« Catching Up With ... former Oriole Angelo Dagres | Main | Catching up with ... Ravens fullback Sam Gash »

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.


This team will be fun to watch and, yes, I believe it should outperform its predicted 6th place pre-season finish. By how much, however, is what gives meaning to and the fun for Terps' fans this season. The Terps have a lot of of pieces, both old and new, but what makes it so interesting, at least to me and why I believe the team will do well, are the "old" pieces--Bowie, Tucker and Gregory. Despite each of them having previously flashed the ability to play, and perhaps even star, very little is apparently expected from them. Because of that, I believe they will play with persistence, namely, with that same chip on their collective shoulders that Williams embraces like a parent does with their first-born child, to prove their doubters wrong (which also won't hurt their chances to pursue potential professional careers in the US and/or abroad.)

Hey, pick us to finish anywhere but first (esp. since that never happens) because it just goes to prove how little respect the Terps get from the media. And when we always finish higher than expected, it just shows what the team can accomplish, and the how poor the media's prognostication skills really are!

Go get 'em Gary!!!

I'm not sure it's as much a sign of disrespect as it is the uncertainty about this team. How will the freshman do? Will returning players like Tucker, Bowie, and Gregory raise their level up a notch? Placing the Terps sixth is like saying "They could be good but we don't want to go out on a limb". ut you're right, Gary will use it as locker room fodder.

We will see the media picks mean nothing. This will be a Gary Williams type of a team so lets see what happens. When you do not have highly ranked recuriting classes this is what you get.

gee whiz, they lost a ton of points.

I personally believe they'll overachieve again, peak at the right time, and that Padgett and Williams will be the best one -two frontcourt combo in all the land.

But being picked sixth in this league is not an effrontery. Just look at the 5 schools picked above them.

Well, you can understand why they're picked so low: First, the team lost three key starters, including ACC Player of the Year, and second, Gary and the Terps always get little or no respect in the polls.

But has already been noted, Gary is a master at using the lack of respect as a motivational tool. I'd be surprised if UM doesn't finish higher than sixth.

Mark wrote "Hey, pick us to finish anywhere but first (esp. since that never happens)..." Better to say "hardly ever" than "never," since there have been exceptions to the rule, most recently last season when they tied Duke for the regular season ACC title.

They should be higher than 6th. But this should allow Maryland to catch some teams sleeping, at least early in the season. For whatever reason, Maryland sports teams always seem to outperform a low preseason ranking.

This team has the potential to be very good? With Williams, Mosely and the senior gaurds we have a lot of experience and talent coming back. Padgett has lost his baby fat and looks ready to become a player!

The incoming freshmen along with the juco transfer will make an immediate impact. All of these guys can play and by seasons end one or two should emerge.

There is no team in the ACC that should scare the Terps and I expect them to be in every game. And by the way; Most of the vaunted ACC coaches can't carry Garys jock!


What were they picked last year pre-season in the ACC?

watch out for the flying dutchman

the polls are just being realistic. some of the teams picked above them can easily fold. the acc doesn't seem to have a powerhouse 4 teams anymore with the additional 2 teams that can still do damage.

but i know this has to have williams steamed a bit. but the terps should be thinking positive. they have perhaps the premier center in the league. 4 capable veteran upperclassmen who know the system in gregory, tucker, bowie & mosely. a player hungry to take a starting role and prove himself in padgett... and 5 talented incoming freshman in stoglin, howard, paullson, weijs, and parker. actually 6 if pankey if he is cleared to play this season. each player bringing in specific traits, skill sets, and sizes and attitudes. all of them, could literally see significant time on the floor and have a legitimate shot to start based on the lineup coach williams prefers. and you know each one was probably told that their hard work will earn them floor time so you know they'll be hungry as well.
i'm really looking forward to this season, win or lose. the future looks kinda good.

All the hype surrounds Howard and Parker, but Stoglin is the one who will surprise -- the kid can flat out fill it up, and he has a cross over that could break MJ's ankles. When all is said and done, he will be the cherry of this class.

"Mark wrote "Hey, pick us to finish anywhere but first (esp. since that never happens)..." Better to say "hardly ever" than "never," since there have been exceptions to the rule, most recently last season when they tied Duke for the regular season ACC title."
Ken - I was referring to the PRE-SEASON picks and they picked us 5th last year. Even in 2002, we were picked 2nd (behind Duke) when we won the NC. Just the norm for respect. My point was, we lost alot, but even when Duke or UNC lose alot, they are referred to as "reloading" as we are always referred to as "rebuilding". No worries, rather be the underdog!

Yes, Terps have the coach. No, Terps do not have the talent. Losing Vasquez, you lose your top scorer (by far), your floor leader, one of your best rebounders, and a ton of intangibles that only Vasquez could bring. And, unfortunately, you've also lost your #2 point guard, his savvy play and timely scoring, along with a strong forward who scored and often made clutch plays. Terps don't have replacements for any of those guys. By year's end, they might be ready to contend with a strong ACC team. Before that, better be ready for some long nights.

I see a lot of positive comments on Padgett. What makes everyone think he is going to step up this year>

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Most Recent Comments
The Burning Question

Buy Sports Tickets from the Baltimore Sun Store

Baltimore Sun blog updates

 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected