Another Heartbreaker

Sorry that we did not have a thread for this game folks.  I was unable to get to a computer, but did watch the game.

I don’t know exactly what to say.  I’ll try and do a better job later, but my initial thoughts are this:

There are 2 ways to look at the Terps right now.

1).  They are close.  Very close.  They play hard and look really good at times. They play decent defense for the most part (except for the couple of minutes where they gave up 10 transition points by not getting back after missed shots).  They are scrappy and they are not getting the bounces or the breaks.  They make 15 dumb plays a game and in the last two, if they would have made just 14, they would have won two solid road games. We will somehow make it over the hump and be a better team in February and March.  If they can make it to 4-4 in the first half of the ACC season, which is doable, they have a chance to turn the corner.  They just need to get that one big win and take it from there.

OR

2).  We are close, but just not that good.  They can try as hard as they can and they do that, but nothing can fix the lack of an inside offensive game or the fact that we can’t hit open shots.  They choke late in games and turn the ball over and even though they battle, the talent is not there to win games in the end.  This will likely be difficult to fix this season, so we have to look to next where everyone can take time to get better and we hopefully have some useful big men coming in to help.  We are building toward next year already.

Which team are they?

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100 Comments

  1. In the Miami thread, it was noted that “Only through defeats like this, will Terp fans appreciate the big wins when the program comes back.”

    My question — do you think Maryland only wins games to make the losses hurt more, instead of the other way around?

  2. Well, Mosley is starting to impress. And you gotta love how this small team scraps for rebounds and loose balls. I’m not surprised the Terps lost today; I’m surprised they played this much bigger team so tough. Still, what I wouldn’t give for a wide body in the blocks.

    Even if this season turns out to be as disappointing as I have long feared it would, I’m feeling good by how hard these guys play. There’s no quit in them. I don’t know what’s worse: winning ugly and still being left out of the dance; or losing hard-fought contests that comes to the same end. I think I prefer the latter. The Terps may lack talent, but not heart, and they are not an embarrassment.

  3. Well, Mosley is starting to impress. And you gotta love how this small team scraps for rebounds and loose balls. I’m not surprised the Terps lost today; I’m surprised they played this much bigger team so tough. Still, what I wouldn’t give for a wide body in the blocks.

    Even if this season turns out to be as disappointing as I have long feared it would, I’m feeling good by how hard these guys play. There’s no quit in them. I don’t know what’s worse: winning ugly and still being left out of the dance; or losing hard-fought contests that come to the same end. I think I prefer the latter. The Terps may lack talent, but not heart, and they are not an embarrassment.

  4. They played hard all game long and came back from 11 down. I said way back in November they would be in a bunch of close games and they needed to find a way to win their share. So far they are 1-2 in close games. Mosely and Milbourn had great games on a day where GV was lost.

    We need to find better plays for those last possessions. It really looks like the play is give it to GV and have him make the play or create. He just hasn’t had success with that over the last two years. Most of the time the other team will back off him and let him jack up a three ( Miami). Either way if you cut his penetration he is generally toast.

    The boys played hard and came up short again. Let’s hope they take care of business against UVA to get back to 500. That will bring the Duke game. Gonna take a great effort and a sub par Duke effort for that one.

  5. Tough loss. One bounce this way or the other & we win. In the 3 acc games I have EH at 11 for 31 and GV at 13 for 45 from the field, and yet we were still competitive. Did anyone else notice near the end of the game and we are down – the camera flashes to CT and BD and they seem to be laughing about something. Obviously, there is no way of knowing the context, but seemed like a strange time for levity.

  6. Unfortunately Duke handled Georgetown today. It will be tough to stop them with their perimeter scoring.

  7. Watching their big men block and change ouir guys shots almost brought a tear to my eye. How I wish we had a post player that played to his height/size.

  8. The opposition is taking away our strength…..FT shooting. It is as if they refuse to foul us. In the first half I doubt we had 2 FT’s and probablya dozen for the game. Mosely and Bowie making great strides but you can count on the missing their first or last FT.
    Is there another team in the ACC that fouls 3pt shooters more than us. You almost never see that called except against us.

    Milbourne showed some good stuff today and while Mosely startted out slow he played a solid all-around game.

    I have been Hayes’s worst and best critic. He certainly is a DIV 1 guard but he should play off the ball. He’s our 3rd or 4th best guard. He’s easy to trap.

    For the last 3 games our “shooters” have been hitting the rim but ball is nto dropping. Got to believe that will change.

    GV is in trouble. Looks like he’s bothered by the “fan episode” against GT etc. For a player that leads the team in every category he was noticeably hesitant to get involved. That’s mental and that’s not good. That could turn into a multi-game funk if he doesn’t shake it.

    One of the things our guys can take away from both these losses is that they were in it until they proved they weren’t. The season is not over but these losses make the ACC Tournament morei important. THere are still some great opportunities that lie ahead.

    Go Terps.

  9. We just need to beat UVA Tuesday night and go from there. If we can get past UVA at home, wed be 2-2 in the ACC heading into Cameron to face the probable #1 Duke Blue Devils as Pitt lost today, so Duke will be either 1 or 2 if WF jumps them. If any coach can pull off an upset against the #1 team in the land its Gary, so who knows what could happen.

