I'll write briefly about the loss to Boston College but it isn't even the most important thing that happened with the basketball program last night. The war of words between Gary Williams and the athletic department might have gone nuclear last night and freshman Jin Soo Kim was declared ineligible by the NCAA. In short things are going to hell in a hand basket both on and off the court.
This game was similar to the Miami loss in the the Terps went out to a big lead in the first half and with three minutes left were ahead by 16 points only to squander that lead in the first ten minutes of the 2nd half. Maryland had a chance to extend the lead with Tyrese Rice on the bench with three fouls but still had an eleven point lead at the half. From three minutes to go in the half to the point where the Eagles went ahead 55-54 Maryland was outscored 33-16. Instead of the 3-point barrage Miami used to get back into the game the Eagles pounded the ball inside and used their flex offense to get the ball to their guards near the basket. Boston College pounded Maryland on the glass in the 2nd half and stopped many of the second chance points the Terps got in the 1st half. They also did a nice job of shutting down Maryland's transition offense. When the Terps can't run they have a very hard time scoring and the offense shriveled in the 2nd half. Even though Adrian Bowie dismissed conditioning as a factor in the 2nd half it was obvious that the Terps were a step late on defense and rebounding in the 2nd half while their jump shots were not falling either. It is unusual that a team's defense and jump shooting both disappear if fatigue isn't a factor. Note that Bowie (19 minutes), Milbourne (18 minutes) and Vasquez (17 minutes) all played the lion share of the first half and their combined shooting went from 57% (12/21) in the first half to 30% (7/23) in the second half. If fatigue didn't play a roll in the collapse then they should all see a sports psychiatrist if they give up when their jump shots are not falling as Bowie suggested.
Interesting to note that Rice was hardly a factor all night and did virtually noting until getting a bunch of garbage points late in the game on free throws. It was Josh Southern (who will almost certainly make my all-punk team this year with his chippy, borderline dirty play), Rakim Sanders, Corey Raji and Reggie Jackson who all lead the BC surge in the 2nd half. It was a truly balanced attack. In contrast Maryland got decent games from Vasquez and Milbourne and not much else from the rest of the team. Bowie only scored 4 points in the 2nd half and continues to make some bad decisions with the ball on offense. He has shown that he can't take the scoring load on his shoulders yet. Eric Hayes and Dave Neal were awful again. The pair went 3/16 from the floor including 0/7 from 3-point range and scored a grand total of 7 points in 52 minutes of play. That lack of production killed Maryland and if either had a halfway decent game the Terps would have probably pulled this one out. I think it might be time for Sean Mosley to slide into the starting spot and have Hayes go to the bench. Mosley has his flaws but he is a much better scorer and rebounder than Hayes will ever be, even if you sacrifice some ball handling with the move. The front line behind Dave Neal is so bad that it is hard to say who would replace him. With Kim off the table due to the NCAA determination and with Goins' and Burney's uncertain status there are few options. Braxton Dupree has regressed so badly he offers next to nothing on either end of the court.
Regardless of what is done there needs to be some shakeups if Maryland is going to rebound and win more than a couple of games the rest of the season.
The bigger news is the handgrenades that Gary Williams and the athletic department are now tossing at each other. It seems obvious to me that if you look at the actual transcript of what Williams said regarding Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans that the media and athletic department went with their own interpretation of what they thought he said instead of evaluating his actual words. I wouldn't put it past Williams to make ambiguous comments that could be interpreted as a shot at his nemesis and it could be possible that Williams hoped the athletic department would rise to the bait as they did and respond in public. Either way he never actually assigned any blame to the University for the absence of Evans or Gilchrist. The comments of assistant athletic director Kathy Worthington were embarrassing and wholly unnecessary. All those comments accomplished was to make the athletic department look amateurish and clueless. The whole thing is a black eye for the University and the basketball program. Regardless of who you side with in this fracas, and I would chose Gary over Yow every time, this kind of negative publicity is not going to make your search for the next head coach any easier. What established coach would want to enter into such a dysfunctional situation?
At this point the ideal situation would be that the incompetent leadership in the athletic department are swept out and Williams is given a prominent role in picking his successor after he steps down at the end of this season. Williams would never agree to stepping down if Yow would be in charge of naming his replacement. Knowing his personality it would be an anathema for him. Williams prominent role in the University and his ability in fund raising is something Maryland cannot risk given the difficult economic times. The last thing Maryland would want is another prominent head coach estranged from the University for over 20 years like Lefty Driesell was until Gary Williams reached out to him. The lack of leadership at the University these days is such that I doubt anyone will have the fortitude to force some resolution of this crisis one way or another.