Terps Hit New Low

Okay, I needed a few hours to try and get some perspective. I am beyong frustrated and embarrassed over the Terps plummet to the bottom of Division 1, but we all have to try and not think the program is in shambles over this unfortunate turn of events.

I have always been a Gary apologist and he’s given me no reason to call for his head yet. The coach should take some heat from this horrible season so far, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll quickly run down the reasons I think Gary should be given more time:

First, it’s Gary’s job to put the players in the best position to score. If the players run the plays correctly and miss open shots, how is that his fault (we’ll get to recruiting later). These players aren’t bums, they have skills, but looking at the shooting percentage in the game against AU, they couldn’t hit a thing. Now I was unable to watch the game, so if someone out there can tell me the coaching was a factor, please do.

Second, every school has down years. I posted a comment a week ago to that subject. This may be a REALLY down year, but one year should not be the end of Gary’s reign, especially with all he has given to this program over the years.

Thirdly, recruiting. This is a tough one to stick up for Gary with all of the big time talent that seems to leave the area, but until these past few years, Gary’s decision not to go after the “one and done” guys has worked out pretty well. Remember the class from hell (right after the national title) was lauded by recruiting experts, and who knew it was going to go so badly. That class put the program back and they have yet to rebound. Most of the players on the current roster are above-average recruits, and they have underperformed, to say the least.

Perhaps next year’s crop will be the ones to bring us back. Let’s hope so because this will be a very rough patch.

In closing, Gary doesn’t get off the hook for this, no way. But it’s too soon to call for his head. I want to see some kind of improvement as the season goes along. Here is Gary’s quote from the loss to AU:

“You’re open from 15 feet, this is the ACC; you’re supposed to make 15 footers. You’re supposed to make 10 footers. You’re supposed to make five footers. You’re supposed to get offensive rebounds, not drop the ball, and put it back in the basket. That’s what teams at this level are supposed to do and that’s what they’ve always been doing here for 18 years.”

Not much more to say. Keep the faith Terp fans. Go watch your old tapes of the 2002 championship, there will be better days ahead.

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30 Comments

  1. I was unfortunate enough to sit through tonite’s debacle.
    Two reasons why coaching may play a role in this year’s team-that-can’t-shoot-straight…
    1) Never, NEVER, did I think that I’d ever see Jeff Jones outcoach Gary Williams, but tonite Jones packed it in, slowed it down, and screened MD to death. It’s that last point that bothers me about GW: AU was creating just enough space for nearly every shot (and a few backdoors) by forcing defenders to rub off 2-3 screens in every offensive set. Yet once again MD set no screens to free anyone for anything. Every MD player ran to spot after spot without help to shake defenders. No, this team can’t shoot well, but getting bodied up with hands in the face each time makes it all the much harder.
    2) I cant believe how often MDs big men get boxed out on both ends of the court. This is no recent phenom either. GW needs a big mens’ coach, not his pal Harrington, filling in for Adams. Someone on the MD board suggested Massenburg.

    Things will improve, maybe not this year, but this has to be the low point, right? Unless we start seeing transfers –

  2. Things will improve…I just can’t deal with it this season anymore. As much as I love my teams, at some point it just becomes too painful to watch. I was reaching that point with the Caps…I’ve nearly been there with the Redskins…but Terps basketball is an entirely different entitiy. For whatever reason, I expect so much more out of the basketball team that I literally can’t watch them be THIS bad. Yet I’ve been able to watch 5-11 redskins teams, or 70-point Capitals teams. I can’t explain it, but I’ve put so much energy into the basketball team for so many years and maybe I’m just spent.

    I’m not calling for Gary’s head (like I did for the Caps head coach), but something is rotten in College Park, and I don’t have the energy this season…I really do have more important things to do in my personal life that the 2.5 hours of basketball aren’t worth the sacrifice anymore. And I never thought I’d say that about any fo my teams…it sucks.

