GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former Maryland head coach Gary Williams will be one of 13 members of the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Legends Class, league commissioner John Swofford announced Thursday.
Williams, who led the Terrapins to the 2002 National Championships and to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances in his 22 seasons at College Park, is one of two coaches in the class, joining former Wake Forest coach Carl Tracy.
Also included on the team is a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary basketball team, six former All-Americas, three former All-ACC selections, six former NBA Draft selections and four players who led their teams to five ACC Championships.
Making up the rest of the class are: former ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan; Boston College’s Gerry Ward; Clemson’s Terrell McIntyre; Duke’s Trajan Langdon; Georgia Tech point guard Mark Price; Florida State’s Tharon Mayes; Miami’s Mike Wittman; North Carolina’s Mike O’Koren; NC State’s Dereck Whittenburg; Virginia’s Travis Watson; and Virginia Tech’s Ace Custis.
One of the most respected coaches in ACC history, Williams took over the Maryland program in 1990 and rebuilt the Terrapins into a national basketball powerhouse. In all, he won 461 games in 22 seasons at his alma mater, posting a 461-252 (.647) to become the winningest coach in Terrapin history.
Known for his fiery coaching style, Williams led Maryland to 14 NCAA appearances, including two Final Four appearances. He was named National Coach of the Year after leading Maryland to the 2002 NCAA National Championship, the first ever for the school. He was twice named ACC Coach of the Year (2002, 2010) and led the Terps to the 2004 ACC Tournament Championship.
A native of Collingswood, N.J., Williams played three seasons at Maryland (1964-67) as a point guard for Coach Bud Millikan and was named team captain in his senior season of 1967.
He graduated in 1968 with a degree in Marketing and spent three seasons as a high school coach before beginning his college coaching career as an assistant at Lafayette (1972-73) and Boston College (1973-78). He then served as a head coach at American University (1978-82), Boston College (1982-86) and Ohio State (1986-89) before taking over at Maryland.
He has an overall coaching record of 668-380 (.637) for 33 seasons and ranks 34th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list. In all, he led his teams to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and 8 trips to the NIT. He finished his career ranked 3rd among all ACC coaches in total wins and ACC victories trailing only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina’s Dean Smith.
By the time you’re reading this, you may already know the details.
There are significant rumors swirling regarding what type of penalties Penn State University will be handed down Monday by the NCAA, but they seem to be consistent. It appears as though PSU football will lose bowl eligibility for multiple seasons, suffer multiple scholarship reductions and be fined tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. There could be more handed down by NCAA President Mark Emmert, there could be more handed down by the Big Ten Conference.
The penalties coming just after a statue of former Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno was removed from outside Beaver Stadium in State College. The penalties have been explained as being less than “the death penalty” famously handed down to Southern Methodist University over 20 years ago by the NCAA. The penalties however are thought to be potentially as bad as possible while football is still allowed to be played.
I’ve thought a lot about the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State over the last year. I’ve written a good bit about Sandusky, Paterno and others in recent weeks. I’ve spoken even more during the course of my radio show. I guess I would describe myself as “fascinated” with the story. I will work under the assumption that I’m not the only one.
Some will debate the merits of the penalty handed down by the NCAA. I’ll probably work with the thought that there isn’t a penalty that I’d consider too strong. I’m not sure how much more really needs to be said about that, truthfully.
I’ll admit that the one statement I can’t help but continuously repeat over and over again is “Thank God I’m not at all associated with Penn State.” Thank God I don’t have to think about this. Thank God I don’t have to feel any culpability and guilt towards the fact that I worshipped a coach and a program that was willing to risk the wellbeing of children in order to protect their own reverence. Thank God I never helped build a community where sport was more important than human life.
But a particular Facebook post I came across this weekend caught me off guard and made me think a bit. HFS morning show host Maynard Edwards mockingly posted about the Baltimore Ravens’ re-signing of RB Ray Rice earlier this week, jesting about his overall lack of concern about the sport of football. He followed up a question about why he didn’t like football with a particularly interesting answer…
“Our national obsession with that particular sport I believe has gotten a tad bit out of hand. I realize it didn’t happen in the NFL, but when we(‘ve) got people more willing to go along with the (rape) of children in order to preserve a stupid game, we might need to do a national (gut) check on that.”
