We Can’t Shoot. Defense Terrible

We are down 15 with 15 minutes left.

Kill me. I can’t believe I am listening to this on the radio. We have no life. Need a miraculous comeback or the season is over.

Johnny Holiday has said the following “he dribbles it off his foot and out of bounds” at least 4 times tonight. It’s the seniors. Ibekwe, Jones and Strawberry have each done it. They suck. I hate them. Please leave my alma mater. Leave us to pick up the pieces of what you have wrought over the last 4 years.



  1. this will be another loss.


  3. Let’s see the Terps come out flat, fall way behind only to make a valiant effort to come back but ultimately fall short. Does this scenario sound familiar? Why can’t this team come out and play with a sense of urgency at the START of a game instead of waiting until it’s too late? A team with 3 senior “leaders?” should be able to avoid this, or is Gary to blame for not having the team ready time after time at the beginning of games? Another common theme reoccurred in this game, the Terps played decent defense in holding the Cavs point total down especially in the second half but were terrible on offense. It seems impossible for the Terps to play well on offense and defense at the same time. I am sure Gary will praise the team for coming back though. He will say how it’s tough to win back to back ACC games, how if the team plays the way it did in the second half they will win some games, how they can’t be expected to win at HOME under so much pressure from the fans and media or some crap like that. Rest assured that the coach and players already have a list of excuses prepared for games like these. I know this post is negative and I will probably receive heat for it but the bottom line is, yet again the Terps have failed miserably to save their season…

  4. I totally agree with Jeremy and John. Loose balls, rebounds and free throws killed us tonight. Oh yea, and dribbling off your feet.

    Jones had a nice 2nd half.
    I though it was interesting that Gary sat Vasquez the rest of the game after he took that three.
    I like Hayes, but it seems to me that he wants to get rid of the ball more that a PG should.
    Gist needs to get the ball in the post more. Ebekwe cannot post up at all.

    Puke on Sunday.

  5. good bye ncaa, hello nit. we lost tonight’s game on rebounds and free throws. we couldn’t grab a rebound to save our life and the free throw shooting was horrendous. maybe gary should’ve kept dave neal in the game longer. i’ll still watch the remainder of their games, but the season is officially over.

  6. Why can’t they make free throws? I didn’t see the game – just followed on GameTracker – but I am so tired of this. It’s been 3 years of this maddening inconsistency, flat-starts, late comebacks that don’t win the game, etc.

    If the season is done, then Gary needs to focus on next year – he needs to play the freshmen and give them the experience they will need for next season.

  7. Came out flat & sloppy. Seemed like only Vasquez wanted to win in the first half. He was the only aggressor.
    I’m really starting to like the kid. He’s got confidence and swagger, believes he can win. I wonder if many of the other players do.

    Gary sent a strong message when he pulled all the upperclassmen in the second half and it seemed to stick as Jones, etc. came alive and got the game within reach. But once again, disappointment.

    We can point to so many things that went wrong…missed free throws, rebounding, loose balls, ill advised gambles for steals, missed layups, etc. But the biggest and continual theme is coming out flat for games. Yes. Basketball is a game of runs, however, there is no excuse for coming out flat at home. PERIOD. We need every game and the effort early just doesn’t show it from these guys.

    So very frustrating. I grow tired of this team wasting several hours of my life every week. I continue to ask myself why I watch. But then Jones sinks a three, makes a steal and throws it down. D.J. with the AND1. Hayes nails the triple from the top of the key. Before you know it my cursing is exchanged for fist pumps and shouts of encouragement (yes, I know they can’t hear me as I yell from my couch). They lost and I’m disappointed. But I remember why I watch. I love basketball and the Terps. We all do. It’s just very hard to love them sometimes….

  8. Maybe we need to consider that this team just isn’t that good. Maybe they are trying their best, and their best just isn’t good enough. Yes, they were out-rebounded, but they forced 8 more turnovers than they gave. Gary’s postgame comments clearly show that he knows that this team is done:

    “In this league, if you win the ACC tournament, you’re in the NCAA tournament. What we want to do is play well and win against Duke, and we will go from there.”

    He knows it will take a miraculous run to make the NCAAs. It’s unlikely but they did it 3 years ago from a similar position. This team just doesn’t have the talent to make me think that they are capable of winning 4 straight must win games. Psychology 101: Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Gary deserves any heat that he takes from this point forward.

    I’m looking forward to the start of Terp Lacrosse. Signing Day is tomorrow and Ralphie looks to have a solid if unspectacular incoming class (national ranking in the low 30s). Spring football is right around the corner. Hope springs eternal, my friends.

  9. I can tell that this team sometimes isn’t giving their all when they come out flat, but still get the game close. I can tell that some of these players aren’t giving their all when they can disappear for five and a half games, only to explode after they get off the bench. I love these M.J. and Ibekwe but they just aren’t mentally good enough. I love D.J. but he just isn’t physically good enough. Any season that we beat Dook is good, lets hope this is one of those seasons.

