Hail Gary! Hail the Seniors

What a game! Can you believe they pulled that one out? The most crucial sequence of the game came when Mike Jones turned the ball over, and the Tarheels were heading for an uncontested layup. The layup was missed, and Jones promptly drained a three cutting the lead to seven. That was a five point swing and it was all Terps the rest of the way.

A collective mea culpa is in order. Gary Williams, I doubted you. We all doubted you. Losing has a way of doing that to a fan base. Gary’s Terps completed an improbable ressurrection and Gary above all and should be recognized. He is the best coach in the history of the University and will be in Springfield one day. In no small part due to what he has acheived this year.

These kids have been left for dead twice. For the seniors, it was missing the tournament for two straight years. And then most recently, this January. The Terps were 2-5 in conference play. Now they are 8-6!! Who can believe that?

The first four games of this run were sparked by the play of the underclassmen. James Gist, Grevis Vasquez, and Eric Hayes were turning heads. The Sun, The Post, even Jay Bilas were writing about them.

Tonight it was the seniors. DJ played the game of his career. 27 points on 12-18 shooting. Jones played the way he should have been playing for the last 4 years (He got a ton of open looks coming off screens). Ibekwe committed his required three stupid fouls, but played great defense against Hansborough down the stretch and rebounded the ball well.

Vasquez and Hayes played poorly, but the seniors picked them up. It was a team effort. This team never gives up. Gary has taken two freshman and a JC transfer and molded them with a star-crossed upper class. Few coaches can acheive that kind of balance and commitment to unselfish play.

I think Gary Williams warrants consideration for ACC Coach of the Year. If the Terps pull this off and win out, he gets the nod.

Something special is happening in College Park. Many Terp fans will be reminded of the teams’ Final Four run in 2001. Left for dead after the Duke (gone in 53 seconds) and Florida State losses; the Terps miraculously rebounded and made it to the grand stage.

Can this team replicate that? That may not be in the cards for this team, but who cares? These players have given their fans a gift. The gift of an unexpected run to glory. For that, I am grateful.

Duke is on Wednesday. Who can wait?

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78 Comments

  1. I forgot to mention what beast Osby was. He and Hayes give us 7 starters.

  2. I have never been more impressed by a Terps team efforts. If you watched the post game Gary was moved to emotions and his love of this team in the way they battled back from the dead. Duke is in for it. We tuned up for the game with UNC they played a D2 squad in NYC. If we win out (my lips to Gods ears) we will sweep the states of NC, SC, and GA. Not bad for a team that was considered NIT bound. God help their first opponent in the NCAA. Maybe the polls will have them ahead of Air Force, Alabama, Oregon, BYU ect…. GO TERPS

  3. I missed most of the second half of the game (my wife thought her water broke…and the hospital didn’t have FOXSN), so I again was relegated to watching the bottom line. I couldn’t believe that MD was trying to run with UNC, especially with the fullcourt press. Thankfully, Gary adjusted and pulled back.

    A couple of quick thoughts. UNC is good, very good (ergo, MD is good). I didn’t realize UNC played such aggressive perimeter defense. You could tell Vasquez and Hayes had entered another world. This game gives them a sense of what will come in the NCAAs. I think they will both play well at Dook.

    Did anyone catch UNC’s postgame quotes? Players calling out the team as being soft and choking…man, that’s dicey right there. I thought Gist, Ibekwe, and Osby intimidated UNC’s guards with some absolutely vicious blocks. Everyone is playing their roles now, and it is great to watch.

    MD again out-rebounded their opponent. Not only that, MD has been shooting the ball so well. Of course, getting layups really helps with the FG%; but those layups have resulted from great ball movement. Seeing MJ curling into the lane reminded me of Juan Dixon.

    That game Wednesday night will be intense. I can’t wait. I’m sure Dookie-V will be on his knees giving blows to all things Dook.

  4. Seniors, I apologize for giving up on you, but who knew College Park hosted three sleeping giants for almost three years. Jones is much more than a spot up shoot when he wants to be. I have never seen someone be so automatic from one place over and over (the curl in the lane)

    DJ has surprised me with his ability to make the jump shot. He has never been scared to take it, but I have always been scared to watch it. Not anymore.

