With this season in ruins and only a trip to the NIT left, it’s time to start thinking about next year at College Park and how to start to repair the damage done over the last four years. It’s very easy to pile on right now, but things are not dire; they didn’t go 6-22 this season. However, three NIT appearances and just one NCAA win in four years is not a program going in the right direction.
There needs to be some serious soul searching for everyone involved with the men’s basketball program, and this summer might be the most important in Maryland basketball history. For the players and coaches this won’t a picnic; they both are going to have to invest mind and body to get ready.
Here are some helpful hints:
Landon Milbourne: Develop your 18-foot game, and spend lots time in the gym working on your ball handling, shooting and passing. Look at Detroit Pistons guard Rip Hamilton’s game and pattern yourself after him.
Braxton Dupree: Get in the weight room and cardio room, and dedicate yourself to coming to fall practice as the best conditioned player. You’ll see the difference it will make and that you just wasted an entire year.
Jerome Burney: Join Dupree in the weight room and get stronger, and develop a pet offensive move like the jump hook. You showed lot of progress at the end of the year–keep it up. Don’t regress by not working hard over the summer.
Greivis Vasquez: First, don’t even think of playing in the NBA; you’re not ready. Second, convince Gary that you are not a point guard and that you belong at the two or three spot. Take yoga and learn how to play under control.
Eric Hayes: Work on your quickness and agility, and find your confidence. Realize that you are probably not the next Steve Blake. The Baltimore Sun’s Don Marcus has hinted that Hayes is a strong candidate to transfer. That might be the best thing for all parties concerned, especially for Hayes.
Adrian Bowie: You’re a great athlete. Now work on being a great basketball player, learn to use your right hand, and shoot 250 jump shots a day. You have got the potential to be a very solid player at the ACC level.
Cliff Tucker: Same as Bowie, improve your ball handling and shooting; take 250 shots a day as well. You could be a major factor next year.
Gus Gilchrist, Sean Mosley, Bobby Maze & possibly Ken Bowman: Work hard this summer and come prepared to play. There are some real minutes available if you compete. Remember to check your ego at the door before you enter the Comcast Center.
Gary Williams and the coaching staff: Leave no stone unturned. Open up every spot for competition, review everything from off-season conditioning and pre-season work to offensive and defensive strategy. Think about making changes to your flex cut offense and replacing it with either a motion set or the new spread offense that Duke, VMI, Tennessee and other schools are using. Look at possibly playing some zone defense and rework that 90’s style press. If you don’t think the current players are right for any of changes that need to be made, ask (convince) them to transfer. Next, hit the recruiting trail for ‘09 and beyond with emphasis on three-point shooters and ball handlers.
Get to it gentleman; you have much to do. Your seats in College Park are officially warm.