Sunday, December 05, 2004

BB&T (Bad, Bad and Terrible)

Misery at the MCI Center

Sorry for the week long hiatus. I was without an Internet connection for the last week while I moved the Herman Veal Empire to DC. I shall not leave my readers (both of you) wanting again.

After an exhausting week, where I started a new job and moved cities, I decided to celebrate a difficult week with a relaxing doubleheader of basketball at the MCI Center. Relaxing it wasn’t.

Maryland’s dismal performance culminated in what may be the worst sports day I have had since the Jeffrey Maier incident in ’96 American League Divisional Playoffs. Not only did the Terps give up 101 points to George Washington (????), the Ravens ended their season by crapping the bed against the Cinncinnati Bengals (the Bengals!?!). To cap matters, my fantasy team lost a heartbreaker to end my season.

What have I done to deserve this? Whenever fortune frowns on my sports teams, I convince myself that these losses will only make it sweeter when my teams win it all. Unfortunately, my teams do not appear to possess the necessary personnel to make a championship dream possible for the next several years.

Since this is a Terps Basketball column, I won’t bore you with how I feel about the fact that Ravens will have Kyle Boller for the indefinite future, while two rivals (Bengals, Steelers) have QBs that are as young, but much better. It could be an ugly few years as Ray Lewis gets old and the defense declines. Well at least the Ravens gave me a Super Bowl. I really have no right to complain.

The same can be said of the Terps. The National Championship of 2002 is something that I will always cherish. I believe in the five-year rule. Any team that wins it all (in any league) should get a five-year pass from its fans. That does not mean that I should sit by as this team plays with their collective heads up their asses, and attempts to pass it off as team basketball.

The final of the BB&T Classic on Sunday was a manifestation of all that is wrong with this year’s Maryland squad. Here are a couple indisputable facts:
• Gary Williams made two huge recruiting errors by offering scholarships to Hassan Fofana and Will Bowers. Both guys couldn’t be any stiffer if they had rigormortis. As a result, the Terps have no big man to play post defense. Ibekwe is a power forward who gets pushed around down low.
• Gilchrist is a mess. He scored 23 points against GW and he had a horrrrible game. So far Gilchrist has played five terrible games and one good game (Memphis). As I stated in an earlier column, he didn’t play well in Italy this summer, or in preseason, and now it is carrying over to the regular season. This team is going nowhere unless Gilchrist gets his ass in gear.
• You can’t blame Gilchrist for everything, it’s not all his fault. There is no one to pass to. Who on the team can hit an open shot? There is only one guy who gets any playing time that can hit a three-pointer: Nik Caner-Medley. The only problem is that NCM will only hit the three if he gets the ball on the baseline and he catches it in perfect shooting position, and it is 73.4 degrees in the arena, and the sun is shining. Otherwise he misses it. Too bad Maryland doesn’t have any McDonald’s All-Americans riding the pine who happen to have a gorgeous shooting touch. They don’t because Gary would play a guy like that, right? I’m sure Mike Jones is thrilled with his decision to come to Maryland. Every time he sees DJ and McCray clank one, Jones probably wants to stab himself through the ear with a pencil. Who wouldn’t?
• Maryland has no transition defense. It’s really quite embarrassing watching GW consistently break our press for easy buckets. Gary Williams’ teams NEVER play poor transition defense, so I don’t know what is happening here. I know that it needs to improve quickly.
• No one on the team can hit free throws. Period. It has already cost the Terps two games this year.
• Maryland cannot win unless they get Travis Garrison involved in the offense. The best way to do this is to run him off a baseline screen, so he can take that 15-foot shot. It is the key to his offense and it will free up the interior for Gilchrist to drive to the hoop and dish. We need to start running some plays to get Garrison open so he can take it. I can’t stress this enough. When Maryland played well last year, it was because Travis Garrison was involved in the offense.

So where does this leave the Maryland Terrapins? Like last year, this team will have tremendous problems maintaining consistency. This will cause me to throw things at my television all season. I am stocking up on nerf balls because I don’t want to put my shoe through it. The bottom line is that the ACC is way too tough for Maryland to still be working on the same problems from last year. If this season turns out like last year, minus the ACC Championship, Gary is going to have to get off his high horse and actually start visiting recruits. Maybe if Gary had actually gone to see Rudy Gay play in person last year, instead of sending Dave Dickerson, Rudy would be a Terp instead of a UConn Husky.

The time is ticking on Gary’s five-year pass and I’m starting to wonder. Gary Williams got out-coached on Sunday and it’s not the first time that has happened. I know that Juan Dixon was the most special player Gary ever had and he is the reason why that banner hangs from the rafters of the Comcast Center. Now that Gary does not have the right mix of talent on this squad, let’s see if he can mold them into winners. My TV is praying that he does, lest I perform an Elvis on it.

Jerm - You are too funny and 99.9% correct in what you wrote. I just have to say that I agree with Danny Chasan in that Gary needs to get Chris McCray more involved. I think he has a great shot and has played fantastic on both ends of the floor this season. AND HE IS SHOOTING 100% FROM THE LINE. Gilchrist does need to get his head out of his ass and when will Gary learn to teach guys how to BOX OUT...

Good job otherwise bud! Good luck with the new job..
if youre gonna knock caner-medley, at least keep your story consistant.

it was 73.4 and sunny this time.
last time it was 74 and 5 mph winds

keep it straight, kid
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