  10. All the talk about GV (much of it coming from his mouth) being the leader of this team and it’s best player is getting old really fast. He talked last year of doing whatever it took to make the NCAA’s and failed to deliver in the biggest moments. This year was going be the year he took over and became the team leader.

    Well he has some big games but fails to deliver when it counts the most. He loves to boast about how great he is, panders to the fans even when losing, blames others when the team loses — and simply doesn’t back it up when the team needs him most.

    13 for 45 in ACC play this year is just not good enough. The Terps at minimum needed a split on these last 2 games and with just average shooting from GV a sweep would have occured. The best player and leader??? of a team simply has to do better than this, he needs to play winning basketball instead of simply running his mouth…

  11. I was satisfied with our inside play. We grabbed a lot of rebounds against a much larger team. Milbourne and Mosley battled inside and grabbed rebounds over guys that hs 5″ + on them. At this point, I just do not think Brax will develop into anything unfortunately. Gregory looks much better, but still takes those shots that he has no business taking.

    A big big factor in this game and last game was AB fouling out. The kid can play. When he is in, we are a better team. Having him in probably gets us the win.

    I’m excited for the UVA game on Tuesday. Hopefully AB can learn to control his body and stop fouling out. Hopefully Mosley continues his improved play. Hopefully GV finds his shot. Hopefully the bench can contribute so we can pull all the pieces we have together to form one solid piece that will give us quality wins this season.

  12. I am starting to worry that GV has the Gilchrest disease, specifically after a great sophmore year and NBA talk (Both were projected in mock drafts to mid-late first round) they implode their junior years by being selfish and trying to do too much.

  13. What it feels like to follow the Terps nowadays:

    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1778399&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1

  14. GV’s problem is not that he is selfish, but that he does not have enough big-time players around him. I like the confidence Gary is showing in Eric, but that stupid pass at the end of regulation could have cost the game. Eric does get tense. Mosley is showing signs that he could become a big-time player but is not there yet by a long shot. Milbourne and Bowie are stepping up, no complaints there. Neal tries hard but is not a starting ACC center, and can’t serve as the only big in the lineup. This is a fairly decent ACC team, and with Gary’s great coaching the Terps should be OK, maybe even borderline NCAA. But the fault cannot rest with the Terps’ best player, GV.

  15. As frustrating as the past two losses have been I can’t help but feel optimistic. Our two ‘supposed’ best players GV and EH played poorly and we still came within a hair of leaving the state of Florida with 2 wins. If we defend our home court and keep our ACC record at .500 for now we’ll be fine. As last season’s team showed us, the teams that get hot in February and finish strong are the ones who make the NCAA. The teams that get hot in January and fizzle in February make the NIT. As long as we stay in striking distance we should be looking toward February as the time to break out.

    It’s a of fun watching AB grow from one game to the next. He’s transitioning from a role player on an average team to a damn good ACC guard who can play for any team. Also fun to watch Mosley improve.

  16. OK, in the end we lost 2 games we were supposed to lose. The fact that they were agonizingly close games makes it tougher to swallow. What could’ve been. We could be sitting atop the conference right now. The fact remains, a neutral observer would’ve looked at our schedule and said “Maryland will start 1-2 in the conference”. And that’s what happened. Unfortunately, that will not be good enough to get us to the promised land this season. We will need 2 or maybe 3 upsets to and win the games in which we are favored to qualify.

    Against FSU, our two best players were total flops. But somehow they took the game to OT. Our contain defense and game management are excellent, just excellent. Last year, if Gist and GV had shot 5 for 23 (or whatever Hayes and GV shot yesterday) we would’ve lost the game by 20 easy.

    This is a very well-coached team. It’s our first really well-coached team since 2003 when Blake and Nicolas beat #3 seed Xavier with David West by like 20 points which made the Thad Motta say “They’re a #6 seed?!?!?”. Then they came one lucky Paul Davis shot away from making the Elite Eight. (BTW, even now on the rare times Paul Davis comes into the game for the Clippers I scream and curse at the TV whenever they show him.)

    I’m dissapointed in the two losses. But I’m encouraged by the team’s performance. Most importantly, I think Garyland has his Mojo back. He’s back to being a great coach again. I think he went through a rut after the NC. Maybe he slacked and not just in recruiting which was obvious. Maybe he was a little content with this status. Many champions amateur and pro go through that phase. But let’s face it. This team doesn’t have any more talent than a really good mid-major team. We’ve never had Dook and UNC talent. But even compare us to Wake Forest and it’s a complete mismatch. How many of our players could start for Wake Forest? 1? 0? Wake has had their Duncans and Pauls but when did they ever have a complete roster more talented than Maryland? It’s absurd.

    Anyway, this year’s team is doing the best they can. They are maximizing their talent and potential. They just don’t have much of it. So I’m content with that for this season. Maybe, just maybe, they can make it fun for us to the very end.