For the sake of full disclosure, Maynard Edwards is one of the first people that helped me get into the radio industry. He’s also the last person I would have thought I would have ever quoted in a sports column.
It’s an interesting thought process. Perhaps the culture created by rapid Penn State fans that believed “football above all” was more about the culture of the game itself. Perhaps all football fans at all levels (NFL, college, high school) need to ask themselves if their obsession with the game would interfere with their ability to do the right thing and take a stand against a criminal.
ROCKVILLE, Md. - Retired basketball coach Gary Williams will receive a lifetime achievement award in a ceremony at the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame this Saturday night at the Capital Hilton.
In addition, longtime play-by-play announcer Johnny Holliday will be inducted into the Hall at the ceremony, along with former Maryland player Len Bias.
“Gary’s contributions to the Washington, D.C., basketball community are tremendous,” said Bob Geoghan, founder of the Hall. “I can’t think of anyone locally who deserves this type of recognition and award more.”
Williams was a head coach for 33 years, including 22 at his alma mater. He earned a record of 668-360 overall and 461-252 at Maryland. He was the National Coach of the Year in 2002 and the ACC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2010.
Holliday is known throughout the nation as the Voice of the Terrapins and recently completed his 33rd year as the play-by-play man for University of Maryland football and men’s basketball. A former Washingtonian of the Year, Holliday is also known throughout the region for his tireless fund-raising endeavors and his charity leadership.
Bias is still considered to be one of the best college basketball players ever in the game. He was the ACC Player of the Year in 1985 and 1986, and was the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.
Others being inducted on Saturday are former NBA player and current broadcaster Phil Chenier; Georgetown University announcer Rich Chvotkin; former Washington and Baltimore general manager Bob Ferry, high school coach Stu Vetter and Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in the NBA.
The Maryland Terrapins appear to be set at guard for many years to come under new coach Mark Turgeon, but one of their own right now felt left out and is reportedly set to transfer.
Sophomore guard Mychal Parker, who was brought to Maryland under ex-Terps coach Gary Williams, averaged 4.3 ppg and three rebounds off the bench this season, and seemed to be on the outside looking in for Mark Turgeon in the future.
Parker announced his departure today via a statement to The Recruting Scoop, and called it one of the toughest decisions he has ever had to make.
“I have come to the realization that it is in my best interests to continue my education and my career elsewhere,” said Parker. “I’m very grateful for the opportunities and support I’ve gotten from the University of Maryland and from Coach Turgeon. I will always consider myself a Terp for life.”
Parker, a former four-star recruit out of Charlottesville, said Coach Turgeon approached him and advised him of his lack of playing time over the coming seasons with Jake Layman coming in next winter.
“We appreciate the effort and commitment Mychal made to our success and our program this season,” Turgeon said. “We certainly wish him well as he continues his academic and athletic pursuits.
Possible destinations for Parker include ECU and UAB, where former Maryland assistant Rob Ehsan is located on the staff.
Ehsan was a former Gary Williams assistant who recruited Parker to College Park, and was key in his development his freshman year at College Park.
Be sure to follow WNST on Twitter for all your Terps News!
You’re going to have to indulge me on this one. I have no one to yell at and no incredible statement to make about a current sporting event.
Instead, if this column was called “Your Saturday Reality Check”, I would have gotten this perfectly to the date.
Ten years ago-Sunday, March 24, 2002-the University of Maryland met the University of Connecticut in the East Region Final (or the Elite 8 if you well) of the NCAA Tournament. The game was at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.
For full disclosure, I wasn’t there. It was my freshman year at the University of Maryland, but I didn’t make the trip. I didn’t make the trip to the Georgia Dome for the Final Four either, which is one of the greatest regrets of my still very young life. I actually think our own Luke Jones was at the game, but I’m just rambling now.