    Bombale Osby is absolutely sick! Who is this guy? He was a nobody at a JC (it seemed), and a year later he is shutting down Hansborough. Doesn’t make much sense. Kudos to G.W., the signs in the arena were right, this really is Garyland.

  5. Most electrifying win since ACC tourney Championship. Terps are a matchup problem for many teams. The athletecism has always been there this year. Let’s hope they continue to play as consistent ” between the ears” as they have been of late. They could make a deep run. Atlanta 2002 and 2006?

  6. After watching the opening minutes when MD couldn’t buy a basket I thought there was no way the Terps beat UNC. But give them credit for banging the boards in the first half. Without rebounding and (some excellent) defense, MD gets blown out. What an excellent game.

  7. Savor this win beloved Terps, but keep the momentum going all through this week! No let down against Dook and State! A10-6 regular season record, and at least two ACC Tourney wins, ensures a great seed. Most importantly, it will give them the confidence for a deep run in the NCAAs. Go Terps!

  8. Although it won’t be “official” until selection Sunday on March 11th; I can’t verbalize how happy I am for the seniors. The ones that played in the NCAA’s as freshmen only to see their sophmore and junior year’s destruct to a point where we couldn’t win 20 games in a season even with NIT & ACC Tourney games included.

    This is big. DJ shooting 12-18, taking it to the hole and showing some leadership. MJ coming up with 18 BIG points after a slow start. Including a CLUTCH three down the stretch.

    The turning point seemed to be when that UNC kid blew that finger roll layup and we made a three point shot. That was a five point swing right there.

    This is AWESOME, I’m freaking giddy. I HATE North Carolina.

  9. I LOVE Gary Williams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. UNC is so damn athletic and deep, I thought they would wear us down. Instead, the Terps were them down! The announcers didn’t focus on that, but tvery game in this streak has a surge late in the second half. The number of Terp fast break buckets were shocking.

    Other than that, it’s all about hitting the open looks (oh, and, ….errr….in honesty it didn’t hurt that UNC had a bad night at the line).

  11. Starting to believe?

  12. Absolutely awesome game. North Carolina is a stud team with ridiculous talent (they were hitting almost every one of their open looks) and we beat them! Do we have talent? Absolutely, but we pulled this out because we had more heart, more hustle and supreme confidence. These qualities, I submit, win big games and get you deep in the tournament. Wed’s game is going to be big time. I am going out somewhere to watch that one!

    If you want to read a great article that completely puts to bed the notion that Gary can’t connect with his kids and doesn’t know how to adjust his style to help the team win, check out Mike Wise’s column (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/25/AR2007022501635.html).

    On a side note, did anyone else notice John and Jai Lucas in the crowd? Could you pick a better game to bring a recruit to? I think it was especially great with all of the praise that the players were offering up to Gary and the program!

  13. It was an amazing win. If they rebound and attack the basket, they will do well in the ACC and NCAA tournament. Fear the Turtle!

  14. Gary not pressing was very key. I never thought he would do it. It was the right move.

    Stevend, you may be correct about UNC’s fatigue. I never thought of that. Those blocks late in the game could have been attributed to that. That was some sweet defense.

    UNC is so deep and quick. I think it took the Terps a long while to adjust to the pressure. UNC’s de reminded me of some past Puke teams defense. Gary definitely told them to try and spit the double team when UNC tried.

    Great coaching job by Gary. Let’s see what happens at Cameron.

  15. I read Mike Wise’s article as well. Great article and it shows how Gary has adapted. Sounds like his players love him DJ, Gist and Vasquez especially.

  16. Couple of quotes from that article –

    “I don’t know if we believed we could be the team we are

    “I was actually kind of surprised,” Parrish Brown said. “He just got calmer.”

    Boom, “…But Coach Williams never did that. When we started losing is when he kept telling us everything would be all right. I know for myself, that was big, because I felt I could play more freely and stop worrying about what I wasn’t doing.”

    “I was out of control, doing dumb things on the court and getting too carried away with my emotions,” Vasquez said. “Coach Williams talked to me. He took me aside. He calmed me down. He gave me confidence. I love Coach Williams. Everything he does for us. Everything he do for me.”