  10. Anyone else looking forward to Senior Night this year? Gary Williams speaking – ” Here is our great senior class that led us to 3 straight NIT bids. Mike Jones came in as the 2nd highest rated player next to Lebron James and leaves as a stand up shooter who can’t defend, dribble and only plays hard once in awhile. DJ Strawberry comes in as a tough defender and leaves as a turnover prone, non-shooting guard who can’t defend anymore. Ibene Ebekwe comes in as a raw athlete who thought about turning pro after his junior year and leaves as a player who can’t box out, shoot or dribble. Let’s hear it Terps fans for this great senior class that I have helped regress from year to year and has led this program to it’s worst state in 15 years! I can just hear the cheers coming down from Comcast Center now!

  11. John, your comments on senior night made me laugh. Man, who would’ve thought that this group coming on the heels of the NCAA title and winning the ACC their freshman year would never even qualify for the tournament for the remainder of their careers. Unbelievable…

    Wheels, I think you make an excellent point. It’s really hard for me to get mad at this team and be uber-critical because the bottom-line is that they’re just not that good. It was painfully obvious last night that UVA has players that are far superior to ours. To be honest, part of me is happy to see UVA doing so well….I’ll certainly be rooting for them over UNC/Duke in the ACC and wish them well in the NCAAs. They have a good chance at going very deep in that tournament (maybe final 4?).

    Wheel, I’m definitely not with you on MD football/lacrosse (not a big fan of either), but….any thoughts on next years starting line-up? Hayes, Vasquez, and Gist are locks. Highly likely that Osby will join Gist in the front-court. Hmmm….I can’t figure out who the 5th starter will be. Milbourne? Problem is that I don’t know how good the incoming freshman really are.

  12. Actually, as I think more about this, I’m excited about next year’s team. Gist and Osby as seniors joining Hayes/Vasquez with one yr under their belt in the ACC is a very solid line-up. I think all 4 of those players are hard workers who have a good chance at making great strides in the off-season…I predict that all 4 will be much improved next yr (which is exciting because they’re already pretty solid as is). The key is that 5th player….if it ends up being Neal I’m going to cry/puke. I wonder if there are any good juco players who can come in and make an immediate impact (and hopefully this time not a bench-warmer who averages 1 pt/game at a suck-ass school….yes, I’m referring to Osby).

  13. I am looking forward to Gary leaving forever. What Maryland needs is a little heart not hate. Gary cusses out everyone. Asst coaches, players, fans, he probably even cusses at babies. The game has passed him by. Maryland needs new blood on the court and the sideline yesterday.
    Vasquez sucks, he is a black hole shooting fool who does not get the terps into any offense. Hayes won’t shoot who confuses the post players b throwing them the ball after Vasquez wouldn’t. Osby was a JUCO for a reason. Neal should have played football. Ebekwe lost millions returning and getting worse. Bowers is a fowl prone 7 foot dufus who got no better. Hey at least the Terps won’t have a shot at the post season next season. Miami, NCSU, and WFU have young team with talent coming. Terps lose what little they have and keep Gary. Maybe there is a juco coach who needs a job. Gary is a loud mouthed sweaty profane BUM!

  14. PT’s last paragraph is right on…..

    Wheel’s is also on the mark. I just don’t think they are that talented of a team.

    John you are also right on the money. Those three have been a major disappointment. They just have not gotten any better and have regressed.

    UVA’s backcourt was much better and experienced that ours, but there front court was less talented with much more heart. That block Cain had was huge fro UVA and he never gave up on he play. Much hustle.

  15. Senor Al Vinchent
    – Vasquez most certainly does NOT suck. And if Ibekwe was dumb enough to leave for the pros last season he would definitely not be making millions right now. He probably would be warming the bench for some second-rate league in Switzerland. More likely he would be serving hamburgers at McDonalds.

  16. terpgrad obviously you drink the koolaid. Vasquez will drive to his right 25 times a game and shot 19 lose the ball 5 and pass once. He sucks. He is a hot head who forgets the rest of his team and that is why he was sitting late in the game last night even Gary can see that. Ibekwe coming off the summer international tournament had money waiting. He was a early 2nd round projection. That is almost millions. But he can man up Dirk Novitzski but can handle Cane for UVA. Give me a break he has lost money big time by coming back. Well he can always play on the Nigerian National Team or in Isreal or wherever Canner-Medley of problem landed.

  17. Al Vichent. Congratulations, you get the most ignorant post ever award. They should lock you and Boom up together in Osby’s old beat-up Caddy that’s parked outside Comcast Center for a couple hours.

    A couple corrections.

