With this post, three of my last five blog entries have been about Maryland basketball and Gary Williams. For some reason, I'm extremely intrigued by the intense debate going on about whether or not Williams should focus more on recruiting or just stick to his guns and do as he always has.
But I'm not the only one that's interested. I've read a few articles on the same topic, with varying opinions, and I've heard several discussions on sports talk radio. Just about everyone has a take on this issue; some are on Williams's side, and some thinks he needs to change and do whatever he has to to get more talent to College Park. To me, the whole thing is fascinating.
I know that Williams isn't the only college basketball coach who refuses to cheat when he recruits, but he does seem to be the only one who holds a grudge against AAU coaches and almost completely refuses to deal with them at all.
Anyway, Washington Post writers Steve Yanda and Eric Prisbell recently put together a fantastic three-part series on Williams and the apparent decline of Maryland basketball in the last several years. Part one deals with the decline, part two examines recruiting and the shady world of AAU basketball, and part three looks at the possibility of a solid 2010 season for the Terps.
In my view, part two is the best and most informative of the three. In part two, a few coaches give their opinions on Williams and the dilemma at hand, and the Rudy Gay recruiting controversy is discussed. Unfortunately, Yanda and Prisbell kind of mailed in part three instead of hammering home many of the points made in the previous two articles. They could have interviewed some former Maryland players and compared their experiences being recruiting by Maryland and Williams to the examples of Deron Williams, Matt Walsh, Josh Boone, Scottie Reynolds, Joe Alexander, and Malcolm Delaney in the first article.
Nonetheless, all three articles are well done and provide great analysis to anyone who wants to learn more about Williams's philosophies on recruiting or gain some insight on the overall topic.