Gary Bets It All on Evans

CNN/SI writer Luke Winn put together an interesting piece on Tyree Evans today. To put in mildly, it seems that the Maryland beat writers for the Sun and Post gave Gary and the program a pass on this one. After a quick read-through of Winn’s piece; It is clear to me that the Evans signing was not as much of a “slam dunk” as I had previously thought.

We already knew about the statutory rape charge. However, Luke Winn illuminated some details surrounding the charge are disconcerting. Coupled with his subsequent drug arrest (which somehow was missed by the local press) we have a greater cause for concern than I had originally thought.

Mr. Evans was stopped by police ( shortly AFTER pleading guilty to a lesser charge on his rape indictment) while he was in possession with over a half ounce of weed that was split up into a dozen or so little baggies. Police also found a scale with drug residue in his trunk. You don’t have to be Jeff Spicoli to recognize a drug dealer when you see one. (those are alarm bells you are hearing right now).

Now, I smoked my share of ganja in college and knew a handful of guys who sold the stuff. Scumbags, all of them. Maybe, they turned out fine, but I wouldn’t have pinned my hopes on them.

Now, by all accounts, Evans has behaved himself over the last year or so, and I am all for giving a guy a second chance; but as Winn rightly points out in his piece, this smacks of desperation.

By any estimation, Tyree Evans has the ability to become a star in the college game. His baggage meant that only a program in desperate need of some immediate help would take a chance on him. Enter Maryland and Gary Williams.

Desperate. How did it come to this? In five years, Maryland went from the penthouse to the outhouse. Now, our hopes hinge on a twice convicted 23-year old pot dealer.

What kind of message does this send to the current team? Clearly, Gary has so little faith in the current team, he is willing to take a make or break risk on Evans. It is as if Gary is saying “I don’t trust you, so I am pushing all my chips into the pot in the hopes that a 50/50 shot comes in.

Make no mistake: if the Evans signing blows up in Gary’s face; it is over. This is Williams’ crossing the Rubicon. There is no saving Gary if the Evans signing turns sour.

How did it come to this?

Another little known fact that Winn uncovered is that Maryland and Florida State have each recruited six JuCo players since 2002. The rest of the ACC has recruited six JuCo players COMBINED. Read that again. What is happening in College Park? Perhaps I have been living under a rock, but I had no idea that Maryland had deviated so far away from the median.

Since when did we become the Cincinnati of the ACC?

I appreciate the work of Mr. Winn. The press in Maryland has decided to give Gary a free pass on this signing but as far as I am concerned; it warranted greater scrutiny then the “phoned in” reporting that occurred with this story.

One final point, I sincerely hope that this time next year; I am singing the praises of Evans and hailing Gary for giving the guy a second chance. It’s just that the at happening seem lower than it did two weeks ago.