    Ekene Ibekwe never missed out on a chance for millions. To make millions, at least immediately, you have to be a first round pick in the NBA draft. He never was, and never will be of that talent level. Unless, he could somehow convince Isiah Thomas to take him. Mardy Collins, Renaldo Balkman, Ekene Ibekwe. Someone, get Zeke on the phone quick.

    To throw the freshman under the bus, the way you did in your comment is ridiculous. Luckily, your grammar is so atrocious that it can’t be taken seriously. Vasquez shot 50% for the game 5-10, and added 4 boards and 3 assists. Granted he played sloppy for stretches, but I think he can be developed into a consistent and fiery shooting guard. Please, note emphasis on him playing the 2, and not the 1.

    Lots of comments are noting that Mike Jones had a great second half. I would concede that he shot the ball well for the game, 7-12. However, he finished with 1 rebound and 0 assists, does nothing to involve other players, never feeds Gist, and his defense is still a major liability.

    I’m just as disappointed as everyone else. This team isn’t very talented. Normally teams with marginal talent can get by on playing with enthusiasm, grit, determination, and will their way to victories by doing the small things well (i.e converting from the charity stripe, not dribbling of your feet, passing the ball cleanly, etc.) Unfortunately, this team doesn’t do those things very well either. If they shoot 13-15 from the line, instead of 8-15, they win this ball game. It’s a shame, and it’s painful to watch most of the time. Luckily, I’m a glutton for punishment.

  18. Well grammar aside, Vasquez in the next Mike Jones. DJ has gone by the wayside and is sliding off the NBA map as well. He should have left after last year and went to the NBDL instead of staying with this miserable program. Gary wasted scholarships on Neal, Milbourne, and every Juco he ever picked up. To remain a terp fan under Gary will continue to be painful. There is no relief in sight. No genie in the bottle in the near future. Hayes is your bruightest start but at 190lbs is way to light to drive the lane. Vasquez is a problem waiting to happen. Just watch. Gist is so dang aloof that he is aggrivating. It is only 40 minutes to concentrate. Yeah I know it lasts 2-3 hours. It still revolves around Gary Williams lack of leadership and recruitment of less than upstanding student atheletes. At least Lefty only had one public embarassment. He did not have Gilchrist, McCray, Garrison, Ibekwe,or Canner-Medley type idiots. And he let that kid go to Villanova who is not a bad player he just needed to qualify. Villanova waited a semester why could Maryland not do the same. Put Lefty Jr. on the bench andput Gary “has been” out to pasture.

  19. All the guys had to do was make a decent amount of free throws and they would have won the game. Virginia is a very good team. I agree with Sarah that Gary should sit the seniors down at this point and allow the younger guys to get more experience. This season is over, although it would be nice to get Duke on Saturday.

    I wish D.J. would just play solid defense. Dude is always going for the steal and his man ends up with an open trey or a clear path to the hoop.

    This team is strange. They almost always play just well enough to barely lose.

  20. Al Vichent, do you watch these games?
    To say Vasquez is the next Mike Jones is one of the most absurd comments possible. You’re comparing two extremes and saying they are like things. Where I come from, we call that lunacy or just plain stupidity, take your pick. Vasquez, is fiery, always hustles, plays with grit and determination, sometimes to a fault. Mike Jones disappears for long stretches at a time, plays no defense, appears so lax you have to wonder if he’s sober sometimes, never drives the lane, hardly ever passes, and mostly limits himself to vertical jumpers. Vasquez’ game is far more diverse, it just needs to be reigned in and regimented a little bit more to fit better with in a system. Seriously, you must not watch the games, but then again I know you don’t even bother to look at the box scores with the randomly false statements you make.

    You have no idea if Gary wasted a scholarship on Milbourne yet. He’s a freshman and has played a total of 76 minutes all season long. At least back up your proclaimations with facts, then they would have at least a minimal level of credibility.

    Also, you stated that Gary has wasted scholarships with every JUCO player he recruited. Um, hello. Have you heard of Steve Francis?? What planet are you from?

    And since when is 190 lbs too light to drive the lane? I see Allen Iverson do it every other night and he weighs 165 lbs.

  21. Regarding Mike Jones, we should also acknowledge that he has never played with a true point guard. Gihlchrist was a shoot first PG for MJ’s first 2 years, last year we didn’t have a PG, and this year we have 2 freshman. Because MJ can’t get his own shot, he needs someone to get him the ball in the right place. Steve Blake had Juan Dixon curling off of screens in the lane. Dixon was master of the 10 foot jump shot. JJ Reddick had several good PGs feeding him the ball. Going back to Chris Corchiani (sp?), he had Rodney Monroe coming off of screens and hitting shots. MJ can shoot, no doubt, and maybe he stands around because no one gets him the ball when he does move. It’s too bad that Hayes hasn’t been around to develop along with MJ. He could have been something special.