You certainly remember the shots that defined the game. The Terrapins trailed the Huskies 77-74 with just under four minutes to play as Caron Butler simply wouldn’t let UConn go away quietly. Juan Dixon calmly sank a three pointer from near the top of the key to even the game back up. Then in the final minute, a previously scoreless Steve Blake altered a play call in the huddle and used a ball fake to create an open three for himself to put the Terps up 86-80, effectively the final nail in the coffin of a 90-82 victory.
What I remember was how the game felt like the most intense college basketball game I had ever witnessed. While Gary Williams likely ruined an expensive suit due to sweat that afternoon, Glenn Clark also ruined a number of t-shirts and a pair of pajama pants. This was a game where neither team ever appeared to have the upper hand. Lonny Baxter was absolutely dominant in the paint against future NBA standout Emeka Okafor, but Butler’s 32 points kept the Huskies at Maryland’s heels all afternoon.
We’re planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University of Maryland’s only basketball championship throughout the week on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. I’ve admitted regularly that I openly wept at Cole Field House that early April night (the anniversary of the championship is this Sunday for those scoring at home) in College Park. I had two goals for my life from about the time I was eight years old. One was to become a professional broadcaster, the other was to attend the University of Maryland.
Being a “Terp” was in my blood. My grandmother (a journalism teacher in Baltimore County and later professor at Morgan State University) is a University of Maryland alum. While I was too young for the Bob Wade era of Maryland basketball to mean much to me, the early years of the Gary Williams era (which were not always pretty) shaped who I wanted to be when I stepped on a basketball court at Chapel Hill Elementary School or Perry Hall Middle School. I pretended to be Evers Burns. I pretended to be Kevin McLinton. I ABSOLUTELY pretended to be Walt “The Wizard” Williams, Joe Smith, Keith Booth and Sarunas Jasikevicius.
I really had no idea I’d ever witness my heroes playing in a Final Four or for a national championship. I had felt the 1999 team (lead by Steve Francis) had a legitimate chance, but Erick Barkley and St. John’s extinguished those hopes in the Sweet 16. Just weeks before Maryland’s initial Final Four run in 2001 there were calls for the head of Gary Williams after an embarrassing streak of five losses in six games (including a “rock bottom” defeat at the hands of Florida State on Valentine’s Day).
But there was something about the 2001-2002 Terps that made you believe the entire time that team was capable of finally breaking through. The heartbreak of blowing a big loss to Duke in the Final Four the year earlier seemed to fuel them to an ACC regular season championship and back to that afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The confidence of an incredible group of upperclassmen was never lacking at any point during the season.
Maryland’s run to the National Championship was unprecedented. After an opening round win over Siena, the Terps faced a modern day “Murderer’s Row” of basketball programs as they ran through Wisconsin, Kentucky, UConn and then Kansas and Indiana. Maryland faced the highest seed they could possibly face in every round as a 1 seed (16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1) as well. Yet somehow they never really seemed to be in danger of losing.
In the Final Four a huge second half lead was cut into by the Jayhawks, but it never appeared particularly nerve-racking. The Hoosiers briefly held a second half lead in the National Championship game, but a quick baseline jumper from Dixon turned the game back toward the favor of Maryland.
The only game that involved great drama was the UConn game. It was the type of drama that sees eight ties and seven lead changes in the final 13 minutes. It was the type of drama that almost could never be fairly described in words. (ESPN’s Dick Vitale described it as a “Maalox Masher” immediately after the game. He’s certainly a wordsmith if nothing else.)
It was the type of drama that made you think “whoever wins this game is winning a national championship” in the second half. At least it made me feel that way…and I was right.
To this day, this is still my absolute favorite game I’ve ever watched. More so than the Tennessee Titans/Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff in 2001, more so than the Mike Mussina/Randy Johnson showdown at Camden Yards in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS, even more so than the Andre Agassi/James Blake thriller at the 2005 U.S. Open. If your heart can take it, it’s worth reliving below.
I’m not sure mine can, but I’m still grateful for these memories some ten years later.