  3. Ok, I’ll admit we’re at a nadir; but guys let’s hang together a bit in all of this. We’ve seen the good times, now we’re seeing the bad times. A little longer range focus might help. How about our talent level for 2009; does this give us any hope–Dupree, Gilchrist, Burney, Milbourne, Vas, Hayes, Bowie, Maze, Mosley, Neal, Gregory, Walker and Tucker? Man, I wish I could throw the name Jennings in there. Guys, North Carolina hit a nadir a few years back and bounced back; maybe we can too. What is it going to take to pull a UNC like rebirth??? I think step one is we’ve got to start aggressively recruiting our local boys and not let them all get away from us. The studs in the high school class of 2009 we’ve talked about on this blog, are the Terps in the running, and I mean really in the running, for any of those kids? As far as we bloggers are concerned, lets keep our Terp chins up and not give up on our alma mater. We’ve seen dark days before, post Lenny Bias through the Bob Wade years and we made it back all the way to the promised land. It will happen again! Keep the faith!

  4. I hope Gary ripped these guys after the game, because this is an absolute disgrace. No record has been more frequently lauded by the Maryland faithful than the non-conference home winning record, and we just lost two non-conference games in a row to worse than mediocre teams. Unbelieveable.

    Like the rest of you, I’m at a loss to explain what’s going on with the Terps right now. The lack of effort is sickening. AU bitch slapped us on both ends of the floor, and not because they’re a better team. Out rebounded by a team from the Patriot League? Are you joking? We played with zero heart last night, and that’s unacceptable.

    Gist is on track to have a career-ending, Terence Morris-type senior year. Coming into this season, there was a lot of hype about Vasquez and Hayes and how they would follow up their freshman campaigns. But anyone with any sense knew that this was Gist’s year to shine, and that he’d have to shine if this team was going to have any chance of success. Well, here we are, two months into the season, and Gist might as well not even be on the floor. He rarely touches the ball on offense, and when he does, he’s usually 15-20 feet away from the basket and settles for a girlie fade away jumper (BTW, all of you who have been encouraging Gist to develop more of an outside game, are you happy?). Gist has been talking a lot about senior leadership and setting the tone for the team. Well, he needs to stop talking and step up, or this team is doomed.

    Recruiting . . . We all know this is Gary’s achilles heel. But losing the top recruits is one thing. I question the decision to recruit so many of what appear to be the exact same players. Tucker, Bowie, Milbourne – I know Bowie’s a point guard, Tucker and Milbourne are more wing players and bigger physically, etc. But from where I’m sitting there’s not much difference in their games, and unfortunately, none of them can create their own shot, and they haven’t shown an ability to score on a consistent basis. Granted, these guys are still young, and hopefully they’ll continue to develop (I think Tucker will rise above the rest; he’s the most assertive of the bunch and has displayed a decent outside shot). But we need some diversity in these recruiting classes, and some offensive firepower. It sounds like Maze will bring that next year; Mosely is highly touted but appears to be more of a work horse-type, solid fundamental player. You’ve gotta love the solid, team player guys, but Gary has to learn that they won’t win you championships. Indeed, Juan Dixon wasn’t highly recruited and he was one of the hardest workers in Maryland history, but he was a scorer first and foremost. Our most recent “scoring” recruits — Caner-Medley, Chris McCray, Mike Jones — didn’t work out too well. Not sure how much blame you can place on Gary for their failures, but there’s no doubt we need scorers/shooters to win, particularly considering how difficult it’s been for us to put points in the board so far this year. I’d kill for Caner-Medley right now, as scary as that is to say.

    Lastly, as I was leaving Comcast yesterday (with seven minutes left in the game, no less), I couldn’t help but notice our 2002 championship trophy, and it struck me that we’re only five years removed from the best year in Maryland hoops history. Only five years removed, and we’re losing to Ohio and AU, back to back, at home. That just isn’t right. Something has to change.

  5. CT…your comments are right on. Last year when this team was in its last throes, I commented that I couldn’t remember a championship team falling so far so fast. UNLV came to mind as the only example.

    I’m not sure recruiting is the problem. Maybe recruiting the same type of player like CT mentioned in part of the problem, but this team has talent. GV is one more game or two away from becoming John Gilchrist, a pure malcontent who talks about everyone else not being up to snuff but failing to mention his own inadequacies. A true leader would start with himself. Neither he nor Gist, the presumed leaders of this team, even put the onus on themselves. I at least give Gary credit for saying that the buck stops with him.

