD Basketball....definitely a unique breed

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 25, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"I admit I am not a Gary guy and never have been, just dont think you need to treat people/kids the way he does."


You lost me with this statement. Just flat out ridiculous.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 25, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"I admit I am not a Gary guy and never have been, just dont think you need to treat people/kids the way he does."
------------------------------------

Moron is not a strong enough word to describe the guy who typed the above comment. I'm not one who believes in tenure for anybody in any profession. I believe in term limits for our elected officials and for performance based contract extensions. That said, Gary Williams is not anywhere close to deserving to be fired. The man is a God in College Park. If you want to replace him after he just won ACC coach of the year (in a season where the national champs came from the ACC), well, all I've got to say is "moron" just isn't a strong enough word to describe you.

Posted by: terp4lifer | January 25, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting how differently we can look at the same things. I put much more emphasis on tournament performance than many of you. I don't look at the shot at the buzzer last year by MSU as a fluke and no one can legitimately claim that if we had one that game we would have gone deep. All I know is that when I put our last 8 years of the tournament against the other major programs in the company we finish 40th. If we put the last three years against the field we finish no better.

But the thing that really separates a lot of us is the idea of Gary for life. Again, I'm not saying he should be fired and you all know that. But IMHO that lifetime designation sounds like something that just makes no sense. I hope KA shares my view.

Posted by: petecard | January 25, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Why only go back 8 years Pete? I understand denominations like 5, 10, 15...but 8?

Posted by: fushezzi | January 25, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Russ, yeah I just think it hurts our recruiting when kids and the parents of those recruits see him losing his shiet every night and cussing at all the players, just my opinion that it effects recruiting and also the way they play. Too many times players seem to play tight under Gary and we lose huge leads i.e. Duke long ago and recent big leads. I have played for coaches like Gary and it does cause players to play tight or look over their shoulders, thats why I have never been a Gary lover, liked what he did, but didnt completely buy in.

To the others that now think that I am a moron because I dont LOVE a known alcoholic, guy who cusses at teenagers nonstop on the sideline, likes to sleep with the coeds(ok I am just jealous there):), and is lazy at recruiting because he feels the kids should come crawling to him,,,sorry I dont LOVE the guy like you kids do. I like that he turned our program around, but this is the same Brilliant coach that lost a 10 pt lead in 1 minute and a 20+ point lead in the 2nd half to Duke, which would have given us another ACC/NCAA championship probably, and this was with 5 guys that went on to play at the pro level. Sorry but Gary is famous for losing leads with great players and without them, its Garys team so its his fault, not the players!

So yes, I love MD basketball,,,more than the Skins, Wiz, any other team, but I love the team more than any player or coach, sorry kids!

Posted by: cm88 | January 25, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Just so you can understand my point,,,I like that John Gilchrist since he led us to an ACC title and into the NCAA's, but I hate him for being a selfish turd and hurting our program the next year. Does that make me a moron or not understand MD basketball or not love them????

Posted by: cm88 | January 25, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

cm - you make my head hurt

Posted by: fushezzi | January 25, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Haha,,,I know, my buddies that love MD too same the same thing, but they are slowly getting frustrated with Gary too. I just want us to be in the Top 20 every year, maybe its unrealistic expectations, but with what we Should be getting in recruits, its hard to expect less.

I will stop arguing, go Gary and go MD, hope we make the NCAA's this year!

You may now commence calling me a moron :)

Posted by: cm88 | January 25, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Russ, yeah I just think it hurts our recruiting when kids and the parents of those recruits see him losing his shiet every night and cussing at all the players, just my opinion that it effects recruiting and also the way they play. Too many times players seem to play tight under Gary and we lose huge leads i.e. Duke long ago and recent big leads. I have played for coaches like Gary and it does cause players to play tight or look over their shoulders, thats why I have never been a Gary lover, liked what he did, but didnt completely buy in.

Posted by: cm88 | January 25, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

So I guess you would have fired Bobby Knight in 1986, after losing in the first round of the NCAA and a year after going to the NIT. The problem is, the following year, in 1986-87, he won it all.

The firey, intense, shouting coaches are becomming a bit of a relic in this day and age, being replaced with smooth-talking, snazzy-dressed salesmen. Majerus and Bo Ryan are the only other 2 I can think of right now, and perhaps today's coddled kids and PC parents don't want to see their precious flowers get yelled at or criticized by someone with the clout of a guy like Gary Williams.

As far as huge leads, the only one that was lost this year was 'Nova, and I'd credit the Wildcats for coming back as much as the Terps gave it away. If you watch college basketball enough, you're going to eventually see some huge leads blown and some big combacks. You mention Duke game, and I'm assuming you're referring to the 21-point blown lead in the Final Four (mostly because of some pathetic officiating), as an example of a blown lead, but you fail to mention the comebacks that the Terps have constructed. How about last year's game against Michigan State? The Terps were down double-digits in the second half only to take a lead with less than 4 seconds to go. How about the comeback the Terps had in Chapel Hill in 1997 where they came back from 20+ to win against a ranked UNC team?

