Gist To San Antone!

No matter what, it’s always nice when a player gets drafted.

Despite our struggles and despite James Gist’s struggles, he is currently an NBA player. That is good for the program.

Will he be an NBA player in November? We’ll see. But Gist, who was drafted by San Antonio in the second round, has a chance. First, he was drafted by a good team, a team that can teach him what it takes to stick in the league. He has the ability, we’ve all seen it. He needs to turn himself into a defensive specialist who can use his athleticism and quickness to make a difference on the defensive end and then learn and work on putting the ball in the hoop.

We’ll see what happens, but he has a shot.

Best of luck Jim!

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Gus the Hedger

So, the message boards are aflutter that Gilchrist is playing both sides of the coin and may return to Maryland if he isn’t allowed to play during the Fall 2008 semester.

Gilchrist is enrolling at USF but will not sign an letter of intent. This leaves open the possibility that he will return to Maryland if his appeal to play this fall is denied by the NCAA.

Apparently, Augustus loves his teammates. Clearly, not as much as he loves himself, but whatever. We need him. Desperately.

Whatever happens, Gary Williams needs to get off ass this summer and recruit. He better not host any Golf Tournaments like he did last year.

Garyland on Life Support?

This has been the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. For anyone who has read my thoughts over the past years, I have always been a Gary Williams apologist. I trusted in the coach that brought Maryland basketball back from the brink and gave us our National Championship. I loved the guy who was so good to my friends and I in the mid 90’s during the hoops resurgence. I never would have thought I would EVER say these words, but….

I think it might be time that the Terps move on with a new head basketball coach.

Now I don’t say this because I think Gary is a bad guy. He’s the best coach the school has ever had. And I do not blame Gary totally for the troubles of the past few years. He is still a great basketball coach and can teach kids to play the game and play it tough. The problem I see is that one of the most important parts of being a college coach today has passed him by.

Gary was never a great recruiter. As stated before, he has not really been one to ‘play the game’, get personally involved and kiss up to young kids, but times have changed and a shortcoming of the past has become a major Achilles heal today. Gary’s lack of recruiting has cost this program big time in the last few years. His reluctance to put the time into recruiting is a major reason for our struggles.

You can blame Jennings, Maze, Evans, Mosley, and Gilchrist for their own personal shortcomings, but it’s the fault of the program for being in the position of having to count on kids who have legal issues or grades concerns. This is Maryland. This is one of the best programs in one of the best areas of the country. This is a hotbed of basketball talent and when you can’t keep your own stars in state, you are forced to take chances on questionable kids or try and turn a mid-major caliber kid into a superstar. Gary has done that in the past, but you shouldn’t need to. There is no excuse for the amount of local talent that has gone elsewhere. Nobody wants a program with a ton of one-and-done kids, but you need to keep the talent in state. And Gary needed to ‘play the game’.

The biggest issue is that there is no end in sight to these struggles. Gary is 63. He is not going to change. He will not go out there and recruit a junior high kid, and that’s what it takes these days. You can’t expect to come in the last minute and grab a local kid just because this is Maryland. You need to put in years building a relationship with a player. If Gary refuses to do this, it’s time to find someone who will. That’s just the way it is in today’s game. It would be nice if AAU issues or a kid’s ‘handlers’ or ‘advisors’ didn’t have to be brown-nosed (or offered jobs) in order to get the kid to sign a LOI, but that’s not the way it is. If the rumors about Gilchrist are true, this kid is just listening to his ‘handler’ and not making any decisions on his own.

I never wanted to think Gary was to blame, but after one conversation with a source connected with the athletic program, I was convinced. While I cannot share the details of the stories I was told, I can tell you that it paints a very VERY bad picture of our basketball program and led me to believe that there is no coming back from this in the long run. The end is near and the question will be whether it will hit rock bottom before it’s over.

The good news is that nothing will ever be as bad as the late 80’s with the Len Bias tragedy and the NCAA sanctions. If the Terp basketball program can rise from those ashes to be National Champions, then they can easily rebound from this down swing.

Unfortunately, it will likely take a change at the top to do that.

Augustus turns into Brutus- Gilchrist to Leave Maryland

Gus Gilchrist was released from his scholarship today. He is going to transfer. Gilchrist asked Maryland to release him. The only reason given was that he wanted to explore an option that would “allow him to play more games”. Presumably, the extra penalty (not being eligible during the Fall ’08 semester) for transferring within the ACC became to much for Gilchrist to bear.

That is bunch of crap if you ask me. He’s known about that penalty for months. Why now? Oh and thanks for twisting the knife in Gus. Why would he time his departure with the Evans fiasco to maximize the bad publicity for Maryland?

This is really bad news for our program. Not only are we screwed in the post for next season (anyone for a Dupree, Burney frontcourt?), but the program is slowly turning into a joke. In the last six months, how many guys have been rumored or confirmed suit up for Maryland but will never actually wind up playing one second for the Terps? Evans, Maze, Bowman, and now Gilchrist. All come and gone.

I don’t want to openly root against a college kid (except for anyone in a Duke uniform), but I am going to break with tradition and root for Gilchrist to suck wherever he goes. First he rips the heart out of Va Tech fans and then he does the same to Terp fans? Eff you, Mr. Gilchrist. Can we all agree now that Maryland should never, never, never, recruit another player who’s last name is “Gilchrist”?

So we have made it into June and so far the Terps have signed and then released a shooting guard with three convictions and had our top recruit transfer. We still have July, August, and September to go! What’s next? Will Braxton Dupree gain 100 lbs and become a professional competitive eater? Nothing would surprise me at this point.

The program is reeling. Someone help me find a silver lining.

Terps – Cal Start Time Announced

A little football news:

I’m not sure if anyone caught this little nugget; but it appears that the Maryland vs. California non-conference game on September 13th is scheduled to start at 12pm ET.  This is good news for Terp fans as that represents a 9AM start time for the Bears who will hopefully be jet-lagged from their cross-country trip.

Maryland will need every possible advantage to beat a formidable Pac-10 team; so an early kickoff helps.  Look for this game to be a harbinger for the entire season.  A Terp win here; and Maryland could be a special team.  It will also give Maryland instant national credibility.

I love the idea of a home and home series with a Pac-10 foe.  I think that the Terps should pursue more games like this as it will increase our recognition nationwide.