    This team is just young, maybe too young. You can tell by the team’s post-game comments, they are adrift. I can’t see a way that this team makes it to the NCAAs unless they make a serious ACC run. I haven’t been able to get a bead on the ACC this year aside from UNC and Dook. If they finish 3rd or 4th in the league, they’ll dance. I just can’t tell if that type of finish is possible. These last 3 losses (counting VCU) will tank our RPI. Geez, 6-6 and last in the ACC. Who could have seen this coming?

    Wake me up when Lax season starts.

  6. This fall-off over the past four years reminds me more of Georgetown’s in the Nineties than UNC’s circa 2001 because UNC was in the midst of a bad coaching shuffle situation. You knew once Roy Williams came in that their problems were over.

    UConn was terrible last year and they were not so far removed from the national title.

  7. Wheels, I disagree with your GV/John Gilchrist comparison. Here is a quote from Vasquez after the game:

    On his career-high 28 points:
    “That doesn’t mean anything to me. Right now we as a team need to figure out how we can fix this. There really isn’t anything else to say except that we need to pick up the intensity level and get this turned around.”

    “We” would include himself. And his comments about the career high points not meaning anything to him shows a certain level of maturity.

    Having said that; I haven’t felt this badly about Terp basketball since the Bob Wade era. I didn’t quit on our team then, so I’m certainly not going to quit on them now.

    I used to put pocket schedules on seats in Cole to get into games for free when I was in Junior High, and I used to put “Go Terps Go” bumper stickers on cars in the parking lot before football games at Byrd. And I’m an alum so I’m NEVER going south on my guys.

    But this is painful.

    GO TERPS!

  8. I agree, the GV-Gilchrist comparison is entirely uncalled for. GV is nothing like Gilchrist. Although considering the numbers that Gilchrist put up in his sophmore season, maybe GV SHOULD be more like Gilchrist!

    The only silver lining I can find on this cloud is that the team is young. It’s mostly freshmen and sophmores and you expect young players to screw up. Granted they’re REALLY screwing up right now, but you can’t correct for youth at this point. It’s just the way that GW stacked his classes. We happen to be in a youth cycle, but the next 1-3 years we’ll be in an upper-classmen dominated cycle. Gist is under-performing and having Neal as the only junior on the team really hurts us at the moment. I realizes that none of this explains the fact that these guys, despite their youth, should be able to hit open jump shots. However, it’s the only thing you can really point to at the moment. Hunker down and weather the storm!

  9. yes…we does include I but I is what a leader says, not we.

  10. I’m don’t consider myself an expert in evaluating talent in terms of future abilities, but does anyone think we’ve got anyone who is going to be really good down the road.

    When I first saw Hansbrough I thought this guy is going to be really good. When I first saw McRoberts I thought this guy is really over-rated.

    Does anyone see anything in our young guys that says they’re going to be really good — because I don’t really see it.

  11. I do Epi Vus. Walker looks like a guy who could develop really well along with Dupree, Tucker, and Gregory. I’ve seen flashes from all of these guys on TV and I’ve only been able to see 4 games. It’s tough to tell who LOOKS good on the radio!

    We’ve only played 12 games and Gary is still trying to figure out who should be on the floor together. There is no doubt in my mind that this team will come together and play well in stretches. Gary is too good a teacher and has too much talent on this team to settle for anything less. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the end of sloppy passing and careless TOs either, so there will be some serious growing pains to endure.

    This season is far from over and I am still hopeful and anxious to see how we progress.

    I’m not sure how much blame Gary should assume for our losses. He isn’t teaching bad basketball and we have yet to see anything but bad basketball for most of the season. Poor decision making, concentration lapses, and horrible execution has ruled our play. I can’t imagine Gary is emphasizing any of that in practice.

    Gist will not play like a ghost all year and it looks like Vasquez’s shot is coming back. Hayes will find his way to some points/assists and I think Boom is scheduled to have those bricks removed from his hands on Jan 2. Mibourne and the freshmen will only get better as the year goes along.

    I guess I’m trying to convince myself that this team has a bright side and that there is reason for hope. I thought we would be fairly good this year,and maybe we will…eventually.

  12. I have been to every game and this team is in a bad place. The best thing to do is hope next years recruits can score.

  13. The loss to American was a disgrace. The season is just about over….even if we don’t lose any more nonconference games (and that is not a given) and we somehow go 8-8 in the ACC, that still leaves us with 13 losses! what a way for Gist to go out – after he talked and talked about being a leader and taking this team somewhere this year. we may not even make the NIT this year!

