Sunday, November 18, 2007

Maryland hires assistant; in Maui 2009 field

Maryland hired former player Joe Harrington to act as an assistant for the rest of the season and possibly for the immediate future. Harrington played with coach Gary Williams at Maryland in the 1960's and has head coaching experience at a number of schools including George Mason and Colorado. He also has NBA experience as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors for a few years. He has remained close to the University of Maryland and often attends sporting events in College Park. I spotted him myself at one of the basketball scrimmages a few weeks ago. He does have experience coaching at the collegiate level, unlike Adams who never seemed to adjust to the differences between the professional ranks and college. Harrington is probably a better recruiter than Adams so that might be an upgrade but Adams was the best bench coach on the staff. It remains to be seen who can fill that role and it may require even more efforts from Williams himself.

Maryland returning to Maui
The 2009 Maui invitational field was announced and it includes Maryland along with Arizona, Louisville, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, Colorado, Vanderbilt and host Chaminade. Maryland has been to Maui three times 1994, 2000 and 2005 with a 5-4 overall record. Interesting to note that in the press releases Maryland got second tier billing along with Wisconsin and Colorado while Arizona, Louisville and Gonzaga were the headliners.

Maryland will play in a loaded Old Spice Classic next season that has Michigan State, Gonzaga, Memphis, Tennessee and Oklahoma State among the field.

Around the ACC
Virginia upset a very overrated Arizona team on the road. It appears that Virginia will again be a one dimensional jump shooting team without much inside offense. They shot 57% from 3-point range but were outrebounded by a soft Arizona squad and had more turnovers than assists while the defense was sub par. Virginia will struggle to post a winning record this year in the ACC with those flaws.

NC State lost to New Orleans on a last second 3-point shot 65-63. No word on whether Gavin Grant has backed off of his Final Four prediction. For all the heralded post players the Wolfpack possess they were outrebounded by the Privateers (don't call them pirates) 38 to 37. Brandon Costner, probably the most overrated player in the ACC has struggled this year, and Ben McCauley who was the most reliable post player they had has been stuck on the bench. Now word is coming out that there are locker room issues. Not a good way to start the season.

Georgia Tech lost again, this time to Winthrop, which may be putting Paul Hewitt on the hot seat.

Florida State lost its second game in a row to South Florida after dropping a game to Cleveland State. The Seminoles are getting little production from their frontcourt and little defense from the rest of their team.

Miami won a close game against Providence and has a win over VCU as well but their out of conference schedule is pathetic. Tough to tell if this team is anything better than mediocre.

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