  17. Bobby Maze, Jermaine Dixon, Tyree Evans, Brandon Jennings, etc, etc, etc. All these guys are playing major minutes for good teams around the country. It makes me sick. BTW, was Dixon ever a Terp recruit? He just had a career-best game at Assembly Hall. We lost Epps and my gut tells me we will lose Regan and Buie also. What about the JC’s? Whatever happened to that pipeline? Francis, Sleepy, Jamar Smith, etc? Let’s get some players in here damnit! Le’ts hire one of those AAU guys or something. Le’ts not play that “we’re above that” morality game. Even Dook’s coach buddies around with AAU coaches. What’s the problem? Is it Debbie Yow? What is the problem here!?!? Why can a shoe salesman like Calipari go around the country and pick-up whoever pleases him and we can’t get home-grown players to stay home? We need a relentless recruiter that doesn’t go to sleep until he gets a Top-20 class every season. If they want I will volunteer and do it for free. Pitt apparently told Isaiah Epps that they’ll move their PG to to the 2 and he will start as a freshman. Let’s get some players in here. There is no other way.

  18. Eddie, those are good points. A top 20 recruit class every year (or every year when you have enough scholies to qualify for a top class) is not too much to expect. NC and Duke are top 10 every year. Terps haven’t had one of those in a while, though I am not sure how the 2009 bigs get us ranked. Does anyone know? But if you can’t get a top 20 class in, then how can your team challenge for the big prize? I guess you can always get lucky, but it is better not to rely on luck.

    Just one small question to your post: isn’t reliance on JCs a sign of weakness in many ways? It means you struck out in stocking your program with regular recruits over the recruiting seasons. Of course if a Stevie Francis is out there, grab him!

  19. I agree with eddie. I think coach is doing his best coaching job in a long time. But, eddie then you say we do not have the players. I totally agree with that. But recruiting is part of coaching. Could a terp start for Wake? No,then Gary needs to go out and get them. We hear Gary is getting back into recruiting. Well it’s too damn late.Our two new front court player were not chased by any top 15 team, so we maybe expecting too much from them The bottom line we are presenting no threat to the acc powers and only a bubble team at best with the team we have. And that being said, I think our guys play hard. I like them.But the talent is not there.

  20. We are what we are folks and it’s going to take some luck to get back on top due to the way the school is regarding recruiting. Gary has his ways and we aren’t wild about some of his decisions, but the university makes it tough to bring in the big time talent too. Don’t let them off the hook. It’s nice to have standards, but it puts us behind other schools, that’s just the way it is. I mean, we BARELY got Mosley in here this year.

    I believe our only Top 20 recruiting class in recent years was the class that entered in 2002. We all know how that one turned out. There will always be woulda/coulda’s with this program. We just have to hope we get some of these recruits who know that this team does have talent, but they know they’ll have a chance to play early and play a lot.

    Look at Wake Forest. They had Randolph Childress 15 years ago, Tim Duncan 12 years ago, they had Chris Paul 5 years ago and had good teams. Between those guys they had good, but not great teams and teams that did not make the tournament or the NIT. They got themselves a couple of under the radar recruits and look at them this year. A turnaround can happen in a heartbeat and if our coaching staff can continue to keep the Baltimore pipeline open and continue to work hard in recruiting, it’s only a matter of time before we have our own comeback story.

  21. Wake Forests players this year were not under the radar players if thats what you mean Gregg. They had one of the best classes in the country last year. And Teague was a very sought after recruit 2 years ago.

  22. James Padgett had 13 points and 7 rebounds last night in a loss.

  23. Wake’s gotten 2 five-stars and 6 four-stars in the last three recruiting classes. This years class was ranked third in the nation. Not exactly under the radar guys.

  24. James Padgett was recruited by a current top 15 team…Pitt. In fact he was to visit them after he took his visit to UMD but canceled and committed to the Terps. He was also offered a scholarship to Florida (two recent NCs), Tennessee (back to back sweet 16 appearances and last year’s SEC regular season champion). He also got offers from Kentucky and West Virginia.

    Jordan Williams had offers from UConn, Villanova, Marquette and Xavier. Wake Forest and Pitt also showed interest but hadn’t offered a ‘ship by the time he popped to UMD.

    I don’t have the Top 25 in front of me at the moment but the schools that offered these guys wasn’t exactly so-so programs.

  25. Williams’ last game numbers: 43 pts, 15 rbs, 7 blks, 6 steals. Even if he is play against mediocre, those numbers are ridiculous. He can’t arrive here fast enough.

  26. the 2003 class.. mj, dj, ebekwe, fofana, bowers was ranked #3 in the country by rivals. the wake class 2 years ago.. teague and johnson, has turned out to be alot better than people expected. teague was top 100 and johnson was top 75. teague has turned out to be a top 10 player in the country. johnson is real good too. meanwhile the guys that we signed that were top 100 (braxton and cliff) have turned out to be more like top 250 (cliff) and maybe top 75,000 (brax). recruiting is not an exact science. sometimes players work out like and sometimes they dont. i still feel very good about gary’s abilities as a coach. he can win alot of games with a solid group of 3 star kids (bowie, milbourne) with a few 4 star kids sprinkled in (mosley, gv, jordan williams).

  27. You know some of you guys want to tout our recruits. Then if they are that good why has our team played poorly the last few years. Maybe it is Gary Williams. You bring up a couple of examples, but dooke the puke and the hellheels do not lose recruits to us. And everyone of these high recruits can’t be busts. Folks we do not present a major problems to any of the powers of the acc. We struggle to find our place in the high middle of the pack. We can not be this weak for this long because of bad luck.