  14. If the terps finish 8-8 in the ACC it will be a miracle.

  15. Let’s keep focused on some positives. Gary can still teach. We’ve got some young talent I think in Dupree, Tucker and Bowie. It sounds like the 2008-09- Gilchrist, Mosley and Maze– might be a pretty good one. All hope is not lost for the future; however we are obviously going to have to lower our expectations for 2007-8 and redefine what we mean by success this year. We’re not NCAA material (unless a developmental miracle occurs), we might not even be NIT material, and an 8-8 record in the ACC at this point is a pipe dream. Ok, I typed all of that out of my system. Guys, it’s been a steady fall from grace for the last five years now, how do we begin the upward climb back to 1) respectability again, 2) to ACC competitveness again, and then upper ecehelon ACC. The fire Gary stuff is a non-starter and the recruiting fixes will take some time, so we have to work with what is on hand. Where do we begin. I’d suggest get this line-up thing worked out. Is Tucker a legitimate 2 or not? If not, then we’ll have to wait for Mosley to begin fixing this. Is Eric a legitimate 1, I think so. He will obviosuly have to work on a few areas of his game, but he seems to have some pretty good PG qualities–passing, a decent shot, etc. Is Dupree our future 5? Who are our future 3 and 4 guys? Where will Vas end up playing? He’s still got two full years after this one, unless he goes to the NBA and that would be a ridculous move at this point in his development. How do we begin fixing all this with what is on hand?

  16. Reading comments to Kanner’s post,three things are quite clear: Please pardon the simplicity that follows.

    1. Most of us are not throwing in the towel on this years cast. However, we’re not very congruent on what’s wrong. Clearly, GW can’t play the game for them. We know he’s one of the better coaches ….ever. He’s telling and showing them what to do…..but the 5 on the floor aren’t getting it done. That doesn’t mean they can’t get it done. Over the past few weeks, between the rants and raves, a lot of ideas have been tossed out. Here’s what’s obvious.
    2. Because we haven’t hit 5, 10 and 15 footers (even offensive put backs), teams coming into Comcast have built their game plan around that glaring fact and it’s working quite well for THEM. We are being outrebounded because our opponents can slack off our perimeter players….result we are getting beat on the boards. Against that backdrop, it’s extremely difficult to get the ball to our bigs……..where and when….they want it. Gist is coming outside because we can’t get it to him (and others) down low and opponents are crowding the middle. This won’t go away until our perimeter scoring improves. As far as Gist not being the leader he said he would be, it’s not all his fault. Absent the above issues, he would probably be in a better position to exert leadership. However, leaders in Basketball and Football most often are guards/forwards and quarterbacks respectively. He who has the ball is in control of the game. Gist doesnt have the ball and he’s frustrated and taking it out on people he’s defending. Result, he’s continue to pile up fouls and sit on bench during critical runs. And, BO, Dupree, Milbourne will follow suit. Also, the traffic jam in the middle is tough for even the best “slasher” to penetrate.
    3. Fear, doubt and uncertainty have now taken hold of this team of ours. You can see it in the first half of most of our games. No one seems confident enough to shoot, even when they are getting great looks, except GV and he’s surely not afraid to shoot. In the last few games we have struggled to score 10-15 point in the first 10-12 minutes or even 30 points in the first half.This is abominable. Against American we had five, that’s 5 field goals in the 1st half. That’s like “dead men walking”.

    As much criticism as has been heaped on Vas, we need other players to be like him. He doesn’t know quit and he’s not afraid to shoot. We have got to get rid of the fear, uncertainty and doubt. Those are the ingredients for “mis-directed anxiety” and this environment doesn’t cultivate “confidence”.

    I, for one, believe “the leader” has already emerged and it’s GV. He may not be the popular choice but he’s proving he can lead. If there are other candidates on this team they are “stealth leaders” and that in itself, is oxi-moronic.

  17. Gerry, I think you are right on the money. Unfortunately that’s not an easy fix unless they actually start hitting shots. Let’s hope somebody comes out of nowhere and lights a fire under the rest of the team.

  18. I just wanted to say that Greivis Vasquez will be cutting down the nets at the 2009 ACC Tournament. And also that Turtle Soup is a kick and I wish all of you (Vampire especially) a really great Christmas and New Years holiday season. All will be well.

