Thursday, February 07, 2008

Terps ground Eagles, Gary notches 600th win

It was a historic night for Gary Williams. He returned to the place where he got his first big break in coaching when he was hired away from American University to coach in the Big East for Boston College. He returned over twenty years later as the head coach for a team he built into one of the elite basketball programs in the nation. It was fitting that he reached a milestone in Boston and after the horn had sounded Williams let himself smile ever so briefly. Afterwards the emotion of the moment caught up with Williams as he reminisced about all the years he spent in the coaching ranks to get to his 600th win. A number of old acquaintances from Boston College stopped to congratulate Williams as he left the floor. In typical Gary Williams fashion he quickly turned back to the accomplishments of this year's team and their gritty trio of recent road wins. It really is remarkable that this group has been challenged late in each of their last four road wins but have come out on top. Their defense and sometimes spotty offensive execution has let some teams get a little too close for comfort in the closing minutes but to their credit they have made enough plays to hang on for the win.

I didn't see the game because it was banished to ESPN's version of the Bermuda Triangle. The Basketball Prospectus has a pretty decent summary of the game here. It seems similar to the thoughts of my brother who was able to see the game through Dish Network.

My comments probably wouldn't be worth much beyond the obvious kudos to Greivis Vasquez and James Gist. As I've said before you have to live with the "Jekyll" Vasquez that makes you want to pull your hair out because he can give you games like his 25 point, 8 assist, 6 rebound masterpiece last night. Osby seems to struggle against slower and bigger low post players like Tyrelle Blair and John Oats. Landon Milbourne only took two field goal attempts which given his recent offensive renaissance seems odd. Eric Hayes had a quiet night but hit a clutch 3-point basket in the final minute to seal the win. The defense, besides some breakdowns on the perimeter with Oats, seemed fairly good.

Ratings
Offense: 116.9
Defense: 107.8

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