Gary Williams Is Failing …..

March 17, 2009 |

Admittedly, I’m the WNST family member who talks the least about NCAA Basketball and the Maryland Terrapins. I love the college game and I watch it, but debating the IN’S and OUT’S of each contest doesn’t burn within me. Does that make sense?

Yeah, I love college basketball (I don’t love the NBA product) and I even go to Terps games. Can you believe that? Glenn Clark just fell outta the producer’s chair. It’s 100% true. But, the intimacies of college basketball aren’t a passion and I just can’t fake it.

So, I’m that casual fan, who enjoys the physicality and strategy of the college game. In fact, I love the college game for all the reasons I can’t stand the NBA. For me, it’s basketball. But, once again, on a day following a prime Maryland matchup, I’ll be monitoring the Orioles, Ravens or NASCAR. It’s just me …..

However, as a casual fan, I still have respective opinions about the Terps and in particular, Gary Williams. My primary question is why are so many people, fans and media included, willing to give Gary Williams a “pass” on his obligation to deliver a team capable of WINNING THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP?

Lets make this is a “sugar free” blog ….. and blunt to the core …..

Since securing the NCAA Championship, the Terps have languished in mediocrity. And, it doesn’t appear to be changing, anytime soon. Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams hand Gary Williams his rear-end each and every year. This sobering observation covers on and off the court issues.

That’s right, North Carolina and Duke beat the Terps where it counts – between the baskets. And, they beat ‘em where it really counts – between the driveway and living room of each prime recruit’s home. Aberrations aside, the Terps play for third place in the ACC, every season. And, kids know this.

For all the Gary-Land lovers, don’t cite the occasional victories against the Tar Heels or Blue Devils. When the season is done, the Terps are staring up at the ACC’s powerhouses, pure and simple. That’s right, when Gary pulls his grand entrance during Midnight Madness, we’re all thinking the same thing – “I hope they make the NCAA Tournament.”

How sad is that?

Like I said, since securing that National Championship, the Terps have gone nowhere. And, I think Gary Williams needs to answer for their failed results – on and off the court. It begins and ends with him – period.

Numbers don’t lie and they’re hard to twist around. And, numbers really tell the story of disparity between Maryland and the Duke/North Carolina regimes, over the last 7 seasons – since that coveted championship.

Over the past 7 seasons, the respective records are …..

Terps – 143-97 (50-54 ACC)
Duke – 192-46 (81-31 ACC)
NC – 189-53 (78-34 ACC)

And, the secured finishes aren’t any rosier. Over the past 7 campaigns, the respective regular season and ACC tourney championships tell the story …..

Terps – ZERO regular season/1 ACC tourney championship
Duke – 3 regular season/4 ACC tourney championships
NC – 4 regular season/2 ACC tourney championships

Ouch, that hurts. But, the truth is just that. Gary Williams’ Terps are not a top notch organization. And, this is inexcusable. Just as the Orioles MUST compete with the Yankees and Red Sox, and the Ravens MUST compete with the Steelers, the Terps MUST compete with Duke and North Carolina. And, they’re failing.

Still, some folks think Gary Williams deserves recognition for delivering his team to a 10th seed in the NCAA Tournament. Are you kidding me? And, don’t feed me the excuses about a lesser talented bunch. He built the team – it’s his responsibility.

Gary Williams has failed in his obligation to compete in the ACC. Running in the middle of the pack isn’t good enough for a school like Maryland. The Terps were lucky to make the NCAA Tournament. Their current record could’ve translated into an NIT bid ….. instead, it’s earned them a 2nd round matchup against Memphis – if they beat California. Good luck, this week …..

Would Duke settle for 7 seasons of mediocrity? How about North Carolina? Ask Matt Doherty. I think it’s fair to suggest Gary Williams’ run of “average teams” would not be tolerated at Duke, Carolina or a handful of other schools where winning is demanded. Standards for performance at such schools are higher.

Say what you will about George Steinbrenner – and I realize Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball are two distinctly different things, but if you’re managing the New York Yankees, winning championships is a mandate. In fact, it should be a standard everywhere.

Gary Williams has snookered A LOT of people. Heck, he’s got masses and masses of followers believing he accomplished something special with his current team. They’re undersized and not very talented. Well, who’s fault is that? It begins with and it ends with him.

If Debbie Yow held Gary Williams to the same obligations and standards for excellence found at Duke and North Carolina, he would be on a scorching, freakin’ hot seat, right? His leash would be at its shortest length EVER, if he still had a job.
If you’re a supporter of the Maryland Terrapins, YOU deserve a better product. It’s simple, Gary needs to answer this question …..

“Can you compete with Duke and North Carolina on a consistent basis?”

If he offers excuses, fire him and eat the contract. It’s that simple. If he says he can compete, give him one more shot. And, if he fails to deliver on his promise, fire him. Eat the contract and hire someone who will compete.

Gary Williams is a master at putting detractors and realists on the defensive. Stop falling for his bullyish jedi-mindtricks. His demeanor, when questioned, is along the lines of a Bill Belichick. But, there’s one problem. Uh-huh, Bill Belichick wins CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Gary Williams does not. And, this is the heart of the problem …….