  19. I am not saying fire Gary but lack of recruiting can not be simply described as his “achilles heel”. This is the ACC and a school with a long history not to mention this area is a hot-bed for talent. Gary has consistently not scored top talent. Don’t give me Joe Smith, he was a surprise to everyone. You win the National Title and you can not raise your level of recruits?? How can bloggers say they are at a loss for where this program is? Look at G-town, they just pulled in such locals as Wright, Freeman and Jason Clark next year. Scottie Reynolds is at Villanova. Mamadi Diane is at UVA. The list goes on. The Dave Neal’s of the world should not be earning scholarships from MD. Where is the accountability for GW’s inability to recruit??? The cause for our program’s downfall really is not a mystery.

  20. HoopObserver, winning the national title DID raise the level of recruits. The class of John Gilchrist, Chris McCray, Nik Caner-Medley, and Travis Garrison was among the top classes in the country. Garrison was a McD’s all american. This class crushed us with their inconsistencies, selfishness and off the court issues. These 4 guys are a big part of the reason we are where we are right now.

  21. Greg Kanner- Atta go…..Touche!

    HoopObserver- You need to look through a bigger knothole.

    We did go to the dance last year. Like this years crew, last years team spiraled down after about a 10-0 start then stopped the free fall with 7 straight
    ACC wins.

    It’s STILL not over till it’s over.

    Oh ye of little faith.

  22. Gerry,

    Hoops is looking through the right knothole.

    Gary has openly questioned the undue influence of AAU programs and pursued guys that want to got to MD for 4 years. This means few if any top shelf recruits.
    GW’s02 class was a step up, but only Garrison was MCD and none were 5 star blue chippers. Plus GW has to share responsibility for the “inconsistencies, selfishness, and off court issues” of the 02 class. If it was just Gilly’s ego, or Garrison being a wimp, or McCray flunking out his Sr yr, or NCM trying to take over every game… but it was all of that – a total collapse – there was more wrong with that class jthan just the players.
    Even if you don’t hold GW responsible for the collapse of that entire class, why does he.waste schollies on:
    – 5’10” Collins
    – bigs Bowers, Fofana, Neal (none of who have any business in the ACC)
    – Ledbetter and Brown (then make DJ play PG where he is out of his element and much less effective)
    – Why does Gary recruit Mike Jones (top 4 SG) who needs 3.5 years to develop a complete game, or Ibekwe (top 10 forward) who never learns to stop hacking his way into 2 quick fouls?

    I realize that not every recruit works out, but GW is not bringing in the level of talent needed to consistently compete with the upper level of the ACC, much less consistently make the tournament. Consider last year – this senior-laden team never should have needed a 7 game winning streak just to make the dance, and they shouldn’t have struggled with Davidson and lost to Butler, just like MD’s 03 team shouldn’t have needed a miracle shot to beat UNC/W, 04 shouldn’t have struggled with UTEP, 05 shouldn’t have lost to Manhattan, and this years team shouldn’t have lost to Ohio and (I cant believe i’m typing this) AU!! AT HOME!!!

    I still cant accept that this team is this bad. I want this team to rise from the ashes too… but when no one can consistently hit open jumpers beyond 5 feet, this season is over. That’s not lack of faith, its reality.

  23. Dennis and others:

    I don’t want to appear argumentative but a few of your comments don’t stand the test of inspection.

    What I am about to share will bring out all the psych major’s but I’m ready for it.

    Example : Dennis says, “GW has to share the responsibility for the inconsistencies, selfishness and off-court issues of the 02 class”.

    That’s simply not right. If you are a parent you know better.

    That’s tantamount to saying that parents are responsible for the classroom, social and emotional failure (or success) of their children. If a child is brought up in the right environment and a basketball player too, especially those at Maryland …… neither the parent or the coach should be held responsible for the failures of their children and players respectively. By the time players get to college, especially Divsion one, they are either “coachable” or they are not. They are either going to listen to their coach (s) or they are going to read there own press clippings. They are either playing for the team, their coach, the school or worse, the NBA Scouts.

