Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Mike Jones and Sarunas: Peas and Carrots

This is a message for all of you agnostics and atheists out there.
Clearly, there is a G-d because my prayers have been answered. DJ
Strawberry started last night in place of the much-maligned (by me)
Nik Caner Medley. Now it wasn't exactly what I had prayed for. If
you'll recall, I wanted Mike Jones to start in his place. At this
point, who I am to complain?

Of course there may be some other factors afoot that prompted this
dramatic change in Gary's lineup. Last week, my buddy Geoff and I
each penned an email into the "Ask Gary" feature on
The text of my email went as follows.

"Dear Gary,

I'm curious as to why you do not play the three guard set more often.
Duke used that lineup quite effectively last year and is doing so this
year. It would give the Terps an extra shooter from the outside and
it would eliminate a defensive liability in Nik Caner-Medley. Your



Now is it a coincidence that Gary removed NCM from the lineup the very
next game to try out the three-guard set? Of course it is. I can
dream though can't I? If Gary can hear my message on getting rid of
NCM, maybe he will listen to my telepathic signals to give Mike Jones
more than eight friggin minutes against the likes of Mt. St. Mary's!!
Gary what does this guy have to get some playing time? Is he that bad
in practice? I mean, he sure looks fluid to me on the court.

The way that Gary has handled MJ is reminiscent of another former Terp
who was misused during his stint in College Park. When I first saw
Sarunas Jasikevicius step on to the court at the Cole Field House aka
"Basketball Heaven", I new I had just seen a special talent. Gary
never knew how to use Sarunas' unique talents. Sarunas' creative
passing skills were curtailed while he was a Terp, and he was always
accused of playing bad defense.

Let's see what Sarunas has done since leaving Maryland. For those
unaware (if you are reading this article, I would be shocked if you
are), Sarunas nearly single-handedly defeated the "Dream Team" in the
2000 Olympics and then led his team to victory in the 2004 Olympics
against Team USA. In both games, Jasikevicius was the best player on
the court.

Recently, the clearing house for all things European
Basketball, named Jasikevicius the 2004 Player of the Year in Europe
AND named him to the starting five of the All European Team. His
teammates on that team? None other than:
• Predrag Stojakovic (207-F-77), Sacramento Kings (NBA), Serbia/M.
• Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Germany
• Pau Gasol (214-F-80), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Spain
• Tony Parker (183-G-80), San Antonio Spurs (NBA), France
That is some company he keeps, eh? Just for a little clarity, Andre
Kirilenko is NOT on this team and Sarunas is. The only thing keeping
Sarunas from a stellar career in the NBA is Sarunas. He has been
offered contracts by several teams, but has always balked. Maybe he
doesn't like the coaching style in the US. Maybe he was scarred by
the way Gary misused him. I'm not saying that's the reason, I'm just
saying it's possible.

OK, so what is my point? Sarunas and MJ are like peas and carrots
(your welcome, Dan). They have been misused by Gary. I am scared
that one day we will see Mike Jones wearing another college uniform
hoisting up rainbow threes and scoring 20 points per game. If it
happened once, it could happen again. If you aren't Gary's kind of
guy, it doesn't mean you aren't a great player, it just means you're
not Gary's kind of guy.

Look for another post this week previewing the matchup between
Maryland and UNC this weekend.

How many freakin sites do you want me to follow? Get MVP up and running again or stick to this one. I waited that entire article to hear the peas and carrots line . . . sheesh.

Not too many bigger Sarunas fans than me - other than the obvious. I hear Rodney Elliot is in SJ's euro-posse. Elliot buys the condoms and Ecstasy and SJ gets them into the most exclusive Polish and Hungarian night clubs without waiting in any lines. My theory? It's not like the TWolves have Eastern-Europe quality sluts to choose from in St. Paul. Stick to Europe Sarunus. Desperate strippers = good strippers.
I guess any chance of Gary playing the bench more, (more specifically MJ) is over now that we are into the hellish ACC schedule. I mean 8 minutes for MJ and 13 for Ledbetter and Bowers. What's going on? Maybe its time for another post to Ask Gary?
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