  17. What was verging on a debacle in January is poised to become one of Gary’s best coaching seasons ever. Those quotes from the Mike Wise article and the FSN postgame interviews say it all: GW won this one in the locker room and the practice court, and through calm one-on-one sessions with his players. I always knew he was superb at conditioning his teams to play tough defense; I never realized he was skilled at molding their fragile egos as well. You wouldn’t have guessed it from his meltdowns during the game. How Gary brought Osby along–whom I gave up on during the worst of the slump–may be his most successful project this season. “I’ve been working on relaxing my body more in the game, and that whole calmer approach is working,” Osby said. He did a good job relaxing his widebody against Hansbrough, muscling him around in the blocks, denying him inside position, wearing him down. In a game with many X factors, Osby has to rank right up there–along with Gary’s continuing maturation as a coach. Great win.

  18. John Lucas said in an interview with Johnny Holliday that it was the first Terps game he had been to in 30 years. Hopefully a great sign that him and Jai were in the stands. We can use another guard, even with Hayes and Vas, someone’s gotta replace Straw and MJ.

  19. Terrific game!!! I replayed the last seven minutes twice on the VCR (what a great invention!). I am really surprised that many of the stories left out the critical turning point of the game, which is when Frasor blew the layup and then MJ canned the 3.
    UNC was 8 of 17 from the charity stripe and we were 20 of 26; huge difference right there. Even Os made 5 of 7, and Ibekwe was 7 of 8. It was definitely our night!

    Had to love it when DJ sank the 3 and looked pleasingly at his shooting hand as if it was on fire!

    You also know it’s your night when Bowers actually draws some fouls.

    I have never seen Hansbrough get so frustrated. He committed two obvious fouls at the end which really helped us. The foul where he grabbed Gist’s jersey and threw him out of the lane; I don’t know how he thought he’d get away with that.

    Somehow, we greatly rebounded them and fouled much less than they did.

    They were sinking virtually every open shot we gave them, and somehow we still won. It was a game won through sheer perseverance and determination.

    I just can’t figure out what happened to these guys. They were playing great like this until during the second half of the Notre Dame game, when some weird cosmic switch happened, where they reverted to being like last year’s team. And then, all of a sudden, toward the end of the last game with UVa (our last loss), the switch suddenly unswitched again, and now the Turtle is Feared again!

    I wish it was Wednesday night already.

  20. A big thumbs up to the Mike Wise article. I was all ready to post it. Should have known someone would beat me to it. Good work, Tombootom. So refreshing to hear about Gary’s lighter side. I think he’s always had it, but it never gets any press. All everyone wants to talk about is the yelling. But so few realize that practice is different.

    Jai Lucas was mentioned, but apparently several recruits were at the game last night as well. What great timing.

  21. I just wanted to go back to the discussion of the Terps greatest games. I am surprised nobody has mentioned a few other ones.

    2004 ACC Tournament — Before the great victory over Puke, we were down something like 22 points to N.C. State in the second half. They were whipping us so badly. And then Gilchrist put on his Superman cape….

    1984 ACC Tournament final — Len Bias scored 26 points, leading the Terps to a 74-62 victory over Puke in Greensboro. We were down by 3 at the half. Lefty finally got his ACC championship. (Remember those cool black jerseys with the yellow lettering we used to wear back then?)

    Also, there was the game at Carolina where Len Bias made the great steal on the inbounds play and did the behind-the-head thunder dunk and we went on to win. That was probably the game upon which most of Lenny’s legend is based upon.

    The 1958 ACC Tournament must have been really exciting. It was an improbable championship for a fourth-place Maryland team, playing in Raleigh. We managed to win it by beating league champ Puke in OT, and then putting away defending national champ UNC, 86-74.

    In 2001, we put a beat-down on Puke at Cameron in Battier’s Senior Night game. And he was bawling like a baby at the end.

    The Bob Wade era was obviously horrendous. But there was one great game in there. N.C. State was the season champion in 1989. And we finished last with a 1-13 record. And then Wade got sick and had to be hospitalized. The Terps responded by blowing out the Wolfpack, 71-43, in the first round of the tournament in Atlanta.

    Also, the game where Joe Smith smoked Othella Harrington and G-Town at the old Capital Centre in his coming-out party may have been the most important game for us. It signalled that Maryland basketball was BACK after the dark days of the probation! It was a steady climb to the top after that.

