Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Odd couple

Debbie Yow and Gary Williams had a "nothing to see here" press conference the other day at Maryland. The timing was odd but given the death of her sister I guess it was decided to do all this on Monday. It helped Maryland was coming off a win against Miami. I'm not sure there was that kind of tension in the room since Tiki Barber interviewed Eli Manning. I'm not sure if anything Yow said was genuine but that is almost besides the point. This needed to be said to stomp out the flames around College Park after the Worthington debacle. Two things are clear to me: Yow was checked by the administration for the recent actions of the athletic department and Gary Williams is all but guaranteed to be back in the fall of 2009 regardless of what happens the rest of this season.

Cliff Tucker showed some disappointing immaturity in voicing his frustrations about his lack of recent playing time. It was very poor judgment to gripe to the press about personal goals after the team won a much needed game. I can't help but notice this was the same player who was laughing with Braxton Dupree at the end of the FSU loss. He didn't look at the frustrated in that instance, he looked immature and clueless about the larger importance of the team goals. I have heard rumors that Tucker's protestations that he is doing all he can on his part to work hard both on and off the court are not entirely accurate. Even Tucker's own high school coach felt Tucker was "just going through the motions" on the court and had passed along to Tucker that Gary Williams wanted him to take basketball more seriously. The fact is Adrian Bowie and Sean Mosley are outplaying Tucker and have taken the majority of his playing time. Eric Hayes is no longer starting so that isn't much of an issue. It might be fair to say that Tucker's skills should earn him a little playing time but is this really an issue about 5 minutes of court time per game? It strikes me as more an issue of Tucker's pride than about his value to the team. Tucker got to play 17 minutes against Duke's B-team and hardly produced anything. I have no doubt that if Tucker actually commits himself like he should to being a better basketball player that Gary Williams will reward him.

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