  28. My bad on Wake’s recruits as far as the star rankings. I was not aware of most of them. Thanks for setting me straight.

  29. So far, so good? bad? ugly?… no real surprises in what has transpired…1-2 is not good, but not unexpected either; and not totally in the tank yet. One game at a time. Gotta get UVa and get to 2-2 and we’ll see where it goes from there. Keep the faith. J-Dub and Padgett, hopefully some others are coming.

  30. I still cannot get over Dupree. Scout had him at #47 for the clas of 2007. They listed his strengths as: good hands, low block scorer, gets to the FT line. Could they have been more wrong? Did they only go to one game where Dupree played well and based their opinion on that? And what did Gary and his assistants see when they went up to Calvert Hall or when they saw the Baltimore Stars play AAU games?

    I mean really. There are misses and there are MISSES…WTF.

  31. These players come to school with a great pedigree and it’s up to them and the coaching staff to develop their talent. At every level teams miss on a highly recruited at of high school or a high draft pick in the pros. Busts are part of the game, but I feel your pain that our school seems to get more than our fair share of failed talent.

  32. I really think the Dupree situation is a Gary situation. Gary is known to tear down big men and build them back up again. Many players are successfu after Gary gets his hands on them like Lonny Baxter and Obinna Ekezie. However, Dupree looks like a very sensitive guy and I think Gary hammering him in practice for over a year has gotten to him and ruined his confidence. Hopefully he can find a way to get focused and regain what made him a top 50 recruit, but we have to realize the possibility that he might be damaged beyond repair. Only time will tell.

  33. I think time has run out, unfortunately.

  34. i have a different take on Dupree.

    Dupree impressed last year in the game against Wisconsin (?). He scored 11 pts and a few rebounds et all. As I recall watchng that game he was “fronting” the basket. When he caught the ball he was driving to be hole.

    Since then he (apparently) has been schooled to think …..fill up the middle, rebound and block. In that Wisconsin game he was in there to score.

    Obviously I could be all wet here to base his progress (or lack thereof) on the fact he’s turned around with his back to the bucket and defensive minded. Even in the two FL games, as brief as he was in there, he seemed offensively minded to pitch the rock outside and if there was a soring opportunity he favored a “baby hook” rather than powering the ball back in. MF he’s 6’8″ and 250’ish…..put the rock back in with no dribble.

    Let’s say he’s sensitive, which equates to “not tough” . He’s between a big with a little too much finesse to suit his abilities or he is self-sabotaging his own efforts i.e., thinking and not reacting.

    So, what do you do?. Work him in practice with the starting 5 and “get him involved in the offense”.

    Do any of you reallly think he is offensive minded i.e, there are play designed for him?. He’s got a “one and done” minset. If he makes his first shot there might be others…..if not….forget it….your ass is getting yanked at the next time out.

    I know we have nearly worn out discussio on BP but he (potentially) could return big dividends if we could get his head into this game and productive.

  35. Man, 75,000th in his class? Let’s see ther are about 340 D-1 teams. At 12 players per team that’s 4,080 D-1 players. Let’s give Braxton a break and make him Top 4,000. :-)

  36. Here’s a thought for a GW successor: Craig Robinson, the Oregon coach who is Barack Obama’s brother-in-law. Should help with recruiting. He’s a Princeton grad, to boot.

  37. Man did you see the WaPost article of GW. Almost would hold some truth if not former Dukie Jay Williams was the voice they used.

    Notice how GV sucked and cried great team, when team sucks he cries give me the ball, I think it is time to say this team is not good. They have some hustlers and the sort but they are not a good team. There are 4 legit teams and that is Duke UNC WFU and Clemson. VaTech, BC, FSU, and Miami are next with NCSU, UVa, GTech and Maryland rounding out the bottom. Vaz is all over the place, the rest of the team is all over the place and GW hasn’t sweated through yet. I hope that the NIT calls the way this is going.

  38. Seems like that who’s seat is hotter segment was ludicrous to me. Regardless of whether you are a Gary fan or think its time to move on, comparing him to Ernie Kent is ridiculous. He definitely doesn’t have the acheivements that Gary does and is currently really struggling. When you list the accomplishments (including never having under 19 wins a season since the championship) it seems insane to think that Gary’s seat would be HOTTER than Ernie Kent’s. I guess the three letters that everyone keeps chanting is “N-I-T” Hopefully we can do well in our ACC slate and force our way in the tourney this year. I think the UVA game is VITAL.

  39. I think it was the game against Illinois during the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Both Dupree and Burney played quite well at both ends of the court in that game.

  40. The WaPo article poses the central question: “Should Williams’s accomplishments affiord him a lifetime pass at MD”? I realize we’ve flogged this horse into the glue factory. Buy I’m gratified to see how many Soupers are now gravitating to my once lonely point of view that it’s time for change we can believe in.

  41. where is this washingtonpost article?

  42. frustrated fan

    I’m still with Gary, although the 2010 recruiting class may turn me around if it is mediocre.

    But what a great thought, to go after Craig Robinson! Think of the recruiting possibilities!

    DC has to have a natural recruiting advantage anyway, with all the interesting job possibilities here, especially given the energies and redirection of the new administration. Add a high quality university that Maryland has become, a stimulating and vibrant region economically and culturally, diversity in population, decent climate, a loyal, large and vocal fan base, lots of TV games for the Terps, and a top-of-the line arena, and you already have a formula for recruiting success. Terp recruiting classes really should be top 20 every year, as a poster yesterday observed.