Every college basketball team blows leads, and every one makes dramatic comebacks. What Maryland has seen over the past 20 years is no different that what happens every season in college basketball.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 25, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"Russ, yeah I just think it hurts our recruiting when kids and the parents of those recruits see him losing his shiet every night and cussing at all the players, just my opinion that it effects recruiting"

Do you have any idea how insane you sound? Gary has as good a track record as anyone at putting players in the nba and europe and turning them into millionaires. I'm sure parents of kids are going to ignore that because they don't want their kid hearing curse words on the sidelines.

Dude, you're insane. That is all, carry on.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 25, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

cm88 continues to make honest, reasoned comments and gets blasted personally. Now he is "insane." Lighten up Barno. You remind me of the talking heads on MSNBC (Olberman included) who only know how to end arguments with personal attacks. In fact, that is often the only type of argument they have.

Posted by: petecard | January 26, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes I am insane, Gary gets all the top recruits Barno, you are right, we are a Top 10 program every year. Can you please name just 1 top 10 recruit Gary Williams has gotten in the past 20 years? Just 1! Mike Jones was #2 at his position, but I dont think he was even in the Top 20...so go on.....

I will wait....oh let me guess, Gary doesnt want any of those guys,,,Durant F him, Rudy Gay Screw him, Carmelo Anthony what a loser.

Gary does much better with the 3 and 4 star guys he gets, none of those programs win or are always in the running for Nat Champ.

Posted by: cm88 | January 26, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Russ,,,so youre saying you think Bobby Knight would be a good coach today??? Thats my point, Gary and Bobby coach and treat kids the old school way, but you cant do that today. Sorry but its the truth, you cant just berate kids 24/7 and expect them to listen and be motivated. You have to pick your battles and coaching points, otherwise you look and sound like raving loon, like Gary and Bobby.

Posted by: cm88 | January 26, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I put this on the other board, but basically, if you guys are really that worried about how we would do without Gary,,,didnt he use to coach at Ohio State? How have they done since he left?

Posted by: cm88 | January 26, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I put this on the other board, but basically, if you guys are really that worried about how we would do without Gary,,,didnt he use to coach at Ohio State? How have they done since he left?

Posted by: cm88 | January 26, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, since Gary left in 1989, Ohio State has been to 11 NCAA tournaments, 2 sweet 16s, one elite 8, and 2 final fours (national runnerup in 2007). They also vacated 113 games, including one of the final fours because of Savovic. During that 22 year period, Ohio State failed to make the post season 7 times, and participated in the NIT 3 times. It took them 15 years and three coaching changes to finally found a coach (Thad Matta) that had the consistancy that Gary brought in just 3 years to their program.

During that stretch in which Ohio State didn't win a single national championship and went to 2 Final Fours and 11 NCAA Tournaments, Gary took Maryland to 14 NCAA Tournaments, 2 Final Fours, 5 sweet 16s, 4 NITs, and only failed to qualify for the postseason 3 times ('90-'93). While Ohio State probably isn't missing Gary now, they probably did the first 8 years when they went to the NCAA just 3 times (the first 3 years after Gary left, presumably with players Gary recruited).

Thanks for pointing out a prime example of why Maryland SHOULD NOT get rid of Gary, because Terps fans will spend 15 years trying to find a coach that can come close to what Gary has done in his time so far at Maryland.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 26, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Russ,,,so youre saying you think Bobby Knight would be a good coach today??? Thats my point, Gary and Bobby coach and treat kids the old school way, but you cant do that today. Sorry but its the truth, you cant just berate kids 24/7 and expect them to listen and be motivated. You have to pick your battles and coaching points, otherwise you look and sound like raving loon, like Gary and Bobby.

Posted by: cm88 | January 26, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Sure I do. Have you watched a game that he has called. He brings an insight to the game that no one else has ever articulated. He's a teacher, not a babysitter/flim-flam man like so many NCAA head coaches have become. He turned a Texas Tech team around, and probably would still be coaching today if he didn't despise the politics and travishammockery the NCAA head coaching job has become.

As far as the recruits that have gotten away, sure it would have been nice to have gotten guys like Durant, Gay, and Melo. The Gay story has been written a thousand times, so I don't think I need to retell it. Melo wanted to get away, and Gary had lost touch with the Baltimore players. Also, Melo did not have his academic affairs in order during the recruiting process, so a lot fo schools, including Maryland, did not push hard because it was thought he might just make the straight jump to the NBA. The Durant recruitment was a little different. The Terps had spots available, and did get Vasquez from Durant's Montrose Christian team, but it aws believed he wanted to get out of the DC area for his one required college season. It didn't hurt the Terps too much that year (2006-07), since they made it to the second round of the NCAA, getting upset by Butler in the second round. Would Durant's one season made a difference, who knows. He probably would have take Burney's scholarship, which means Gary would have had another opening in 2007 for another big man (the year he brought in Shane Walker and Braxton Dupree), which probably wouldn't have made that big of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Every team loses out of recruits (even Duke and UNC), but it's what coaches can do with the kids that means way more than what a kid is ranked coming out of high school. Keith Booth was far more hearlded than Joe Smith coming out of high school, and look who was POY and #1 pick in the NBA draft. James Padgett was higher ranked than Jordan Williams, but look who's averaging a double double in their second year.

Do I wish Gary could get some of the best recruits in the country? Sure, but if it means dealing with classes like the 2002 and 2003 recruiting classes, I'd probably pass and take the next tier guys that have something to prove and will stay at least 2-3 years.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 26, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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