The Seventh Annual Dick Vitale Gala to Honor College Coaching Greats Lou Holtz, Jay Wright and Gary Williams
Net Proceeds from Gala to Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research through The V Foundation for Cancer Research
Cary, N.C.—The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research fundraising organizations, is excited to announce the Seventh Annual Dick Vitale Gala presented by Mountain Dew. The Gala, held on Friday, May 18, 2012, at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida, is hosted by ESPN’s Hall of Fame Sportscaster Dick Vitale and will honor the former head men’s basketball coach for the University of Maryland Gary Williams, Hall of Fame college football coach Lou Holtz, and the head men’s basketball coach for Villanova University Jay Wright. Net proceeds for the event will help fund pediatric cancer research.
“Celebrities from the sports world will focus on raising $1 million for pediatric cancer research,” said Vitale. “This year’s gala will have a new twist as we will end the evening with music and dancing to the Motown sound of The Spinners. Nothing excites me more than the preparation for my annual Dick Vitale Gala. It is so gratifying to see everyone uniting and demonstrating a keen sense of pride and passion to help raise dollars for kids battling cancer.”
Since its inception in 2006, the event has raised over $6.5 million for pediatric cancer research. This year, net proceeds from the Gala will benefit pediatric cancer research initiatives at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and Shands Cancer Center in Gainesville through The V Foundation. The V Foundation has awarded $6.16 million in research grants in the state of Florida.
“Dick has been a tremendous friend to The V Foundation over the years,” said Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation. “I’d like to personally thank Dick and this year’s specials guests Lou Holtz, Gary Williams, and Jay Wright for their support of the Foundation. We are looking forward to another exciting gala this year.”
The Seventh Annual Dick Vitale Gala will begin with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and an after party featuring a live performance from musical group The Spinners.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the event are now available. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Dick Vitale Gala, please visit www.jimmyv.org/vitale or contact Mary Kenealy at 941-350-0580 or email@example.com.
About The V Foundation
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $120 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by the Foundation’s endowment. The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Loyola student-athletes.
How are you liking Pittsburgh so far?
SHANE WALKER: Love it.
ERIK ETHERLY: Great city. I’m a Steelers fan.
DYLON CORMIER: Been a great trip so far.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student-athletes from Loyola.
Q. The nation has found out about your coach, how personable he is, is that the right way to put it? Can you give us your memory when he went off on some rant or tandem that you said, I don’t know what this guy is talking about?
SHANE WALKER: I feel like he can do that any day. Anytime somebody asks him a question, it’s a 15-minute answer. He goes off on a tandem, you have no idea where he’s going. He’s such a great guy, you just learn to accept it and love it.
ERIK ETHERLY: I think the most memorable one for me is halftime of the Fairfield game with Bobby Steele and the Black Panthers. Nobody saw that one coming. He got his message across.
DYLON CORMIER: I think for me is him, the inch-by-inch statement he just came out with. He said, To win, we got to block and tackle, same thing in basketball.
Q. Dylon, he said earlier this week where you have a special relationship, he’ll challenge you, you’ll challenge him right back.
DYLON CORMIER: It’s kind of like he want me to do better, so he’ll yell me and tell me I’m not doing something better, just so I can do it even better.
Q. You’re known for your man-to-man defense. Also explain to us what your flex offense is like.
SHANE WALKER: I feel like our defense is so, so good because everybody has bought in. Years past, not necessarily everybody has bought in. Me being a senior leader, I demanded that from the rest of the team, and we all bought in. It wasn’t a problem.
ERIK ETHERLY: We also help each other out a lot. We have a great team in terms of being able to switch a lot of stuff so we don’t get caught up on a lot of screens and we always help on all of our screens.
DYLON CORMIER: I think we have a great inside presence with Shane and Erik, and also J’hared and Julius coming off the bench. So the two players has been effective for us this year.
Q. Shane, can you talk about the matchup with Ohio State. Has Jimmy brought up any history of No. 15 seeds beating No. 2 seeds?
SHANE WALKER: Yeah, he’s talked about Coppin State in the past. Was it South Carolina? Yeah, it was maybe 15 years ago, he brought that up.
He’s not really concerned about years past, he’s concerned about the team now and doing the best we can. He’s not really focused about other teams.
Q. Were you the Steelers fan?
ERIK ETHERLY: I was at the opening game when the Steelers played the Ravens. I took a lot of heat for it, but I wore it at the stadium.