  22. My boy just posted this over on http://terptalk.blogspot.com/ – and i couldnt agree more

    its all the little things that add up – i just bought an IPOD and as I was downloading a billion tunes, I came across the land of podcasts. low and behold, there is a Terps one but just a couple of entries and none recent. So i flip over to the Coach K one and sure enough, he updated the thing a couple of times a week.

    Is gary more busy than Coach K? not saying this is why the terps don’t get recruits, though we all know how Gary disdains begging 18 yr olds to plays.

    Its the little things

  23. Funny stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Stick a fork in them… they are done. Even if they get invited to the NIT, they will probably lose their 1st round game. This team has no passion. It’s ashame they can’t play hard for 40 minutes. If they played hard for 30 minutes, they’d probably be .500 in the ACC. Anyway, I say they will be lucky to win 5 games in the ACC now. They might beat NC state at home and they might beat Duke at home. I think they lose the rest of their games.

  25. I can definitely see us beating Puke on Saturday, because that’s the only team our guys get excited about playing. Except Vasquez, who plays against every team as if they were Puke.

  26. Steve Franchise was a one year wonder. Then left and took that scholarship with him. He might have been better for the Terps had he stayed 2 years but a one year scholarship for any kid is a waste. Yes even Durant or Wright at UNC. The program suffers and it has suffered under Gary. The alst three years have been very painful. The Milbourne slot is a waste. He sits and watches and wathces and watches while Jones does nothing, Neal gets winded after 3 trips up and down, and Strawberry looks foolish diving at everything, Ibekwe just waits for open dunks, Gist plays for small stretches, Vasquez is all over, and Hayes just passes well. Comparing Hayes to Iverson even if it is only weight is retarded. So Milbourne should have been getting some playing time all along or he will become a useless wonder to complain about on this board like the rest of the should have beens.

  27. I remember leading into this season when it was talked about that if Maryland’s guards were decent that was the missing piece to lead the Terps back to the NCAA’s. While they have been inconsistent Hayes and Vasquez haven’t been the problem. Ibekwe, Jones and Strawberry have been terrible but I don’t know if it’s their fault. I would think that players staying with a coach for 4 years would get better but these guys are all 3 worse than last year. Does anyone else remember how Gary and these guys talked about how much better this team is than last year and how the chemistry is so great and there is no way they would falter? Of course you don’t hear any of that talk now. And one thought about Vasquez. Yes he is a freshman so next year we will see more of what he may become, but he plays an AWFUL LOT like John Gilchrist. Fiery, outspoken, seeming to be concerned about getting only his shot but at least he plays hard. Remember Gary blamed an entire season on Gilchrist so it will be interesting to see how this turns out in the future…

  28. Al Vichent,

    I noticed that it took you about an hour and a half to respond. I can only assume based upon the improved spelling and grammar in your most recent post that you have been consulting a lexicon. For this, I commend you.

    You previously stated that Milbourne’s scholarship was a waste, yet you have no body of evidence upon which to prove this statement. Perhaps now, we will see increased playing time for all of the freshman, as the season drags on, and our NCAA tournament hopes only get more bleak.

    I was not comparing Hayes to Iverson. I was proving your comment to be incorrect. You said a guard weighing 190 lbs is not big enough to drive the lane in ACC play. That is not the case. Player’s even smaller than that have driven the lane successfully in ACC play. To make a better comparison that is perhaps even more relevant. Bobby Hurley of all people, or Steve Wojciechowski drove the lane with a large degree of consistency, with Hurley even patenting his backboard slap because he was too small to dunk the ball. Both of these players are white and smaller than Hayes. Thus your point has been rendered mute. I’m unsure why you seemingly refuse to concede your errors and instead just ramble incoherently.

    I think you should ask Jim Boeheim if one year scholarships are worthless, I think he could provide a pretty compelling argument that they are indeed worth while.

  29. Also guys as bad as this team has played, if they had executed down the stretch against Miami, Virginia Tech and UVA they would be sitting at 6-3 and everyone would be saying how gritty and determined of a team they are. My point is that once again in my opinion this falls on Gary Williams. Against Miami, not finding a way to get the ball inside when your team is shooting 20%, against VT the Terps had two chances to win the game at the end of regulation but they get two horrible shots the last by Gist without calling a timeout to set up a play, and last night Hayes taking a tough 3 pointer when Mike Jones was actually playing well for a stretch and a shot for him coming off a screen would have been the better option. It seems like everytime the Terps get close they falter at the end for which the blame has to lie with the coach doesn’t it???

  30. John you are definitely correct the coach does try to pu the players in the right position to make plays. The Terps are not always the worst athletes on the floor but they sure do play like it. So are the kids bums or is the coaching staff/

  31. All this Vasquez bashing is more than unwarranted. He does lead this team in assists/game at 4.0, very solid for a freshmen. Several of you (including myself) have posted about the lack of fire from these guys. Vasquez plays with plenty of fire. I think he looked for his shot a lot late in the first half because no one wanted to step up. He’s got confidence, which is a very good thing. He may play out of control sometimes, but keep in mind he’s young.