    One of my mentors had a book published “All you can do, is all you can do; but all you can do is enough”. That’s actually the exact title of the book.
    His point was that you can’t do any more than all you can do. You can’t live your children or players lives for them. You can’t make their decisions/or choices for them. In fact, their peers are often more influential than their parents or coaches. Some parents and some coaches are extraordinarily influential but there are damn few of them. John Wooden was one of them. But, what would you say about Bobby Knight? You can count the number of 4 star recruits he’s had on one hand but he’s certainly sent a lot of players to the NBA.

    Dennis goes on to say : “I still can’t accept that this
    team is this bad…..this season is over……that’s not lack of faith, that’s reality”.

    This came on the heels of my remarks that last years team went 10-0 before they lost 5-6 straight games but then won 8 in a row and went to the dance.

    Dennis ….you wouldn’t have that same attitude if we were talking about your son or daughter that just got busted for substance abuse or flunked out of school….or would you?

    I believe that Gary believes in his teams and this years edition too. We talk about GV not having quit in him and we see it. GW has never shown quit.

    It’s NOT about recruiting stars, it’s about developing
    players that become stars aka Joe Smith, Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, and many, many more.

    Less than 25% of all college players are going to make it to the NBA but EVERY ONE of them have the same opportunity. They either have the goodies or they don’t.

    Juan Dixon and Steve Blake are 2 of the better examples (much to Gary’s credit). By their Jr. & Sr. years any TOP 10 team in America would have been thrilled to have them on their team. However, it was under GW’s coaching, system and environment that produced their great players and outstanding citizens and alumni of Md.

    We should count (and praise) the one’s that succeed not the ones that stumble and fail.

    I also believe NCM (Caner-Medley) did more good than harm (if any) . Hell, he rose to the occcasion and had a career game when we beat PUKE on their home court. I’ll always remember that one. Which one do you choose to remember.

    Finally, your comments about the 03/04/05 teams “should not have lost to Manhattan, Ohio” et al are just “shots in the dark”.

    A win is a win and a loss is a loss. All you can do is all you can do. Get over it.

    Sir Winston’s greatest speech was after the WWII and it was to the graduating class at his former high school. It was 2 words ….really….just two words.

    NEVER QUIT!

    That includes you, me and the rest of the Soupers.

    Let’s hear it.

  24. Do you see a trend?

    I went to look at a different knothole…Scout.com

    I wanted to make a fact based set of statements. On an annual basis Scout.com ranks the Top 100 recruits, so I went back to see how Maryland fared.

    2002:
    #30 Travis Garrison
    #46 John Gilchrist
    #71 Chris McCray
    #93 Nik Caner-Medley

    2003:
    #22 Mike Jones
    #46 Ekene Ibekwe
    #64 Hassan Fofana
    #75 Will Bowers
    #100 DJ Strawberry

    2004:
    #60 James Gist

    2005:
    #79 Shane Clark (never made it to MD)

    2006:
    #96 Eric Hayes

    2007:
    #90 Braxton Dupree

    Does anyone see a trend? Why is the new football hire of Franklin so touted, because he can recruit. Recruiting is a huge part of college coaching. Is it really a mystery of why this program is where it is?

    Go Terps!!

  25. and the lowest ranked recruit (DJ Strawberry at #100) is in the NBA

  26. Gerry,
    I don’t want to get into a psych debate, a subject that I didn’t care for in school.
    However:
    “By the time players get to college, especially Divsion one, they are either “coachable” or they are not.”
    So Gilly, McCray, NCM, and Garrison were all uncoachable… and all in the same year? Come on now. If that’s so, perhaps a more active role in the recruiting process might have helped GW determine whether these guys were coachable before he handed out the scholly. I find it too hard to believe that GW just happened to recruit an entire class of uncoachable guys in 02 when he seems to manage okay with other years.

    “They are either going to listen to their coach (s) or they are going to read there own press clippings. They are either playing for the team, their coach, the school or worse, the NBA Scouts.”
    GW’s job in large part is to motivate the players to play for him and the school. Nobody is 100% perfect with recruits, there’s always a Gilly out there, but GW didnt motivate Gilly to control his ego, Garrison to focus on the game, McCray to do the bare minimum to pass, or NCM to play within himself. I honestly believe that GW took a little mental time off after winning the NC.

