Every non-grudge holding sports fan in the D.C. area believes ardently that Georgetown and Maryland should play each other in basketball every year. Gary Williams, now that he’s no longer the Maryland coach, has apparently joined our crusade.
The Terps legend was on ESPN 980 for two hours on Friday, and in the final segment, Steve Czaban asked him if he couldn’t take this on as a project.
“I think Georgetown and Maryland should play,” Williams said. “I think it will happen, I really do. With me out of there, and the II out of there, I think it’s gonna happen. We played, if you remember, we played at U.S. Air Arena the last game, so that was the sticking point.”
At which point Andy Pollin said that John Thompson II would argue that long-ago Maryland-Georgetown game was actually a neutral floor.
“Well, it certainly seemed like they played most of their games there,” Williams countered.
Ok, so forget the non-grudge holding part, but still, this is progress.
Gary still has not forgotten the shot that ended his last NCAA tournament run in 2010. Seen above.
“A lot of teams lose during the year, but you can’t lose during the tournament,” Williams said. The last one that really hurt was the Michigan State game in 2010.”
“You over that one yet?” Czaban asked.
“Nope,” Gary said. “Never will be. Never will be. The thing about that game, Vasquez scored 10 points in the last minute and 5 seconds of that game. We went up twice in the last 20 seconds. They hit a jump shot from right in front of Izzo as Izzo’s calling timeout. You can see it on the tape. Ok, that was the first one.
“[Then] Vasquez scores to put us up one, they go down again, we get ‘em on the sideline, we’ve got ‘em trapped pretty good over there. They throw it to the top of the circle, the kid’s running in. Big kid, [Delvon Roe], can’t shoot for Michigan State, ducks. And it goes right to [Korie Lucious], the guard. And he sticks it. And they throw [him] off the team the next year. A year too late, you know?
“But see here’s the thing, if you throw the ball to a kid that’s one year old, he won’t catch it, but he’ll try to catch it with his hands. This kid DUCKS. Nobody ducks when you throw a ball.”
“How did that big dummy know to duck?” Czaban asked.
“He didn’t,” Williams said. “He didn’t want the ball. That was all. I mean, it was incredible. We should have stolen that pass, though. We had a guy in position to steal that, and he just kind of locked up.”
Well, watch the clip above. I’m not sure how many of these things were accurate, but it’s a great story.
Cole Field House
A listener asked Gary whether he’d have preferred to stay in Cole Field House instead of moving to Comcast Center.
“If I had one game to play, to win, I’d play it in Cole Field House,” Williams said. “They could have re-did Cole, but it would have cost very close to a new place like Comcast. And for the future of the school, for the athletic department, it was the right move to go to Comcast.”
Recruiting Kevin Durant
Czaban asked Williams for a quick review of Maryland’s chance of landing several high-profile local kids who went elsewhere, starting with Durant.
“Not close, to be honest,” Williams said. “He was in Comcast Center shooting when he was in 9th grade, so we knew him. He’s not physical now, but back then he was really skinny. You knew if he just matured a little bit, he was gonna be great, because he had skills....He was gonna be great. We tried.”
“Beasley was interesting. There was a whole process there where he went to Kansas State. The thing when you look at that, I understand a guy going away from home to go to school, you just want to get out of the area, but not to see a campus before you decide to go there...”
“Carmelo we recruited. I was in Towson Catholic’s office with Mike Daniels the coach and Carmelo, when Carmelo was 15 years old, and he told me how much he wanted to go to the University of Maryland. So we recruited him. The next year he left Towson Catholic, went to Oak Hill Academy and decided to go to Syracuse.”
“We got him. No, Tamir had a great story. It was a story that everybody wanted to happen. It was one of those things, wouldn’t it be nice if....But then he played in the summer time, and he just wasn’t that good. He wasn’t a 5-star. And every kid he played against in the summer time — where’s Jewish Jordan, let me have a piece of him.”
Czaban asked Williams how he’d have handled the off-the-backboard dunk JaVale McGee broke out last week.
“Take him out of the game,” Gary said. “Right away. Just take him out. The sub would be up there. As he threw the ball on the glass, if I was good, I’d have the sub moving by then. Even before the dunk.
“I’d tell him that you have to learn to respect the game. The game is played a certain way by the great teams, the great players that ever played the game, and that’s current, and that’s going way back. And you have to be like that if you expect to be a great player or a great team.”