Terps Basketball Will Be Okay
I'm not sure what all of the panic surrounding the Maryland Men's basketball program is about. There has been a lot of assistant coaching turnover the last few years and that has now lead to one recruite changing his mind about committing to Maryland. Okay. The assistants have turned over because they learned a bunch from Gary and now they want a crack at some other positions where they are either in charge or have a chance to get a position where they are in charge. Several of the assistants where not around more thana year and that hurts consistance and recruiting a bit.
Let's not go off then handle here though. People are now saying that Gary doens't do enough recruiting himself and that he isn't a good recruiter. That is crap. Take a look at the last few recruiting classes that he brought in before the last tow years. He didn't have good recruiting the last few years because had very few scholarships to give. When he did, he brought home what looked like some of the best classes in the country. Take a look at the archives on Scout.com or on Rivals.com. He had top five classes for two years in a row. The propblem is that the guys didn't work out in these classes. We all know what bust the McCray, NKM, Gilcrest, Garrison class was. Most of that was personal issues with the players. The next class was highly touted as well. Mike Jones, Ibekwe, Bowers, Fofana, and DJ Strwaberry. Take look at this. Jones has never lived up top the hype. Ibeqwe is not the stud we thought he could be. Fofana just plain couldn't do anything but foul, so he never saw playing time. Bowers looked like he might develop, but had a very disappointing year last year. The only person who really might exceed expectations is DJ. Having to take on the roll of the PG last year made his ball handling skills much better. He will never be a stud PG, but he can be a very dangerous and skilled player at the 2 down the stretch if they have a good PG to pass to him.
So what does this all mean? Nothing. Gary will regroup and get the players he needs to be competative again. It maybe better if the Terps don't get all ofthe nationally touted players. The champoinship team and the final four teams that the Terps fielded were made up of players that Gary found and liked. He didn't get them off the McDonalds All American roster. They just worked hard and played well as a team. One thing that people are overlooking when they look at the last two years is that Maryland only missed the tournament by one win both years in most likelyhood and that was without a really good PG. If Gilcrest had not been a psycho and totally screwed the team chemistry up two years ago and last year they had a true PG to run the offense, there is no question that the team would have been good enough to get into the big dance both times.
What Maryland needs is a stong effort by the incoming freshman class and then a solid class behind that one and all of this will be long forgotten. We will have 2 of the three main ingredients to a successful team after this class comes in. 1. a solid point guard and 2. a shooter who can score and be a leader (Vasquez). The third thing is a SOLID player in the low post. We will have that the following year with B. Dupree. Has anyone noticed that when we have a solid big guy down low we are competative? Lonny, Jamar Smith, Randle, Obinna. These guys helped a ton. The last few have either beenthe "wirey athletic" type like Ibekwe or just lame like Garrison. In order for the lean, athletic big guys to be effective, we have to have a bulky, rebounding, back to the basket player to compliment them. The big guys that we have had recnely liked to shoot jumpers more than muscle their way inside. We need a Craig Smith type of player to post up inside to open up the outside for Jones and Company.
Forget the crappy sports writers at the Baltimore Sun. They know nothing about the Terps and just like to use shock value to try to gain readership. They are the newspaper equivilent to a reality TV show. Crap. No substance.
Mark my words. You heard it here. Maryland will be better this year than last year. Eric Hayes will be a huge help at PG, Jones got better as the year went on last year because he actually got to play, DJ can be great if he is consistent and the other incoming freshmen will bring a new level of engery to the team. Having only one or two new players on the team the last few years has hurt the energy level and it has shown. Maryland WILL go to the tournament next year and will return to the top part of the ACC standings within 2 years.
Gary knows what he is doing. He didn't just get lucky before.