Q. When you break down Ohio State, what stands out offensively in terms of what you need to stop?
DYLON CORMIER: Their inside presence in Jared Sullinger and Thomas, their four-man, they got a great inside presence and a couple shooters where they kick it out. I think we have to prevent the ball from getting in the post as much as we can.
SHANE WALKER: When I look at them, they’re not very deep. They only play six or seven guys. I feel like we can run them. They try to slow the game down. We try to speed it up. Hopefully that will work in our advantage.
Q. You talked about coach. Were you tournament fans, seeing power teams getting beaten?
DYLON CORMIER: Not at a very young age. I remember George Mason went on a run and beat a lot of good teams.
ERIK ETHERLY: And VCU. That’s a local team, so we look up to them, as well.
THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you.
We have Coach Patsos from Loyola. Make a few opening comments.
COACH PASTOS: Great to be in Pittsburgh, what a great town. My wife is from here. What a great sports town, what a great building. Other than the fact the Steelers play here, I really like it. We’re Ravens fans in Baltimore. A lot of the Ravens, Jim Harbaugh, people like that are following this game. But everybody loves Pittsburgh. Everybody says the same thing, what a great place it is.
I see my commissioner out there. We’re from the MAAC. Really have a lot of pride in our basketball league. We have two teams in the NCAA, which is great for us this year.
I was out with Dave Dickerson, Matt Roe, and Billy Hahn last night for about an hour, because we’re all family friends from Maryland. It’s a really interesting, happy time for me in my life.
I’m really proud of what the kids have done. This is about Loyola, what a great university it is. You don’t get here without the support of Jim Paquette, my AD, the president Father Linnane, things like that. So it’s a happy time for Loyola. Now we’re excited to play Ohio State, one of the great programs in the country.
Unfortunately Dave Dickerson knows me really well, so they don’t have to scout us because I run everything that we ran at Maryland together. They should know everything we’re running.
I’m happy to take questions.
Q. Obviously you know what it’s like to cut down the nets. Can you contrast emotionally the difference between being in the first chair here with a program like Loyola and having it done at Maryland?
COACH PASTOS: That’s a good question because both programs were the same when I got there. Obviously the depths of 1 and 27 is different from what happened at Maryland. However our climb at Maryland were when Duke and Carolina were winning NCAA tournaments. Georgia Tech had gone to the Final Four. So, in other words, I feel the same.
I feel great when we cut down the nets at Maryland even though I was the assistant, and I feel great cutting down the nets at Loyola as head coach. The climb was not always easy. You can always climb the first few runnings. You can be a beat writer, but you can’t be Lenn Robbins and have your own column in the widest circulated paper in the country. It takes a while to get there. It’s the last part that’s hard. You know that. It’s the last part of the journey that’s difficult.
Whether it’s at Loyola or the University of Maryland, I feel good we were lucky enough to make that last climb. I’m not sure I ever thought that would happen, at either place by the way.
THE MODERATOR: The 24-win season, what did that mean to the program? It was the first since you went to Division I 30 years ago.
COACH PASTOS: It was great because the last time we went to NCAA, Skip Prosser, who is a fantastic coach and great person, was here. They were like the 6 seed and won it. We’re in a great basketball league. To win 24 games in the MAAC, we have NBA players, we have coaches that have left to go on and be successful at a higher level. Kind of puts a signature on your program. When you win 20, it says something. When you win the MAAC, which like I said, I’m not joking about the New York thing, we love being in the New York league because you get a lot of attention media-wise. It’s a great basketball city with a lot of tradition.
Len Elmore and I were joking today, he played at Powell Memorial and I know that because New York is where the best players come from and everybody is a tough critic. If you’re successful there, you’re really happy.
Q. Talk about the concerns you have about Ohio State.
COACH PASTOS: I have major concerns about Ohio State. I just ran into Sullinger in the hallway. The guy is a monster. Thomas, the left-handed 6’8″ guy. Remember, Gary Williams does the Big Ten Network. Not that he would give me any inside information. I know what a great team Ohio State it. It’s an honor to play them. We probably have little chance of winning the game. Four minutes at a time, we’ll see what we can do.
