Monday, February 9, 2009

More Gary Williams bashing

Not that it's breaking news, but the criticism of Maryland head basketball coach Gary Williams is far from over.

Jason King of Yahoo! Sports recently wrote an interesting piece on the whole Williams saga. As expected, King focused on the recruiting angle, which is what Williams has been attacked for recently.

The lead of the story might be the most telling of Williams and the recruiting situation:

But when high school standout Kendall Marshall went to Maryland for an unofficial visit, he never met the head coach. Instead of Gary Williams, Marshall and his parents were greeted at the Comcast Center by a Terrapins assistant.

After asking Marshall’s mother to wait outside, the assistant escorted Marshall and his father, Dennis, into a musty men’s dressing room, clearing away clutter so the two could sit. Using a dry erase board, he gave the Marshalls a short presentation about how Kendall would fit into Maryland’s program.

And then?

“That was it,” Dennis Marshall said. “The whole visit was over in 20 minutes. No tour of the campus, no tour of the facilities … nothing. We just walked back to our car and went home.”

A few months later, Marshall – the fifth-best point guard in the Class of 2010, according to Rivals.com – committed to North Carolina. Instead of making the 40-minute drive from Arlington, Va., to watch his son play at Maryland, Dennis Marshall is preparing for a lot of four-hour treks to Chapel Hill.

There's a whole lot more -- seriously, it's well worth the read -- but the dilemma basically goes back to the fact that Williams is a tremendous coach -- but one who won't bend the rules to get high caliber players into a Terps uniform. He wants players that fit his system, and he has no problem giving his support to players whom he actually covets.

And, obviously, various AAU coaches, who Williams doesn't really have much contact with, don't understand what he's doing.

These days, though, simply talking to a high-profile recruit requires going through layers of AAU coaches, mentors, handlers and advisors – some of whom expect perks such as getting a job on a college coaching staff. It’s a situation that disgusts old-school coaches such as Williams, but it’s also a situation that isn’t going to change.

“The game is different now,” said Boo Williams, who runs one of the country’s most successful AAU programs. “With some of these kids, it starts as far back as elementary school. There are a lot of people you have to touch hands with to get in on a recruit.

“I sure hope [Gary Williams] changes, because that’s how it is now.”

If you can't trust a guy named Boo Williams, who can you really trust?

Seriously though, it's unlikely that Williams will change this late in his coaching career. But it's also true that Maryland just doesn't seem to have as much talent as several other ACC teams.

Do you think Williams should take some more risks? Or do you just think he should be more active in recruiting in general?

What will happen? Only Williams knows for sure.

1 comment:

  1. I know you have said similar things before that run along the lines of Williams' being respected for his traditional ways, but in an ever-changing society, he needs to update.

    And I'll just take this time to say "read my last anonymous post" on your last post regarding Williams.

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