    Al Vinchent, you’ve been bashed a few times already today, so I’ll keep this brief. Milbourne’s scholarship is far from a waste. Are you of the opinion that all freshmen are supposed to get major minutes? It’s way too early to tell what kind of player he will become. As for the rest of your comments, they just aren’t really worth responding to.

    I’d also like to point out the fact that the burden of improving as a player is on the player as well as the coach. Yes, Gary bares the majority of responsibility as coach. But players have to want to get better and work to do so. These guys are just not that good? Solid defense, boxing out, playing with passion, movement without the ball, etc. are all things the less talented players can learn to do and do well. I just don’t buy the “maybe they’re just not very good” argument when it comes to the basics.

  32. PT the last paragraph in your post is right on the money. Gary Williams has talked about his teams emphasis on rebounding before many of the teams games this year but they still get outrebounded pretty much every game. He talks about coming about and starting a game well but they almost always come out flat. And keep in mind this has been a trait of the Terps for the last few years. It almost seems as if Gary just yells at the team to rebound better, start the game better instead of actually putting these things into practice. How can a team that isn’t talented enough to overlook the fundamentals come out every game and ignore the fundamentals is very confusing.

  33. No I am not calling Milbourne a waste just the lack of using him and letting he play in the ACC so he is prepared for the future. He will never get better as a spectator or all of us would be in the NBA, NFL, or whatever. There are no superstars on the team to warrant Milbourne sitting that much. They are losing anyway. Give the youngsters a chance since the seniors have already wasted 4 or more years on the floor.

  34. A few points about next year questions:
    Need to give Milbourne a chance, he has shown some ability at practices, Len Bias didn’t get much more playing time as a Frosh than he has, not that I am comparing Milbourne to the uncomparable one.
    Eric Burney is injured and will probably be redshirted, He is a big body with some Baxter like moves in him. Bowie is comming in, he will be 1st team All Met this year in DC and is leading the #1 area team, Montrose Christian. He recently scored 26 against a top 15 team from Bama in a tournament. Still in the running for Jai Lucas, down to OK, OK ST and Terps.

  35. Al Vinchent — February 7, 2007 @ 10:16 am
    Gary wasted scholarships on Neal, Milbourne, and every Juco he ever picked up.

    Certainly sounds to me like you called Milbourne a waste.

  36. E$ I called the scholarship a waste. Neal did not play any last year even in blow outs the few there were eitehr way. The Juco’s have not panned out even Francis was on a decent team and only did one year, and now Milbourne is a practice dummy at best. And Len Bias was tooooo coked out as a freshman. He ruined the Terps for about 7 years.

  37. One thing I didn’t see anyone mention so far is the fact that we shouldn’t have been pressing last night. Did Gary not watch the tape from the first game? Their guards are way too quick for us, yet we stay in the press all game which resulted in countless open looks and missed assignments. I know Gary doesn’t alter his game plans much but how about a half court press or no press with a match up zone to shut down the guards and make them beat us inside, their big guys are not that good.

    Unfortunately I think that game sealed up another NIT bid. We have to win out at home and steal one on the road just to get to 8-8 and that still doesn’t guarantee a NCAA bid, and who are we kidding there is no way this team wins 5 of the next 7.

    But, I’ll be rooting for them every game.

  38. I must agree that Al Vinchent’s comments are ridiculous. What I appreciate about this blog is the fact that, while people often disagree and sometimes take extreme positions on various Terp issues, the comments are generally well-informed, and posters advance solid arguments. Al Vinchent, not so much. You add nothing to the conversation, my friend.

    Also agree with PT re Vasquez. He may play a bit out of control at times, but he knows the game, is aggressive, and he’s not afraid to take the ball strong to the basket (or bang for offensive rebounds) when necessary. Most importantly, he’s the only player on the team with any heart at all, and we need that kind of leadership. Comparing him to Gilchrist isn’t fair at this stage in his career. Vasquez is more of a playmaker, and there is no indication that he plays with the selfishness/me vs. team attitude that Gilchrist exhibited during his final days with the Terps.

  39. Actually I mentioned that one blog ago.

    E$ — February 5, 2007 @ 9:34 am
    I hope Gary learned enough from the first game against BooVa to not press Reynolds and Singletary. They consistently dribbled out of trouble or passed over top and around the trap and it led to lots of easy lay-ups and dunks. They should make them run their half court offense and play as tight as possible on the perimeter (Singletary and Reynolds both shoot the ball better than any of our guards). Force them to fed the ball to white trash player of the year Jason Cain and let Ibekwe and Gist block a lot of shots.