  22. One of the best games at Comcast — maybe not the best display of talent, but the best display of heart we have seen in a long, long time.

    Thanks to the students for filling up your section and for keeping the energy level high all game. To those big donors that can’t seem to put your butts in your seats for the biggest game of the year — I don’t get it! If you can’t or won’t use your tickets, give them back to the Terrapin Club and they will make sure a real fan fills the seat. It was a disgusting display of your lack of loyalty and support to see hundreds of open seats at game time.

    Don’t use the weather as an excuse — 17,000 real fans found their way to Comcast!!

    Make sure every seat is filled for Saturday’s game and give our seniors a great send-off. They may not have been the best players to fill a Terp uniform, but they have worked their butts off for us — they deserve recognition and thanks!

  23. NO TOP 25 IN COACHES POLL!!!! ARE YOU F******G KIDDING ME? WHO THE HELL HAS ANY OF THOSE PRETENDERS FROM 13 ON DOWN BEAT? F THE POLLS AND MEDIA. WE WILL KILL DOOK NOW. NO RESPECT HAS BEEN TAKEN TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL

  24. Who cares about the polls?? We all know they are a joke anyway (ie Duke). Let’s just enjoy the win. Polls are nothing but media foder. I couldn’t care less. We have lot bigger rankings to deal with- like our seed in the ACC Tourney and the NCAA Tourney.

    Besides, the AP is the real poll anyway. The USA Today poll probably was conducted shortly after our game with most coaches having already sent in their votes earlier in the day.

  25. With BC, UVA, and VT all winning on Saturday, the 4-seed is almost out of the Terps’ reach. Maryland will lock up the 5-seed by sweeping Duke with a win at Cameron, but should UNC lose at GT, we may have to ask the Dukies to do us a favor by beating UNC at Chapel Hill. That is the only way Maryland can get a 4-seed, a bye, and avoid a game against one of the three bottom ACC teams.

  26. The disrespect of the pollsters might be a good thing. It will fire up that “mean” streak UNC noted in postgame interviews. The chip-on-the-shoulder factor has been working for the Terps so far.

  27. Could Gary ask for anything more? The game was one thing but to also be dissed by the polls afterwards? The only thing more dangerous than these Terps for the rest of the season is these Terps with chips on their shoulders about getting no respect.

  28. I have to profess that I don’t know when the coaches’ votes are due in for the USA Today poll, but it sure seems outrageous to me that not only does Maryland not get in, but that WVa and Winthrop were ahead of MD for next in.

    Having said that, I absolutely love it and I hope that the AP overlooks us too. Outside of a quote from Coach K calling MD’s win streak a fluke, could you ask for better locker room material than this?

    I could could give a good green s$!% what these guys think now. The only thing I care about is what our seed is in the ACC and NCAA tournies.

  29. Well, ESPN is giving our guys respect. Mark Schlabach wrote a big article, and their college basketball home page features Vas with the caption, “Greivis Vasquez and Maryland are striking the pose of an NCAA lock.” And, indeed, they have us listed as a lock to make the NCAAs.

    Gotta agree with you guys that not being ranked is great; it helps to keep the chip on the shoulder.

  30. Bracketology 101 lists the Terps as a 4 seed right now.

  31. The AP Poll is out. Terps are back in at 24. How Duke is up to 14 with the same record as us and we beat them is ludicrous. I hate those guys so much.

  32. Agreed re our Top 25 ranking as compared to Duke’s. The media loves them, plain and simple, and will do anything to jack them up in the polls. Duke is the lead story every week, regardless of who they beat. Duke is on ESPN at least 10 times during the regular season. Come on. The bias is so obvious, it’s embarrassing.

    But you guys are right — In the end, who freakin cares? We know we’re a strong team, and we’ll prove it in March. Besides, the RPI, SOS, etc. numbers are what really count. The polls play second fiddle these days in terms of importance.

  33. I believe Pomeroy and RPIRatings.com have our RPI as 14th best.

  34. These polls are shiiite. Marquette got blown out by Georgetown (acceptable), DePaul (say what?) and Notre Dame (quasi-acceptable), and only dropped 4 spots.

