Steve Yanda reported some comments made by coach Gary Williams regarding the state of the team in the Terrapin Insider on the Washington Post website. It was probably more the subtext of what Williams said that was important than the substance. Williams mentioned that three players who would be on the team this season, Shane Clark, Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans are not and that he isn't to blame for that. Some of that is shot at athletic director Debbie Yow and some of it is Williams trying to muddy the water in regards to his recent recruiting failures.
Both a former assistant and the administration failed Clark when he was rejected by the school at the start of classes in 2005. Clark is averaging 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds as a 17 minute per game reserve. With the play of Landon Milbourne it is unlikely that Clark would be a starter but he may be a decent reserve.
The shady trappings of how Gilchrist ended up in South Florida makes Williams' comments about how it wasn't his call to see Gilchrist go seems odd given that Williams hates the kind of parasites that were part of Gilchrist's circle. There is no question that Gilchrist would make this team significantly better. For South Florida in the last few weeks he is averaging 14.2 points and 5 rebounds and would instantly be Maryland's best post player if he was on the roster. Gilchrist isn't a superstar but his loss significantly hurt the team this year.
Tyree Evans has been playing at Kent State since late December and is averaging 12.3 points per game and shooting 38.8% from 3-point range. Evans is a bit of a chucker and his production has declined recently but he would be the best 3-point shooter on Maryland at 38.8%. Going into the season the backcourt was considered a strength of this team but recent games have to call that into question. The struggles of Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosley may demand a reassessment of that assumption. Adrian Bowie has been better than expected but none of the other guards have exceeded expectations. The idea that Evans wouldn't be able to help this group, which was popular a month ago, doesn't seem so accurate these days. Unless a guard starts shooting at a much better pace Evans 3-point ability might have been useful.
The discussion also included references to 2009 recruits Jordan Williams and James Padgett whom Gary Williams referred to as "top 50" recruits. What he probably meant to say was that both are in the top 50 players at their position because neither is a top 50 player overall. Williams said he looked forward to Padgett and Williams arriving next fall. The translation for all of you is that Gary Williams has no intention of going anywhere and that he firmly intends to be the head coach at the start of the 2009-10 season. He won't step aside for a lower buyout that the money left on his contract. There is no ability to come up with the money to buy out Williams contract at the University and there are no big money boosters that will write that check. As long as Gary Williams is watching Baltimore Ravens games in Steve Biscotti's owners box that won't change. The talk about VCU's Anthony Grant coming to College Park after the end of the season is pure fantasy. Williams knows he still has the backing of enough wealthy boosters to hold out for at least another NIT season and his chesty comments illustrate he is more secure than many hoi polloi fans think.
Maryland fans better settle in because the dysfunctional situation with the athletic director and head coach is going to continue for some time to come. It has now boiled down to a test of wills between those two figures and anyone who knows Gary Williams would guess the only way he would leave Comcast Center is horizontal.