We’ll still run and press against them. Ohio State wants to play their way. If you play their way, you’re not going to beat them. I think they can win the national championship this year, especially with Fab Melo being out. I’m talking as a fan. This has nothing to do with coaching. I see Ohio State have a chance to get to the Final Four because of their size. I like the kid Ravenel that comes off the bench.
But Craft is scary because he reminds me of Steve Blake. The Steve Blake, nobody ever thought he was that good until you played against him. He made shots, steals the ball, he’s quicker, smarter, you find out that he was the quarterback on his high school team, which scares me because you find out he’s a leader. Thomas is much better than I thought. He’s going to cause problems for us. Sullinger, you can put down 20-10, I just hope it’s not 35-18.
Q. Is there a hope with what you do defensively, Ohio State plays their starters a lot of minutes, that maybe you can try to wear them down?
COACH PASTOS: I mean, I can. But they’re four sophomores. Buford knows what he’s doing. We will try and press them. We simulated at little 20-minute scrimmage on Monday night. We took two-and-a-half-minute timeouts and my guys couldn’t believe how long they were. What you find out is they can rest. They can rest those two and a half minutes.
They’re used to playing minutes. It’s like one thing if you lose a couple guys and all of a sudden you have to play six and you’re not used to it. They’ve done it. He’s a great coach.
We will try and press ‘em, not as much to wear ‘em down, but probably to speed the game up. We need the game to go fast. You saw Iona, but they didn’t score at the end. Our league is a scoring league. We’re going to have to keep scoring. I want the pace of the game more than wearing them down. Is that fair to say? That’s what we’re looking to do.
Q. What you mentioned with Dave Dickerson, is there some element of surprise because a staff member knows you?
COACH PASTOS: Well, Dave, we just got together for like an hour. It was really nice to see everybody. But Dave really quickly says, I saw you’ve reverted back to the original Gary Williams, pressing on the make. He loved his time at St. John Arena. His daughter still lives in Columbus. He saw the pressing. He saw the 2 play, which is our version of the flex.
Gary Williams has had assistants like Rick Barnes, Fran Fraschilla, all these guys. I shouldn’t say this, but they’re probably more successful because they didn’t run all his stuff so much. But no (laughter).
Dave goes, You’re the only dummy that runs everything Gary did. Didn’t you learn? I’m like, Okay. Because Fran Fraschilla and Fran Dunphy and all those guys. I run like Gary’s stuff and I’ve kind of reverted back to it because I thought we could press a lot with eight guys this year.
We have an older team and they get used to the terminology, like 55′s, full-court press, and they all know it. Dave said, I just watched a half and I don’t have to scout anymore. He’s doing exactly what we thought he would do.
We probably play a little more zone, but we play Gary’s zone action, a 3-2, not a 2-3. It will be interesting. Got him 600 some wins and his name on the court, so I stuck with it.
Q. When you got together last night, what was that like? Did you devise a plan to get Gary off of Congressional this weekend?
COACH PASTOS: He’s doing Big Ten games. He’s part of the media now. Preparing to tear some coach apart. No, I’m just kidding.
Gary is going to Chicago to do the Big Ten. No, it was impromptu. Billy Hahn actually led us. Gary was the dad. Billy was the big brother. Dave was the middle. Actually Dave was probably more like Robert Duvall in The Godfather. He was really like sane. I was more like Michael. Billy was definitely like Sonny. I’m not Sonny. There’s no Fredo. Although Gary probably would have picked the same result for Fredo.
Billy kind of texted and said, Let’s get together and talk. Matt Roe was doing the radio for Syracuse. Matt Roe is one of the first guys that came to Gary when there was like nobody to play because they were on probation. It was fun. We talked about all the stuff, how much we accomplished. We laughed with everybody having a video guy, a weight guy. I said, My academic lady is with me, Colleen Campbell. I was the academic guy. Dave did the video. Billy went to weight lifting in the morning. It changed.
It was a good little time. It was nice to be with your family because in basketball that’s our family and we have a nice family.