  35. Don’t overlook Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, for my money the most reliable of them all. He ranks MD at 12th (with Duke clocking in at # 9 and UNC at #1).

  36. If you attended the UNC game, I am wondering did the Terps give any respect to John Lucas at the game? I’m hoping they recognized him that night especially since he hadn’t been to a game is so long. If they did it would have been great … especially for Jai to see his Dad get recognized. Please tell me something like that happened at the game.

  37. Sorry cjazh, no love for Lucas at the game. Tom McMillen was one of two honorary captains recognized before tip. I guess they could have made Lucas the other captain. Not sure how that stuff works, though.

  38. The Coaches Poll was just released. Duke still 14, we are not even ranked. We’re the 3rd team receiving votes.

    I like it. We all know we play better with no respect.

  39. Something that was just brought to my attention that is probably true. Most of the press and coaches probably had their polls done before our win last night.

    If we have a good week, I’m sure we’ll get the respect next Monday.

  40. And we all know a good week entails showing Puke that we own them in their house.

  41. Someone mentioned that recruits in addition to Jai Lucas were present…any names?

  42. Terps test well.

    In the old days of horse racing (maybe today also, but I am two decades removed from the sport) horsemen would refer to a race as a test: read an old Daily Telegraph and the headlines would say: 8 in test at Aqueduct, 7 in test at Pimlico. The point is, winning the purse was not the be all, what was important was how your horse tested vs. the other man‘s horse. The Terps were in a test vs. NC, the win was not a must, the test of skills vs. NC was what really counted. The Terps not only tested well, but won as a bonus. More thrilling and larger purses are yet to come.

    The guard play was weak overall, but the rebounding and free throw shooting excelled.

  43. “If you attended the UNC game, I am wondering did the Terps give any respect to John Lucas at the game? I’m hoping they recognized him that night especially since he hadn’t been to a game is so long. If they did it would have been great … especially for Jai to see his Dad get recognized. Please tell me something like that happened at the game. “

    And as to Lucas, I don’t know the story here, but IF he has had a 30 year problem, all while his number hangs in the rafters, pack his kid off to Duke and allow the REAL Terps’ players of the future to extract the proper revenge.

  44. The reason why John Lucas was not recognized was because he was with his son. Any “special” treatment granted to Jai Lucas would have been a recruiting violation. MD played it safe by not bringing any attention to John’s attendance — which may have been viewed as special treatment.

  45. Ken Pomeroys formula gives the Terps a 28% chance of winning at Duke. However one slices it, we have a much better chance than that. I wonder if Coach Krybaby will have the players sign the court? Is that not the lamest thing in sport right now?

    If Maryland beats Duke and finishes 10-6, we will go into the ACC Tournament as #5 seed in the big dance. A run to the semis and we are #4. A run to the finals and we are a #3. A championship and we are #2 seed. Any predictions?

  46. Since the subject of next year has come up on a couple of posts; besides Jai Lucas, who were the other recruits at Comcast last night? Also, how is Landon Milbourne doing in practice? Any idea how he might figure in next years plans? We lose DJ and MJ, is Milbourne an adequate replacement?

  47. Over at ESPN, more props. Andy Katz has the Terps as the Team of the Week. He believes we have the talent to make it to the Elite Eight. He cites our strengths as our athleticism, the ability to play at different speeds, and that we are finally playing with pride and purpose. We are now a “dangerous team.”

  48. As far as John Lucas is concerned it is my understanding that he and his former coach, Lefty Dreisell, were very close and Lucas cut out most contact with the university after Lefty’s BS firing over Len Bias’ death. Though he returned to campus very occasionally for this or that he never attended a Terp game, well until last night. I wonder if Chuck Dreisell’s hiring will deliver John’s son to College Park.

    Go Terps!!!

  49. I hope the players don’t read their press clippings and lose focus. Swagger is one thing, overconfidence another. I’d hate to see the Terps bounced in the first round of the NCAA tournament because of delusions of invincibility. DJ seems alert to the danger. He told one TV interviewer that MD was capable of playing great or playing terrible.

  50. Not to rain on everyone’s parade, but I think we lose at Cameron this week. We’re certainly capable of beating Duke. I just feel like those bastards are gonna give us their A++ game at home, and it’ll be too much. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    AM, good insight re John Lucas and the recruiting issue. I hadn’t thought of that. Makes perfect sense.