    Then you add into this great mix a talented coach who is an Obama insider, Craig Robinson. Future jos for the new recruits? Making lifelong contacts? Internship possibilities (beyond Under Armor!).

    Maryland would have to fight off all the top players who want to be a Terp. There would not be enough slots on the team to satisfy them all.

  43. thank you frustrated

  44. EdDC: My thoughts exactly. Except you spell out all the upside potentialities with admirable economy. You forgot sharp-elbowed, pick-up games with the prez-elect, however.

    I’m sure the 2010 class will bring some improvement; almost anything will, considering MD’s dearth of quality post players. But I’m not counting on a fairy-tale turnaround in the UM program at what is looking more and more like the 11th hour. I’m afraid GW has dug a hole too deep for him to climb out of. I still think he’s a good coach, and for some reason enjoy watching this team play much more than the prima donnas of the NCM era.

  45. Correction: Craig Robinson is at Oregon State, not Oregon, where embattled Ernie Kent is facing wrathful fans.

  46. Another thought about Craig Robinson on MLK Day. Maryland has never had a black Athletic Director, never a black football head coach, and only one try at a black head basketball coach in its long history, despite having a vast majority of black players in football and basketball. Coincidence or something that requires action?

  47. It requires action. Too often the powerful athletic boosters whose outsized sway influences a coach’s hiring prefer people they can take to the country club. That is, people who look like them. It takes more than a nudge to overcome this often unexamined mindset.

  48. At the risk of stopping the Craig Robinson bandwagon, perhaps it would be prudent to see if he can even win at a high major level before he’s penciled in as a possible replacement down the road for GW.

    Besides, there’s still 13 games left in the regular season, lets at lease see how things play out.

  49. DBR: Two people do not a bandwagon make.

  50. Why don’t you concentrate on hiring the best talent and not the color of their skin. I’m all for looking at all candidates, but at the end of the day you decide on who can get the job done. GW body of work is unparallel at Maryland and his bad seasons would be considered victories at many universities. Coaches are like presidents; their impact can only be appreciated with the benefit of time and hindsight. If the only difference between 1-2 and 3-0 in the ACC is a couple of field goals on the road, I think we have a lot to look forward to. Trust me and mark the tape that over the next four games we will go 3-1 and maybe 4-0.

  51. I’ll mark the tape if you promise to eat your words. As for hiring the best talent regardless of pigmentation, that is exactly what I’m advocating–from both a recruiting and a coaching point of view. MD needs more black head coaching candidates in the mix. The school’s record on this score speaks for itself. Witness JTIII’s success at G’town.

    Anthony Grant should get a close look, Dave Dickerson too. But CR is an intriguing possibility, and you’ve got to be chug-a-lugging the Kool Aid not to see it.

  52. Ernie Kent or Gary Williams the next to get fired. Let’s see. I think it’s Gary! Coming from a guy who threw away millions because he wasn’t prudent with his biggest investment (his body). I don’t even know what to say to this. Just imagined both guys are fired. What jobs do you think would be open to Gary compared to Ernie? If Gary wasn’t 60, he could probably write his own ticket, college or NBA. Even though he is 60, I’d bet offers would be lined up for him.

  53. I really like the idea of having alumni head coaches, when possible. I think Dave Dickerson would be a great choice.

  54. Craig Robinson? C’mon. An intriguing possibility? A big maybe. I just don’t see it. I agree with DBR on this one. Let’s see if this guy can even win at all before you anoint him as a possibility for a job that isn’t even vacant. Sheesh.

  55. True…two people don’t make a bandwagon…but ya’ll could be in one of those Radio Flyer Red Wagons rolling down a hill in the neighborhood :)

  56. Ray writes: “Why don’t you concentrate on hiring the best talent and not the color of their skin.”

    Ray, you have interesting company in this thought, beyond the woeful hiring performance of Maryland. Let’s take the Redskins. The Skins have never had a black GM in their history, and have focused on getting the best available talent for the past 60+ years in this town. This is like Maryland having all white ADs in their history. Meanwhile Ozzie Newsome up the road in Baltimore knows how to build a team. The Skins, like Maryland, have never had a black head football coach, unless you count an interim guy for four games or so a few seasons back. Is it a coincidence that all the head coaches and GMs have been of one race?

    Yes you take race into consideration but focus primarily on talent. But no one can say it should be this lopsided in favor of one race over the other. There is no doubt in my mind that a better racial balance would stimulate recruiting.

  57. “Anointing” him? How do you reach that from “intriguing possibility”? Look, Robinson turned a perennial Ivy League doormat (Brown) into a winner. Admittedly, he is off to a rocky start at OSU (6-10) but doesn’t have much to work with. He’s worth keeping an eye on. We need to get somebody into MD who can recruit local talent, else we are looking at nothing but more and more seasons of heartburn and heartache. I think it needs to be a black coach. I’ve been saying this for some time. Without top-flite talent, not even John Wooden can have success. He admitted as much during the height of his success.

