Posts Tagged ‘Gary Williams’

Mark Turgeon leaves Texas A&M to become the new Maryland Terrapins basketball coach

May 12, 2011

Mark Turgeon will leave Texas A&M to become the new coach of the Maryland Terrapins.  Turgeon will replace Gary Williams, who retired Thursday after 22 years as Maryland’s basketball coach.

Turgeon, 46, led the Aggies to the NCAA tournament all four of his seasons in College Station, getting Texas A&M to the second round of the tourney three times.  Turgeon also coached at Jacksonville State and Wichita State, where he led the Shockers to the Sweet 16 in 2006.

Turgeon played college basketball for Larry Brown at the University of Kansas. He was a backup guard on Kansas’ 1986 Final Four squad.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

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Maryland coach Gary Williams retires; who are top 10 Terps of Williams era?

May 6, 2011

Whoever replaces Gary Williams as the University of Maryland’s basketball coach will have huge shoes to fill.  The 66-year old coach announced his retirement Thursday, after more than two decades at Maryland that included a national championship in 2002 and a Final Four appearance in 2001.  Under Williams the Terps made 14 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, won three ACC regular-season titles, and captured the ACC Tournament in 2004. Williams had seven wins over top-ranked teams, more than any other coach. Williams, a former Terrapin point guard, was also the National Coach of the Year in 2002.

So who are the best Terps of the Gary Williams era?

  • Juan Dixon, shooting guard, ‘98-‘02.  Excelled at mid-range jumpers, three-pointers, defense, and steals and played with a lot of heart…Team leader brought Maryland to back to back Final Fours including its only national championship in ’02, and was named first-team All-American…Earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the ‘02 Final Four, averaging 25.8 points in NCAA tournament that year…Was Maryland’s all-time leader in scoring and three-pointers and second in steals…Averaged 20 points a game in ‘02…Led team to 109 wins in four seasons.
  • Walt Williams, shooting guard/small forward/point guard, ‘88-‘92. It’s not an exaggeration to say the “Wizard” saved the Maryland program when he decided to stay after the Terps were put on NCAA probation from ’91-‘93…In ‘92, Williams averaged a school-record 26.8 points per game, and also had 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals…Named All-American senior year when he scored more than 30 points in seven straight ACC games.
  • Joe Smith, center, ‘93-‘95.  Athletic center dominated the ACC his sophomore year…Won ‘95 College Player of the Year award…Averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for his two-year career…Terps made Sweet 16 in both his seasons after five-year NCAA drought…Drafted number one overall in ‘95 NBA draft.
  • Keith Booth, power forward, ‘93-‘97.  Averaged 19.5 points as a senior, made more free throws than any player in Terp history and ranks sixth on Maryland’s all-time rebounding list despite being only 6-4 and playing power forward…Played a key role in Maryland’s resurgence to NCAA tournament after five-year absence…Decision to attend Maryland opened pipeline for other Baltimore players to play for the Terps.
  • Greivis Vasquez, shooting guard, ‘06-‘10.  Scored from inside and out, also an excellent passer and rebounder for his size…Only player in ACC history with 2,000 points, 700 assists, and 600 rebounds…Was voted ‘10 ACC Player of the Year…Maryland’s second all-time leading scorer…Only Terrapin basketball player to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists in a single season…Had triple double in win vs. eventual national champion North Carolina junior year…Scored 10 points in final two minutes of final college game, an NCAA second round loss to Michigan State.

For the complete list, and the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

Will Terps be NIT-bound? Maryland loses to Virginia Tech at home, 74-57

January 21, 2011

This was embarrassing.  It doesn’t matter that Virginia Tech is better than usual and Maryland is young.  It doesn’t matter that the Hokies may finish the season in the Top 25.

Maryland lost by 17 points to a football school at home Thursday, falling to Virginia Tech, 74-57.

At least the game was on TV.  Maryland football fans had to squint at their computer screens last season to see some of the Terps’ football games.

For a team that won the national championship in 2002, the Terps have fallen hard.  If Maryland fails to make the NCAA tournament this year, it will be the fourth time in the last seven seasons Maryland will go to the NIT.

After Maryland won the national title, instead of challenging Duke and North Carolina for ACC supremacy, Maryland slipped back to the also-rans of the conference, which is to say the Terps have been pretty good but not great.  It’s as if the Terps didn’t think they belonged with the ACC’s best.

Instead of capitalizing on increased exposure by getting star recruits, Maryland’s recruiting became worse after the title than it was before, when the Terps had stars like John Lucas and Tom McMillen in the 1970s; Albert King, Buck Williams and Len Bias in the 1980s; Walt Williams, Joe Smith and Keith Booth in the 1990s; and Dixon, Baxter and Blake in the early 2000s.

When Greivis Vasquez was selected at the end of the first round last summer by the Memphis Grizzlies, it was the first time since Dixon in 2002 that a Terp was picked in the first round of the NBA draft.

Vasquez, who scored 41 in a win last year over the Hokies, led the Terps to the NCAA tournament in three of his four seasons, but only once, in 2010, did Maryland make the field convincingly.

And don’t buy into the fake, overhyped “rivalry” that Maryland allegedly has with Duke.  Guess what Gary’s record is against Mike Krzyzewski?  He has beaten Coach K 12 times in 49 games.  Despite a handful of incredible games, that’s not a rivalry – it’s a joke.

Of course, the Terps are in the Washington, D.C. area, so naturally they stink.  If it’s not the Wizards (0-20 on the road), it’s another failed season for the Redskins and Nationals, another playoff upset by the Caps, and a lost season by D.C. United.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.