Monday, April 06, 2009

Terp Recruits Impress

Maryland 2009 recruits James Padgett and Jordan Williams did little to lower expectations next season with their performance in Charm City Challenge. Padgett, playing for the U.S. All-Star team, scored 22 points and was named the game MVP. Williams added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks and teamed well with Padgett in leading the U.S. team to a convincing victory over the Baltimore All-Stars, 112-86. I've seen Padgett a number of times playing along side Maryland Terps target Lance Stephenson and have been very impressed. He isn't nearly as raw and unskilled as some have portrayed him to be. He has a body that will be able to handle the rigors of ACC play and should be used to a up tempo style of play. Williams had some conditioning and effort concerns going into this season but his senior campaign, in which he averaged 35 points and 20 rebounds, left little to be critical about.

Williams will also play in the Capital Classic this Thursday and Bender Arena. The Capital Classic is a historic event in this area and needs support to continue. I recommend anyone who can attend to help ensure the continuation of this local treasure. If you can't make it you can see it on Comcast Sports at 4pm on Saturday in the D.C. area.

NCAA Tournament Final
Roy Williams will get to play for his second national title in four years. If he wins he will have matched the number of championships that his mentor Dean Smith took 36 years to acquire. I've never been very impressed with Williams as a floor coach but he seems to have the right mix of players this year. If Ty Lawson can control his selfish impulses, Wayne Ellington can keep hitting those outside shots, Hansbrough can be himself and Bobby Frasor can supply the crucial defense and hustle plays he did against Villanova then the Tar Heels are a lock for another title. Still there was enough sloppy play in the final eight minutes of their win over Villanova that UNC cannot be totally comfortable going into this game. They have also shown an alarming tendency to miss free throws down the stretch. If the game is close in the last five minutes I have little doubt that Michigan State's Tom Izzo will out coach Roy Williams.

1 comment:

wmterp said...

Your opionion of Roy Williams is spot on. "I will never get more from a group of players than the sum of their talents" shoud be tatooed on his forehead. Watching him as a bench coach, I have often thought that he no had real understanding of what was unfolding before him. He looks like he learned basketball from a textbook.

That said, I think he has shown real ability in one important area. He can get a group of players with NBA potential to play to win. In fact, I think that is the sole objective of his coaching. He doesn't seem to employ sophisticated game plans or counter the moves of the opposition during games. He doesn't even try to prevent his players from going one-on-one. He just works at keeping his players from playing too much as individuals. He allows individuality so long as team chemistry does not break down.

Without talented players, he can't win. He certainly isn't at Gary's level as a coach. But, he does have this ability and even life-long Terp fans and UM graduates like you and me should recognize it.