  40. I was at the game last night and Jimmy Patsos was sitting near me. Sad to think about the loss of assistants (Hahn, Patsos, Dickerson, Kovarik and Lonergan) over the past 5 years and the effect it has had on the program.
    Jerome Burney, not Eric

  41. There are many people on this board who have defended Gary Williams and talk about how he turned this program around from the depths of hell. But I wonder how many years of failure does that buy him? This program is in it’s worst state in FIFTEEN YEARS. One year of mediocrity is an aberration but 3 straight years indicates something is seriously wrong. The Terps next recruiting class looks OK but not great, and the other teams in the ACC are passing them by. Just five years ago the Terps were mentioned in the same breath as Duke, UNC, Kansas and other top tier programs now they are just another middle of the pack team in the ACC. I wonder how much longer Gary can hang on to the success of the past to wash away the failures of the current Terps.

  42. Wow…a Matt Kavarik mention! Brings me back to Donny Judd, Kurt Schultz, and Matt Rado. Didn’t Walsh overlap with some of those guys, too? With Kavarik in the mix, has there ever been a more outstanding “not outstanding” bench in the history of MD hoops? Not that I wouldn’t hang out with them at Bentley’s…dammit…why didn’t I? Where is Matt Kavarik? Can we put out an APB on him?

  43. This makes sense. Matt Kovarik is an assistant under Jimmy Patsos at Loyola College now. There’s your APB brotha!

  44. The reason Vasquez was going so hard to the hoop at the end of the first half is that he was beating his man (Reynolds, I think) easily off the dribble and getting into the lane. Looked to me like Gary told him to do that.

  45. Responding to post 41, John, we’re not even a middle-of-the-road ACC program at this point. We’re down near the bottom. And the worst program in the league, Miami, has our number. They’re probably pissed off they won’t get to play us again this year.

    On the other hand, UNC went 8-20 about five years ago. Wake Forest was an excellent program just a few years ago and is now in the toilet. NC State has fallen down after having several good seasons. UConn and Syracuse are having tough seasons. Puke has a difficult schedule to end the year and they could very well finish at or below .500 in the conference. I wonder if ESPN will still broadcast all their games next year.

    But, yeah, three poor seasons in a row is alarming. Nobody fears the turtle anymore. But we still need to cheer the turtle, and not jeer the turtle. I was pulling so hard for them to pull it out last night, and it was very tough to see the rally fall short (again).

  46. If you guys haven’t read it yet, peep this article by Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun, it pretty much articulates what we’ve been bantering back and forth about since last night’s defeat.


  47. Samster all the teams you have mentioned have an upside to their program with freshman playing good recruits coming in and such. Maryland has a little light at the end of the tunnel. If Vasquez calms down and Hayes takes good shot and Gist pays attention on the floor at least then there is a core. If Milbourne, Burney and whatever else they scrape together can stay in school and not get arrested there is a foundation. EASIER said than donee

  48. Great article, E$. Interestingly, the author suggests that the team’s lack of urgency may be the result of Gary coddling the players after losses vs. letting them know that, actually, they suck. People criticize Gary for the yelling/berating of his players, but I tend to agree with the author re too much coddling. Gary’s demeanor on the sideline may affect recruiting, and there should definitely be a balance between scolding the players and encouraging them when they play well (also defending your players to the media, which Gary has always done). However, I have no problem with him screaming at the team when they fail to perform. This team needs to know that their play this year has for the most part been unacceptable. I hope Gary and the assistant coaches are communicating that to them.

  49. Here are some excerpts from an article written in December in the Washington Post about how good this Maryland team was going to be this year…

    While listening to Miserable Suburban Guy radio the other day, I heard the words “Maryland’s back” and “Gary Williams” used in the same sentence. Was the forgotten coach of college basketball’s lost program aware of this development?

    “Back?” Williams said. “I don’t know where we went.” “You can’t make a big issue out of your first eight games. Nobody is getting silly that we’re really good. But we have the talent and attitude,” Gary Williams said.
    “This decade, we went to the Final Four twice, won the national title and won an ACC championship,” he said. “The last two seasons, we won 19 games. We had the 10th-toughest schedule in the country last year. If that’s back, I mean, I guess we’re back.”

    Rough translation: You pathetic, misguided people. You used back-to-back NIT appearances against me and forgot Maryland men’s basketball carried this region for a decade, sports-wise. And now we’re “back”? Idiots.

    But now his Terrapins are 8-0, ranked again and coming off a signature nonconference victory at Illinois. With a favorable schedule into January, the dreamers are talking of entering the bulk of ACC play at 15-1 or even 16-0. Williams’s six seniors already are meshing with the youngsters, including a cocksure freshman from Venezuela, Greivis Vasquez.