  51. If we lose at Duke, the officials will have a lot to do with it.

  52. Don’t they always?

  53. Yes. hehe.

  54. Let’s call GW what he really is: a curmudgeon. His suit is always rumbled, he rarely smiles, and when he does it looks like a sneer. He was an all-head, all-heart yet average point guard for some pretty dismal MD teams. He thrives on people doubting him.

    His entire career reads like a “f-you to those who doubted me.” I think he lost that edge once he won the NCAA title. I think he felt like he finally proved the doubters wrong. Sisyphus had finally rolled the rock up the hill. He developed a bit of a “trust me, I’ve earned it” attitude, which was on display at the end of last year.

    Reading some of his quotes over the past two weeks gives me the distinct impression that his “f-you” mentality is back. The Curmudgeon of Terpville is back, which can only bode well for not only this year but in the next three or four. I have a feeling MD wins at Dook (cue Kaze).

  55. Gotta love the curmedgeon. Who would you rather have coach our team? He drinks with us, takes pictures with us at bars, kicks Duke’s arse for us, tells us when we are being bad fans (correctly in most cases) and runs a clean program. You can’t beat GW. Him and Fridge are like the Yin and Yang of cool coaches.

    Gary (not Gary W) aka Gary Williams homer

  56. If Lucas’ problem was with the BS rap Lefty got, then I am a Lucas fan.

    As to a prediction….. Seed 6 or 5 or 4 …… I say the Terps win out.

    Somebody has to and the Terps are no less than any of the others now.

  57. Wheels, my hero: Dead-on perfect about Gary. This man will die of a stroke at courtside someday, so we owe him some love while he’s here on earth with us, regardless of whether any of us would want him as a father-in-law. Gary’s underdog mentality (and Lefty’s too, for that matter) is what’s made Maryland hoops so great. How often do Carolina fans get to be amazed that their team beat somebody? Does anything beat this feeling? I wouldn’t trade programs.

    Wheels, Dcydell, Toobootom, fellow believers: We win out.

  58. Not all of the MD teams GW played on were so dismal. They were a smart and scrappy bunch, with some great outside shooters, including Tom McMillen’s older brother, Jay. GW’s junior year they beat a #3 or 4 ranked Duke team–I think it was the same season Duke reached the 1966 final four at Cole, and the all-black Texas-Western team won it all–and began the following year ranked in the top 15 by SI.

  59. What a nailbiter this game was!!!! It was great from start to finish. UNC really played hard, but the Terps just seemed to want it more.

    At the end when the ball was loose with 3 seconds left I couldn’t stand it. I just wanted someone to stand up and throw the ball ANYWHERE. The clock seemed to be standing still though and that 3.5 seconds took AT LEAST a half an hour to click off.

  60. That last 3.5 seconds did seem to take forever. I was going nuts.
    Obviously, we need to hire Puke’s timekeeper.

    I am with Jeremy on Wednesday’s game. I am wondering how the refs are going to try to give this game to Dook. As well as they’ve been playing lately, we have the superior talent, the deeper bench, and the senior leadership. This game will be Senior Night and Puke only has a walk-on benchwarmer named Joe Pagliuca, who will, by tradition, be forced to start the game. We’ll have an early advantage.

    That leads me to wonder, since our Senior Night will be the next game. We’ve got 6 seniors. I guess Chukura will be the one who won’t start. We’ll have MJ and Brown at guards, Bowers in the middle, and DJ and Ekene on the wings? It will be interesting to see how Gary handles the situation.

    Kaze is the man: We win out.

  61. Why MD may snatch a victory. And just when I had written off MJ as a one-dimensional prima donna:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022601213.html

  62. FF – I read that this AM. Good article. MJ’s stats do show improvement. He has picked it up lately. I think he needs plays called for him as many have said before in this blog. I believe he just needs to be more consistent. He’ll make an excellent pass one play and then a bad one next.

    A win tomorrow would be excellent.

  63. KV-have you noticed that as MJ’s passing has improved, so has his ability to score off the dribble, in almost complementary fashion? I don’t know how Gary has turned Jones around, but he has.