    Regarding my ‘faith’ in this year’s program:
    “Dennis ….you wouldn’t have that same attitude if we were talking about your son or daughter that just got busted for substance abuse or flunked out of school….or would you?”

    Put this into perspective. If my son or daughter had a drug or behavioral problem that they could control but had gotten progressively worse over a five year period, then had shown some improvement although still below expectations – only to once again SERIOUSLY falter, you bet I’d be realistic about the situation – and critical of the backsliding child even while trying to help them.
    I’m a die-hard Terp fan – I’ll never stop rooting for MD. And I know GW’s teams always get better as the year goes on. But I’m not putting on the rose colored glasses. This year’s team is not last years team. Last year MD had enough experience to improve just by playing up to their capabilities. This year’s team doesn’t have the experience, leadership, or talent level – and this year’s team has already lost some damaging games that even a 7 game winning streak won’t hide. I’ve watched a lot of both teams. It’s not abandoning ship to give what I see as a realistic opinion, and my opinion is that this team lacks too many things and is in too deep a hole to make the dance. I hope I’m wrong.

  27. Diamondback Russ:

    Thank god they expanded the NBA rosters a few years ago because Strawberry has played in 6 of the Suns 28 games.

    By the way Blake, Dixon,Wilcox and Francis are in the league too. I love the Terps. I like that GW finds the diamonds in the rough. But I have also seen GW verbally abuse some of these kids on the bench (i.e. Garrison). All of that aside I just believe in order to compete with the top of the ACC we need better recruits. It has even become tougher with the mid-majors getting stronger and the recent expansion of the ACC. Are you satisfied with the level of recruits at MD? Maybe I am the one that is dillusional. Maybe we do not belong with the likes of UNC, Duke, GT, Kansas, UCLA, Ohio State, USC, Florida and Arizona’s of the world.

  28. HoopObserver. You pretty much proved my point with your recruting list. In 2002, they had 4 of the top 100 recruits. That puts them at least in the Top 25 of all division 1. They were ranked higher than that because not many school had 4 or the top 100.

    That was follwed up by getting 5 of the top 100. That’s pretty damn good. If Gary knew that Mike Jones would need 3+ years to develop, I don’t think he would have taken him. But anyone in the country would have taken Jones.

    Sure, I’d love to get those Top 10 guys, but that didn’t happen. Still, if you look at the rankings, there was no lack of recruiting the country’s best.

  29. Gregg congrats on your son’s first birthday! I am sure it was special. Just got back from the Emerald Bowl. It was a lot of fun. I did make your point that they got their share of the recruits in 2002. I am just not sure I agree that the classes of 2002 and 2003 have been the cause for the lack of recruits since then. I do see good things in Tucker this year. Off to my kids.

  30. Everyone can sit here and talk about how bad we are, how bad the coaching is, how bad the recruiting is. Others have shown we are getting good recruits, others have stated how good the coaching was when we turned it around last year.

    Remember, we have 7 freshman and 3 sophmores on the team. That is 10 of our 14 kids. We are young and with young teams it takes time to mesh. Think of the teams that have won the title, there was a junior or senior laden team. We have to give them time. It sucks, but it is true. Think of last year, the year was a bust until GV and hayes clicked, that was with 10 games left with seniors on the team. So, take that into context when we are talking about bad coaching or bad recruiting or bad talent. We can all agree that we have seen flashes from all of the players, the trick is waiting long enough to see them play together as a GARY WILLIAMS team. When that happens, I would like to see every critic mail in their apology.

    It will happen, it did last year.

    And for all of those who say that we have fallen since the title, we have only been to the sweet sixteen, won an ACC Title with malcontents, finish tied for third with a 10-6 record last year and for those who want to jump on me yes their was 2 seasons of the NIT, but who can say they have a two game winning streak against Duke and beat NC the last time they played them, in fact we have beaten duke 4 out of 6 times in the last three years, what does that say about our coaching, recruiting and talent and who can say they have beaten duke with all the aka talent, aka coaching four times in three years.

    And last year with 10 games left, who would have thought that we would beat duke twice, nc once and have a winning streak like we did and then all of sudden we are a #4 seed in the tournament. It took time for the players to jell.

    We are all in crisis mood and we should be, but let’s remember, Gary is a good coach, he get’s good talent and he knows how to mesh that talent. We are young and we have potential, we need to keep the faith.


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