Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adams resigns

Gary Williams announced yesterday that assistant coach Michael Adams has resigned effective immediately. The official story is that Adams wanted to spend more time with his son now that he is a freshman basketball player at Good Counsel high school. The timing of this announcement seems very strange to me. Two games into the season Adams makes this decision? Let's assume that the stated reason is indeed accurate for a moment. The timing of his decision leaves Williams and the team in a very bad position. The players will now have one less coach to rely upon this year and there is no chance of finding a replacement at this point. I don't blame him for deciding his family is more important than his job, people make that decision every day, but doesn't he have some responsibility to the players as well? To me the timing of this is the real issue, it should have been handled better.

The other possibility is that this was a rocky relationship that finally reached a breaking point. I'm not trying to paint Adams as a bad guy in this. He came out of the NBA realm (WNBA coach as well) which is vastly different from college basketball. You can't yell and berate your players in the NBA. They are well paid professionals who are their own corporations in a sense. They have their guaranteed contracts, endorsement deals, blogs, media sycophants and are the centerpiece of the sport. The players in college basketball don't matter much. They have little to no power and are a disposable commodity. In a few years they will be gone either way and there will be another 18 year old coming along to replace them. The coaches and programs are much more important and have all the power in the relationship. Gary Williams is about as far from the NBA style of coaching as you could get. He yells, rants, curses and is as demanding as any coach in the sport. This style doesn't really have much in common with the way Michael Adams was probably used to doing things for the 20 or so years prior to coming to Maryland.

I sympathize in some ways. Williams must be a very difficult boss at times with his fiery personality and intolerance for mediocrity. The ranting and borderline abuse you may put up with when you're 18 is something that is less palatable when you're an adult in your forties. From what I have been told by people who know Adams this was a breakup was a long time coming and that he chaffed at the way that Williams interacted with his assistants. It is a grueling job that is difficult even if you love your situation and are simpatico with your head coach. In the end Adams always wanted to return to the NBA and after the close call against Hampton on Monday, when the temperature in the post game locker room must have been very high, he probably decided he had enough.

It is a loss for Maryland as Adams was probably the best floor coach on the staff besides Williams. His work with Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez certainly helped them perform so well right off the bat. There will be an interim assistant for the rest of the year and Maryland will search for an permanent replacement in the off season.

Recruits Sign
High school recruits Sean Mosley and Gus Gilchrist signed letters of intent yesterday. According to Maryland has the 19th ranked class in the nation with those two players. Sean Mosley was elevated to the number 39 player in the class of 2008 and the 8th ranked shooting guard. Gus Gilchrist was a top 60 player for the class of 2007 and will also be a major contributor next season as well. He has very good skills for a player his size and may be the second best frontcourt player when he arrives on campus in December, even if he ends up redshirting this season.

Great article on Mosley in the Baltimore Sun can be seen here. His parents, especially his father, are huge Maryland supporters and impressed upon their son the value of playing for your hometown school. Mosley has the ability to come in and contribute right away next year with a sound all around game that isn't flashy but is highly productive. Interesting to note that there is still lingering bias against Maryland among the Baltimore basketball scene. All involved denied that anti-Maryland bias was a factor but Mosley preferred to go to Syracuse before a numbers game left him as odd man out (Gilchrist had a similar situation with Georgetown making this maybe the "leftovers" class). Maryland also recruited his friend Donte Greene who ended up picking Syracuse and it was Greene who (supposedly) joked that if he picked Maryland he wouldn't be his "man" anymore. I wasn't surprised Greene picked Syracuse. At a Maryland football game a few years Greene was being hosted by members of the team and Gary Williams and Greene looked like he was being asked to sit through a Bea Arthur striptease. That quote tells you a lot about what Maryland still fights against in what should be its home turf.

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