    A victory at Cameron is still iffy. But MD matches up well with Duke, has a deeper bench (esp. in the front court), and is playing mean, so anything is possible.

  64. FF – Could not agree with you more about MJ’s passing. It just adds another dimension and keeps his defender more honest. The guy does make some exceptional passes. Seems to me like he is brilliant or lackadaisical. One way Gary has turned him around is by calling plays for him. That gets him involved me and he must need to be involved to stay focused. My 2 cents.

  65. KV – Yeah, you right, as they say in N’awlins. GW needs to call more plays for him, and he probably will so long as MJ continues playing smart defense. Jones is even fighting through screens, something I don’t remember him doing often in the recent past. Gotta love the way MJ and DJ are feeding off one another. Of course, those granite-like picks Osby has been setting (Bowers, too) help a lot.

  66. A compelling argument for returning to a 3-day, 8-team ACC tournament schedule, from one of the best long-time observers of ACC hoops.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/122/story/547720.html

  67. It is clear that in the past year, esp. the past several games, Jones is making strides. It’s been a long time coming. But sometimes it takes players a while. He did come in with so much hype and one has to wonder how that’s affected him throughout this career. The “#2 ranked behind Lebron James” stuff is quite a bit to carry. His effort has been a lot better and if he continues to work those screens for the mid-range game, look out. Nice to see him score 18 points while only hitting one 3 pointer. Just keep working on that handle and start pump faking. Make people jump out of the gym at fakes like he often does. hehe.

  68. Re: Post No. 69.
    Tudor makes good points. Last year, I tried watching all the games, and was burned out by Friday night. It is just too much, even for a b-ball nut like myself. More importantly, let’s say the Terps stay hot and end up playing 4 games in 4 days. They travel about 1,800 miles to and from Tampa. Then they will have to almost immediately turn around and travel somewhere else across the country for the NCAAs. Throw in school studies, and it is physically and mentally exhausting. It sets them up for a fall in the first round, especially if they have to play on Thursday. Gary Williams has pointed this out before. He believes the tournament is a bad thing for a team which has already earned an NCAA invite. If I remember correctly, I think Roy Williams said a few years ago that the ACC tournament was pointless and he took some heat for that. It is probably no coincidence that Roy’s boys get upset every year in the tournament. But the ACC gets to milk their athletes for millions more dollars, so it isn’t going away any time soon.

  69. Samster – Good thought. Puts us in the odd position of hoping to win games in the ACC Tournament to enhance our NCAA seeding, but hoping to lose early in the ACC Tournament so that we don’t get burned out. A genuine Catch-22.

  70. Good observation, Kaze. I hadn’t thought of the seeding. Maybe if I’m Gary, I play guys like Neal, Brown, Chukura, and Milbourne early on in the tournament, as much as possible. And maybe don’t press, and do play zone d. Then you don’t burn out the front-line guys so much. Geez, I can’t wait until tomorrow night.

  71. Besides Maryland in 2002, has any team ever lost in the ACC Tournament and gone on to win a National Championship?

  72. I’ve noticed Gary playing Neal more of late, how about Milbourne? Is he of any use to us this year? Can he spell Strawberry for an occasional breather and maybe give us some quality minutes at SF? How do you see him factoring into next year’s plans;Strawberry’s replacement at small forward?

  73. We win out.

  74. http://terptalk.blogspot.com/ – talking right now about Duke, the ACC tourney, bracket sleepers, Drew Nicholas and more…

    Interesting game tonight; a let down spot for the Terps but a win on the road against a hot team puts terps into legit sweet 16 and beyond contender

  75. Link to an article on Mike Jones in today’s Wash Times.
    http://www.washtimes.com/sports/20070228-010819-8935r.htm

  76. Dick Vital announcing a MD – Puke game…

    Thank god we can just turn on the radio and hear Johnny Holliday!

    FEAR THE TURTLE! (Like Duke does!)

  77. When Benito Mussolini was finally captured by liberated Italians during WWII, his dead carcass was hung a meat hook in the center of Milan. Crowds came by for days shooting bullets into his dead body and spitting and urinating on him. After Dookie V pipes his final Dook fan, player, and coach and passes away, his gravesite might become a similar scene as Mussolini’s. Who’s buried in Vitale’s Tomb? That can be the next great joke of century.


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