  58. Ok. Maybe using the word “anoint” was a stretch on my part. But I think it’s quite a stretch to place the burden of recruiting on the color of skin. It seems to me that’s what you are doing. We don’t even know how well the guy can recruit. He’s barely been a head coach. Perhaps I’m taking what you’re saying more literally than you intend.

  59. DBR: Maybe so, but the truth only needs a majority of one–okay, make that two.

    EdDC: The problem with the “best talent” in college hoops argument is the assumption that black hoops coaches are as rare as black astrophysicists. We know that can’t be true, considering that sports, like music, was one of the few opportunity ladders open to African Americans for a long, long time.

  60. PT: Alas, skin color can open doors of black homes. Too often white coaches open them by greasing the hinges with cash. Black parents are reassured when a black coach promises to see that their son will get a good education, and not be educationally embezzled with eligibility degrees.

  61. From the discussions, it looks like Craig Robinson needs more time in his current school before he can immediately jump teams. That’s a fair point. It is too early for Craig. (Although thinking about what Obama’s brother-in-law could do with Maryland recruiting is a mind-boggling thought, and a good one. Think of all the recruiting angles that situation, with College Park right next to the nation’s capital, would bring to Maryland. Too bad it is “unrealistic.”)

    I’m with frustrated fan on the ability of a potentially excellent black head coach to boost recruiting. John Thompson III is a case in point. Kids go with the hot program, and a new, fairer hiring philosophy at Maryland would help produce a hot program. Doesn’t mean you should hire any ol’ coach who happens to be a black guy. Justice alone is not enough! You should go for the best, and watch the recruits pour into Maryland.

    I am still waiting for 2010 recruiting results before deciding if GW’s day is passing yet. We have had far too few top recruiting years, but the two 2009 bigs are nice gets and should provide a good foundation for 2010.

  62. Getting back to Greg’s post, the answer is… we just aren’t that good. Our big men are horrible and Dave Neal hustle’s and plays hard, but that does not make up for the fact that he would be an 8th man off the bench in the rest of the ACC. Unfrotunately we are in for probably two more years before being competitive in the ACC again. BD and DG are not “Projects”, but rather they are busts, that is a fact, they will not develop into key players. Hopefully the bigs coming next year can contribute right away. Also, I think the cat is out of the bag regarding Hayes, put a man on him tight and get an easy strip or bad pass. The silver lining may be that GV is lowering his draft status quite a bit and maybe he will stay one more year?

  63. This hiring discussion is all fine and good and I totally agree that talent does not find its limits with race, but I do not want to replace Gary Williams just yet. I agree we have been down for several years, but so have many top universities including GTown, UCLA, UNC, Syracuse ect…. I think Gary will resign on his own terms at some date in the future when he thinks it is time. You go out as a HOF coach that way.

  64. Also, Gary was and still is a decent coach, but ultimately what has done him in this year is failing to recruit an adequate team. There is no excuse for having no mediocre center/PF to even be competitive. Next year’s recruits look promising, but then he needs to get a point guard.

  65. Next year we’ll be a better rebounding team for sure but please…please…please don’t expect Jordan Williams to average 30 points/15 rebounds/6 blocks as a freshman or James Padgett to average a double/double as a freshman.

    Hopefully, all their academics will be in order (I have no reason to believe they won’t be) and they can get on campus in June to take classes and start working out with their teammates and the S&C coach and be ready to contribute their freshman season.

  66. I think, for fans and team, everybody deserves what we have now.

  67. Seriously, Craig Robinson may or may not be a good coach. Or a terrific coach. Or the best college coach since John Thompson and John Wooden, but what the HELL does him being Barack Obam’s brother–in-law have to do with anything? Or should we check and see if Brad Pitt, Spike Lee, Halle Berry or Cher have relatives who can coach?

    Or are we all assuming that he’ll have some sort of inside track on recruiting? SURE he will. The best players don’t care about the program or the TV exposure or a chance at a National Championship. The first question they ask is “Say coach, do you know the PRESIDENT?”

  68. Seriously, this post raises monumental silliness to new heights.

  69. The college experience is important to recruits and their parents. Contacts, internships, and potential jobs can be elevated (or not) depending on who the coach is and what connections he has. Just “being” the brother-in-law means very little.

  70. Here’s a sign of the apocalypse…NCAA has decided that seventh-graders are now officially classified as prospects.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3837197

  71. I don’t know about the apocalypse, but it is a disturbing escalation in the athletic arms race. Deeply disturbing.

  72. Well, seeing how Gary is just now seeing the importance of getting out to see sophomores…having 7th graders now classified as prospects kinda works against us.

  73. I’ll said it once and I’ll it again. Vasquez is a decent player but he is LIMITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. DBR: What next? Preemies?

  75. LOL Kindergarten.

    Meanwhile, today James Padgett posted another double/double…17 points & 12 rebounds. Game was on ESPNU but I missed it. Hopefully there will be a replay.

  76. More on Padgett…he went up against DeMarcus Cousins and held his own. Considered the #1 Center and the #4 player overall in the class of ’09 by ESPN. In addition to the above mentioned 17 points and 12 rebounds, Padgett also had one block and one assist during 27 minutes of play.

  77. Two words for those who insist Craig Robinson — a black coach with assumed inroads into black homes — is the answer to our prayers at MD:

    BOB WADE

  78. I was wondering when Bob Wade would be mentioned. It took a lot of posts, but CT managed to do it. Bob Wade ruined opportunities for all coaches of color at Maryland, I suppose. They are all alike?