    These Terps play an aesthetically appealing brand of ball. They have the makings of a grow-and-get-better Gary team, as opposed to the fractured crew that couldn’t put it together under Williams the past two forgettable seasons. Remember?

    As defensive and pugnacious as he can be at times, Williams isn’t delusional. He knows 19 wins means zilch without an NCAA bid.
    “I know how it works, especially in sports now,” Williams said over lunch last month. “You’re yesterday’s news if you’re not winning this minute. No one cares if you came to a place 18 years ago and the program was in shambles. I can’t complain. We had it going for a long time.

    Williams, 61, just signed a contract extension through at least 2011.

    “Five more years, for sure, but I’m not going to put a number on it,” he said of possible retirement. “As long I’m healthy and feeling like I’m not cheating the game, I’ll stick around.

    Williams never came close last March, no matter how depressing losing to Manhattan in the NIT seemed. There were good kids coming in, and players such as James Gist and Mike Jones still were growing in the program — understanding, maybe, that they had to go through the disenchantment to become part of an authentic college team.

    Williams sounds reinvigorated when he talks about this team, how the seniors have been open and mature enough to let a youngster such as Vasquez express himself, how there’s no jealousy among these Terps. He’s not going overboard, but for the first time in a few years, he feels like the message is beginning to translate on the court.

    “It’s November,” Williams said. “You can’t make a big issue out of your first eight games. Nobody is getting silly that we’re really good. But we have the talent and attitude.”
    Maryland’s back? Come on. Gary Williams had a couple down years. He never went anywhere.

  50. In response to CT’s post, #48, and props guys on this many comments. It’s made my work day progress much faster:

    Yeah, I’ve always wondered about that. No other college sport displays the coaches via the media as openly. They get decidedly more television exposure than any other college sport. Not even college football, with the exception of Penn St., Florida St., insert football factory here. If only for the fact that the coaches box is right on the floor, its easy for camera men to get close-ups of the coaches, and they’re always dressed up in suits, as opposed to bundled up for cold weather, wearing headsets, etc.

    Watching Gary scream, bicker, yell, and berate the assistant coaches, refs, and his own team on the sideline, leaves the question, would you want to play for someone like that?

    Personally, I respect Gary’s fiery attitude and passion for the game. However, if you compare his on-court antics with the decidedly cooler demeanor of Jim Calhoun or Mark Few or Roy Williams or Coach K, I can’t imagine it compares favorably in the eyes of many prized recruits.

    Just a thought.

  51. I would have to agree with the fact that Gary always seems to be screaming on the sideline but he always says everything is OK in post-game interviews. What the deal with that?

    I must wonder why everyone keeps saying that Vasquez is the only player on the team that has any fire. What about D.J.? He doesn’t yell or scream or do anything good on the court but it still looks like he wants to win. And just because Hayes doesn’t twist his face at every bad call does not mean he is disinterested.

    Mike Jones is a mystery and Ekene Ibekwe looks like John Gilchrist in his last year here. From now on if a player thinks about going pro I say they should instead of coming back and giving us garbage play because their head isn’t in it. Speaking of which, don’t count out Gist going pro next year. I’ve seen stupider decisions. (See Shavlik Randolph)

  52. A couple things re Gary’s demeanor and recruiting:

    First, I think there’s a tendency to overstate the effect that Gary’s demeanor has on recruiting. I don’t disagree that it may have some effect, but I wonder to what extent recruits really take into account a coach’s attitude/personality when considering colleges. I can understand it being a larger factor in women’s hoops, where the players seem to really crave that close relationship with their coaches (which is one of the reasons why Brenda Frese is able to lure such great talent to Maryland, aside from her work ethic; her players really love playing for HER, in particular). I’m not sure it’s that important for the men, though. Now, a coach’s style is definitely important — whether the player will thrive in the coach’s offense; whether the coach likes to create a more up-tempo pace vs. a slower, half-court game; etc. But his personality? Surely coaches develop great relationships with their players in men’s college basketball, and admittedly I’m not sure I’d want to play for a coach whose personality lends itself to, say, physical abuse (i.e., Bobby Knight; they might both yell a lot, but there’s a huge difference between Gary and Knight). But I think big-name recruits are more interested in TV time, media exposure, etc. vs. whether the coach is going to yell at them on the sideline during the game.

    Second, regardless of whether Gary’s demeanor affects recruiting, a much more important issue is Gary’s apparent lack of devotion to “winning” players. I respect Gary for being old school and not wanting to suck up to recruits. They’re plenty overhyped as it is. But you can’t succeed in this business if: (1) recruting is not at the top of your priority list, and (2) the recruits don’t truly believe that they are your first priority. I think a recruit would be more than willing to endure 3-4 years of yelling (even spitting, which Gary has a habit of doing) if he believes that, out of all the coaches who came after him during high school, Gary Williams was the most dedicated to winning him over and making sure that he ended up in College Park. That’s the bottom line. As long as Gary is only half-assed committed to winning kids to College Park, he could cut out the yelling entirely and our recruiting classes wouldn’t improve one bit.

