Terps dissed again by ACC pollsters?
So Maryland was picked to finish no higher than sixth in the 2010-2011 ACC men's basketball pre-season rankings? That's music to Gary Williams' ears.
In fact, don't be surprised if the Terps' long-time coach has the rankings taped to a bulletin board in the team's locker room at Comcast Center -- with yellow Magic Marker highlighting that no. 6 team. And he probably carries around a crumpled-up copy in his wallet, too.
For years, Williams has quietly fumed about the lack of respect he says the rest of the league accords his teams. You can bet he'll use this latest poll for motivation, both for himself and his players, especially with the Terps coming off a 2009-2010 season in which they tied for the ACC title with Duke.
At last week's Media Day, Williams acknowledged that Duke would probably be the pre-season pick to win the ACC again.
But he also talked up his team, big-time, giving you the impression that with two returning starters (Sean Mosley and Jordan Williams) and three returning seniors (Cliff Tucker, Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory), the Terps would be able to hold their own with any team in the league.
More than once, Williams stressed that this year's edition of the Terps will be more athletic than last year's. And he said it'll be a better defensive team, too, as he envisions it exerting way more full-court pressure on opponents than the Greivis Vasquez-led team of a year ago.
Picked to finish sixth? Oh, that won't sit well with Gary.
That'll drive him nuts -- and it'll fuel his competitive fire all the way to March Madness.