    Anyway, years ago, Maryland had a coach named Bud Millikan. He preferred a slow-down style of play, and couldn’t get the recruits in. The Terps were mediocre most years of Bud’s long career. Amazingly, Maryland went out and hired white coaches after Bud, but they did, and had great success with Lefty and Gary. Lefty and Gary were not anything like Bud Millikan.

    I know that is a ludicrous comment. But so is the Bob Wade comment. I don’t criticize my fellow posters usually. Sorry for that, but have to in this case.

  79. Gary’s corpse is not even a corpse yet and we debating who his replacement is?

    How about a new thread on the Virginia game? We need a W so I can give it to all my friends who went to UVA.

    And how about some of you macho men come and support the Women’s team Sunday vs. UNC. I’ll be there with my daughter.
    The #2 Heels will be trying to recover from a 30-point to #1 UConn. It was a massacre.

  80. CT: That’s a bullshit comment implying black coaches are all cut from the Bob Wade mold. And no one is “insisting” anything, only suggesting that an African American coach would improve recruiting when GW steps down, which is only a matter of time. I give you John Thompson III as exhibit #1.

  81. The reason the NCAA put that rule in place was because coaches were going after 7th and 8th grade kids. Until that rule was put in, there were no rules with contact etc because you had to be in 9th grade to be considered a recruit. The ridicules part is the unnamed coaches in Kent and Tenn recruiting all these 8th graders to get around the rules. They should have just changed the wording to include everyone in school and not have an age limit.

    All the coach talk is pretty silly at this point. We have a whole season in front of us. We can beat that dead horse after the season for 6 months.

  82. OK, you guys smoked me out of my den with all this talk of a post-Gary world. It ain’t about to happen, so relax. We’ve got a ton of young guards who’ll be returning next year, a line-up next year that will feature 3 seniors, an dead-eye outside shooter named Kim who is set to blossom, and at least two studs coming in who’ll give us something inside that we don’t have now. We have a rejuvenated recruiting effort under way that’s already shown some success. Gary’s still a great teacher and if he ain’t a premier game coach in a class with the immortals of the sport, you can sitll count on him to take out a Duke or Carolina when you least expect it. My point is that Gary’s got no reason to go anywhere when the arc of this team is headed up rather than down. And by the way, my theory is that the way to get the most out of Gary Williams is to tell him he can’t get it done anymore. So if you’re inclined to bash him, keep it up.

  83. You guys can make whatever implication you want; labeling me a racist is the easy way out. The point is — and this is the ONLY point — Bob Wade was an untested college coach (tremendously successful at Dunbar, but zero college experience) who was hired in large part to draw recruits from Baltimore City, which was the PG County of the 80s. The similarities within the context of our recent conversation re Craig Robinson are obvious. Of course, Wade was crooked, and all indications are that Craig Robinson is a model citizen. I have nothing against him, and if I were convinced he were the right man for the job, I would welcome him with open arms. But does anyone on this blog honestly think that his name would’ve come up at all if he weren’t the President Elect’s brother in law? Big time recruits from PG County could give two shi*s about his Princeton pedigree and his connections to the White House, you can believe that. “How many kids have you coached to the NBA? How many games do we have televised on ESPN this year? Do you have a spot on your staff for my personal conditioning coach?” Those are the questions you’ll hear in the living room, and if you believe otherwise, you’re just incredibly naive. These guys don’t want tickets to the freakin inauguration.

    Should MD think seriously about hiring a black coach to replace Gary? Absolutely. But do it because the guy’s qualified, not because you think recruits will magically flock to the school simply because we’ve hired a coach of the same color.

  84. Even with the past two losses, some people still have us making the tournament if the season ended today. This website lists all of the sites that project the ncaa tournament field and it was updated last night. http://bracketproject.50webs.com/matrix.htm. Maryland appears in 8 out of the 33 projected fields, and overall are listed in the last 4 out category. In the brackets where they are seeded they are a consensus #11 seed.

  85. CT, no one called you a racist. They called you out for an uncharacteristically ill-considered reference to Bob Wade. And if you think the chatter between recruiters and parents across the kitchen table is uniformly as crass as you depict, you’re the one who is incredibly naive. It’s a lot more nuanced than that, unless you believe all black folks are on the take, which I don’t believe for one minute that you do. As for Robinson, nobody said hire him now, only keep an eye on him. And if the guy can coach and recruit, and his brother-in-law happens to be president–it’s a no-brainer to say he has an undeniable advantage in local recruiting. Right now I like Anthony Grant, who is qualified; Dickerson as well, who, like Robinson, has yet to prove his mettle.

    Kaze, GW is sixty-freaking-three-years-old. He ain’t Methuselah. It’s a matter of time before he steps down. I wish I could share your boundless enthusiasm about next year’s recruits….or the prospect that GV, the son you never had, will carry us back to the Promiseland. But I’m heeding DBR’s cautionary advice to lower expectations that the newbies will have an immediate impact.