Q. The guys that were up before said you mentioned the Coppin State win that happened across the street.
COACH PASTOS: I was over there checking it out. They’re taking it down.
Q. It’s a little sad.
COACH PASTOS: Not when you have this, it isn’t.
Q. What motivation have you used as a 15 seed going up against 2?
COACH PASTOS: That it can happen. 16-1 is not going to happen. 15-2 is going to happen once every three or four years. I actually think, my commissioner is here, he’s done a tremendous job with our league. We could have been a 14. They picked Iona as a 14. I don’t see us as a longshot 15. I can do the math. St. Bonnie wins, they pushed us down. That’s okay. Is Ohio a real 2? Unfortunately they could have been a 1 had they won Sunday.
It doesn’t matter. It’s 40 minutes. It’s 10 four-minute segments. We have to try to win six of those segments. We keep track of the segments, which we sole from Thad Matta when he was at Xavier. They have four-minute wars, 10 of them. We have to win six of them to win the game. That’s okay.
I think we have a chance, though, I do, because if we can get the game going fast, we have a chance. If they put us in the meat grinder and go slow, Sullinger goes to work, you can call me at 410, I’ll be in Baltimore Friday by noon.
Q. How much does the loss of Fab change the whole east region?
COACH PASTOS: The guy is a tremendous defensive player. I think in the tournaments, like at Maryland we had Chris Wilcox. He scored the least. When he blocked Drew Gooden’s shots, Marcus traveled with us, a defensive guy like that can really change the game.
At Maryland I didn’t think we were ever going to win the title until we had a defensive guy like Chris Wilcox. I think they can make some plays. We don’t beat Fairfield if we don’t block some shots. You have to win a defensive game along the way.
Boeheim is a great coach. He’s setting everybody up because he has nine players. He still has eight good ones. That’s a tough one to lose because he’s a 7-footer, great player. It’s none of my concern. It’s an odd time for that to happen. I think that’s not good for a team. Like you can lose a guy three weeks ago and stuff. Like we have a guy, Anthony Winbush, who just had to have stitches Monday. I’ll tell you, he may play, he may not. He had 10 stitches. That’s a weird thing to have happen right now. But he’s not our best player.
Fab Melo is a big loss. Can Boeheim still win? Absolutely. He is one of the great coaches ever and a great golfer, a much better golfer than all the other coaches.
On Friday’s edition of “The Reality Check”, Ryan Chell and I decided to put together a Maryland Terrapins season ending report card. After the Terps’ loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, it was easy to assume the basketball season was over in College Park.
That assumption proved accurate Sunday night, as the NIT failed to extend an invite to the Terps as expected. The University of Maryland declined to participate in the lesser known postseason CBI Tournament due to the financial model that forces schools to pay for participation. (Three schools from BCS conferences-Washington State, Pitt and Oregon State all accepted CBI bids.)
It’s a long winded way to say the season is over. The Terps finished 17-15 in Mark Turgeon’s first season since taking over for the retired Gary Williams, surpassing the expectations of many while still falling short of the expectations of others.
In our Report Card segment Friday, I graded Turgeon’s job in year one as a “B”. I noted the lack of both quality and quantity in Maryland basketball players that Turgeon was forced to deal with partly due to the late timing of Williams’ retirement announcement. Not only did Maryland lose All-ACC Center Jordan Williams to the NBA, they also lost F Haukur Palsson to a pro turn in Europe. Turgeon was only able to retain one from Williams’ three-man recruiting class (G Nick Faust) although he made up for that in part with a late commitment from C Alex Len.
(I point all of this out because some Maryland fans have decided to “blame” Gary Williams for the state of the program. They’re only telling half of the story.)
Len’s 10 game suspension to start the season and PG Pe’Shon Howard’s 18 missed games due to injury made an already difficult situation nearly impossible. Entering the season, there was legitimate reason to fear a “bottoming out” of sorts for the Maryland program.
While those fears never came to fruition, the team never fully came together. Sophomore G Terrell Stoglin at times carried the Terps during a 6-10 Atlantic Coast Conference campaign, but often proved to be as much of the problem as the solution. Len never showed progress during his freshman campaign, Senior G Sean Mosley offered valuable leadership but never overwhelmed with his play on the floor. The only player that showed marked progress was Faust, who was named to the league’s All-Rookie team.