  53. Don’t lump Coach K in there, the media just decides not to focus on the fact that he screams, drops the F bomb and bitches to the refs constantly. Remeber he is the leader of men.

    I’m not defending Gary’s antics, but his sideline antics always seem to be shown in slow motion so that we and our recruits can read his lips perfectly.

  54. All good responses. I just breached the subject because I thought that it would make for candid conversation. And I’ve read three excellent responses.

    Trent, you’re probably right, it isn’t fair to lump Coach K into the same category as Few, Calhoun and Roy Williams. Seeing two Dook-Maryland games in person myself, he’s just as big of an asshole on the sideline as almost any coach that I can think of. However he is a sweetheart of the media and gets much less flack for his actions because of this.

    Ultimately, I do think that national exposure factors as a large chunk of the ‘college decision’ equation. Especially amongst the elite recruits whom want to be in the limelight to increase attention and better chances of moving on to the professional arena. Please exclude Herb Pope from this discussion as maybe he is more concerned with the finer things that New Mexico St. has to offer as opposed to national media exposure.

    I just hope someone is on the phone with Jai Lucas as I’m typing this.

  55. Since we’re all searching for the causes for Maryland’s recruiting problems, may I raise the issue of fans? What do you all think of the atmosphere at Comcast as compared with other ACC schools? And what do you think of the atmosphere on blogs like this one, which the kids read? When recruits visit MD and attend games, what kind of impression are they getting? And when recruits read this blog, what impression do they get of the hardcore types like us? Just to be plain: I’m asking not by way of implying a criticism, but rather to know what you all have heard or think about this.

    p.s. – I hope we didn’t scare off Al T., whose grenade fight with E$ was better entertainment than last night’s game.

  56. Wow. Thank you for all the comments. I was too exasperated to write anything last night, but the game spoke for itself.

    I think part of the reason why we have passed the 50 comment mark less than 24 hours after the game is that by and large, the entire state is mystified by what is happening in College Park. Everyone knows Gary can coach and has competed at a high level everywhere he has gone.

    (Although his Wikipedia entry mentions that he exclusively runs the flex offense. When you can game plan for a team by reading the coach’s Wikipedia entry, you know it is time to tweak the offense! Warrants mentioning.)

    So why do we suck so bad? It can’t all be Gary’s fault. It’s impossible. His system works with the right players. His has proven it over and over again. Personally, I believe that losing Billy Hahn (he’s available, by the way) has hurt the program tremendously. As was mentioned in an earlier comment, Gary doesn’t develop a personal bond with his players. This is evident after they leave the program, while they are there, and of course on the recruiting trail.

    (There is a reason why Kovarik left with Patsos and didn’t stay on. He could have been a top assistant with all of the turnover.)

    Billy Hahn filled this void wonderfully. Is Driesell Part Deux the answer? Remains to be seen. One thing is for sure. Billy Hahn knew what players fit in with the flex offense and he had a way of bonding with them. That is just not what Gary is good at. Unlike the hated (and I mean hated) Coach K, he needs a second fiddle who fills that role with the players.

    I’d be willing to bet that there are more ex-players who talk to Hahn, Patsos, et.al than still talk to Gary.

    Gary needs to fill this gap and fast. He may have already done that with Driesell, but we won’t know until we see what next year’s recruiting class looks like in two years.

  57. Md’s press was very effective against UVA. What game were trent and e$ watching?

  58. Alex,

    Please move your comment up to the valid current discussion one blog up. And I was watching the first BooVa-MD game, if you re-read my post you will see that I referenced that game, and that my post was made prior to the second game.

    You would have no ground to argue that Md’s press was effective in the first game, because it flat out wasn’t.

  59. Alex,

    Just for effect: E$ — February 5, 2007 @ 9:34 am
    I hope Gary learned enough from the first game against BooVa to not press Reynolds and Singletary. They consistently dribbled out of trouble or passed over top and around the trap and it led to lots of easy lay-ups and dunks. They should make them run their half court offense and play as tight as possible on the perimeter (Singletary and Reynolds both shoot the ball better than any of our guards). Force them to fed the ball to white trash player of the year Jason Cain and let Ibekwe and Gist block a lot of shots.

    Posted February 5th. Referenced unsuccessful attempts in first game in post. Last I checked, the game was played on the 6th.

  60. And regarding the second game: You are correct. The problem wasn’t our pressing unsuccessfully. It was the fact that we got outrebounded 45-32. Hard to win games with a rebounding deficit like that, unless you shoot lights out, and we know this team doesn’t do that.

  61. Hello, What a beautiful and awesome site. I adore what you’ve done with your setup and graphics. Thanks you so much.

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