  86. Interesting, Craig Robinson and Dave Dickerson have now been downgraded to mere future possibilities. Seems we were ready to bring them in sight unseen just a few comments ago. Nevertheless, all I’m saying is, there was once a moment in this school’s history when we hired an untested coach based in large part on the color of his skin and the assumed recruiting advantages he would have over other better qualified candidates . . . and it didn’t turn out so well.

  87. The numbers that Padgett and Williams are putting up are exciting to see but I think Williams is close to half a foot taller than most of the guys guarding him. Padgett is playing against tougher competition in NYC and in the tournaments his HS has traveled to play in…and he did just go up against the #4 player in his class according to ESPN.

    Both guys did some good things this summer on the AAU circuit which earned them high major looks but neither are “program changers” in the true sense of the phrase. They are solid players that will help UMD.

  88. UVa 64 Terps 60. I feel a let down coming with all of the crap going on I can see the terps mailing this one in. UVa has played everyone tough but they are young. One bad loss to Liberty the rest are to real teams. I have a bad feeling about this one.

    Bob Wade was a bum regardless of race.
    Lefty tried to hide and therefor lied no better in the end.
    GW sweats and cusses but refuses to recruit in AAU.

    Maryland needs a young coach who is well trained and not corrupt who wants to recruit and can relate. Look at the guys that have left Duke. GW should have created that type of farm system but alas he kept bringing in old use to beens and then tried to reach out with Booth but it was too late.

    How about just go new and fresh and lets talk about the NCAA’s next year.

  89. We need to see how 2010 recruiting goes before a dump-GW movement can even begin.

    Having said that, it should be clear the Maryland has many natural advantages in recruiting. A great campus and arena. A superb university. Great location near the nation’s capital, with exciting job and internship possibilities. Temperate weather with real seasons. An economically stimulating region, with lots of cultural and racial diversity. What IS the reason the Terps are not top 20 every year in recruiting? A mystery to me how Wake Forest (I’m not real sure where WF is in NC) and so many other universities can out-recruit the Terps. The Terps have so much going for them to have so many poor recruiting years.

    Whenever it comes a time to make a change, of course Maryland needs more diversity in hiring than it has shown. And no, hiring a black coach does not mean that we bring Bob Wade back, or someone like him. That’s silly at best.

  90. How can you not know the location of an ACC team. Winston-Salem, Durham, Chapel Hill, College Park, Charlotesville, Atlanta, Clemson, Raleigh, Coral Gables, Tallahassee, Blacksburg, and Chestnut Hill. This is the ACC you gotta know that stuff.

  91. They are the 2nd team.

  92. I know WF is in Winston-Salem, but don’t know where that is!. So sue me. I’ve been to Duke, NC State and NC games vs. Maryland. But what makes WF a more attractive school for recruits than Maryland? Please educate me.

  93. For the love of everything holy and good in this world, please stop saying Maryland needs a black coach. My bung hole goes into a 15 minute clench and I actually feel dumber and weaker each time you say it. Finding the ‘best’ coach will suffice.

    Last year while hanging with the great Chief Eagle Claw and had a vision of Bruce Pearl as the next MD head coach. If I had to go get a coach today, my first look would be toward Mark Few. He fits.

    As for all the rest, I’ve been biting my tongue. Yea, I see the good things going on, but they don’t mean shit without the ‘W’. Good things + L = wait till next year. I may not be around next year. So I’m numbed and pessimistic and more scared than excited about tonight… and unless Dino comes out sporting a full beard, I will assume the angles are speaking to deaf ears.

  94. Yanik, I gotta tell ya, you are an entirely unique prose stylist.

    CT, my enthusiasm for next year’s recruits isn’t boundless, but ANYTHING is better than nothing. And we’ve got nothing close to ACC-level in the paint right now. Milbourne is a swing guy trying to do his best, but he’s only there because we’ve got nobody in the middle who can take a pass and score a layup or grab an offensive board and put it back in. Our two newbies will have plenty of opportunity to help out, and there will be some veterans around them. And besides all this weighty logic, I’m in a “Yes We Can!” mood today. Beware, Wahoos.

  95. Wake Forest is in an ok area but nothing to write home about. Besides there is vertually nothing to do there. Greensboro is the best place to go if you are a
    Wake fan and that is not saying much.

    I agree with the earlier poster, time for a UMD/UVA post.

  96. “virtually”

  97. In my opinion the 2009 class is the make or break year for Gary.

    When he won the title in 2002, I thought what better than this a Maryland alum that led his team to prominence, he should stay here until he feels its time to step down. This is no longer my mentality. Fresh off the title teams have recruiting advantages like no other, and what did he bring in Nik Caner Medley, Travis Garrison, Will Bowers, Chris McCray, and John Gilchrist.

    All of those players were ranked highly by rivals and scouts.com, and nobody really contributed except Gilchrist and McCray could have been good except for academic inelgibility. Really though we had a stretch of years to bring in the players that were great, and we settled for less. Gary got some quality players (Vasquez, Mosley, Milbourne) but we have no ELITE talent we have one inconsistent somewhat elite player but, seriously we need a low block scorer and hopefully the saviors names are James Padgett and Jordan Williams.

  98. DBR,

    One of the other sites indicates we are looking at a Juco guard. Any idea if he is any good and if he has interest in the TERPS?

  99. Yanki, take a laxative, unclench your sphincter, and face reality. It might make you feel smarter.


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