All of these were contributing factors in grading the job Turgeon did this season. It was a tough campaign, but it could have been significantly worse. Turgeon deserves credit for keeping the program afloat and avoiding any true embarrassment. (Only a late season loss at Georgia Tech stands out as a head shaker due to the opponent and Maryland’s most lopsided defeats came at the hands of NCAA Tournament participants like UNC, Duke, Virginia, Florida State, Alabama and Iona.)
Nearly five hundred words in, it’s time to look to the future. While Turgeon is absolutely deserving of praise for how he kept this Maryland team together in his first season, the coach offered a noteworthy thought Sunday night via Twitter.
Been an unsettling day. Its tough not to be a part of Selection Sunday. It’s something I am not used to.
Patsos Named MAAC Coach Of The Year; Drummond 6th Man
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball continued to add to its growing list of firsts for the 2011-2012 season on Thursday night when eighth-year Head Coach Jimmy Patsos was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Patsos was honored at the MAAC Postseason Awards Show at the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Loyola sophomore guard Justin Drummond (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist H.S.) earned MAAC Sixth-Man of the Year honors, as well, becoming the second Greyhound in as many years and fifth in eight seasons to win the awards. Four other Patsos-coaches players – Charlie Bell (2005), Michael Tuck (2007), Marquis Sullivan (2008) and J’hared Hall (2011) – previously earned the award.
Both awards are voted on by the league’s coaches.
Patsos guided the Greyhounds to their first 20-win season at the NCAA Division I level – Loyola became a Division I school in 1981-1982 – and a program record 13 wins in MAAC play.
“I am very proud of Justin Drummond and our whole team. You can’t win a coach of the year award without having a great team surrounding you,” Patsos said. “This is a tremendous basketball league, and there are so many great coaches. I feel humbled and honored to win this award.”
The Greyhounds enter the MAAC Championships with a 21-8 overall record as the No. 2 seed. Loyola finished second during the regular-season in MAAC play, its best-ever finish.
Early in the season, Patsos earned his 100th career victory as a collegiate head coach. He became the second Division I head coach in the last 20 years to inherit a team that had won zero or one game the year prior to his arrival and then earn 100 wins at the school. The Greyhounds were 1-27 in 2003-2004 the year before Patsos left the University of Maryland after 13 seasons as Gary Williams’ assistant to become head coach at Loyola.
This year, the Patsos-led Greyhounds reached and surpassed several milestones. Loyola won 20 games for the first time since 1948-1949,tied a school Division I mark with eight non-conference wins, had the two longest winning streaks (eight and seven) in Division I history and recorded the first back-to-back sellouts of Reitz Arena since the venue opened in 1984.
Loyola showed its moxie this season, going 5-2 in games decided by five points or less and winning five times when trailing at halftime and twice when down with five minutes to play.
The Greyhounds also entered this week tied for third nationally with 11 wins away from Reitz Arena. Patsos and Loyola also won three games this season after trailing by 11 or more points.
Drummond came off the bench in all but four games and led all non-starters in the conference in scoring. Earlier this week, he was the only non-starter in the conference to be named an All-MAAC selection, garnering third team honors.
A MAAC All-Rookie Team member last year, Drummond has averaged 11.2 points per game this season, and he is third on the team in rebounding with a 4.2 boards per game mark.
The sophomore from Bowie, Md., has scored in double-figures 15 times throughout the season, including a team-high 13-point effort against Manhattan yesterday that helped the Greyhounds defeat the Jaspers by two and clinch the No. 2 spot in the MAAC Championships.
Drummond has improved his free-throw percentage by more than 10 points since his freshman season. This year, he is second on the team at 75.9-percent, making 82-of-108, after shooting just 65.2-percent from the stripe last year.
Patsos, Drummond and the Greyhounds open the MAAC Championships on Saturday when they take on the winner of an opening round game to be played tomorrow between Niagara University and Canisius College. The teams will take the court at the MassMutual Center at 7:30 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN3.