Tuesday, March 14, 2006

MD Recruitment Shopping List: Heart, Pride, and Rebounding

So MD wins the national title in 2002 and I expected a dynamite recruitment class, counting on the fact that we just won the title. Gary and his staff get some highly regarded kids that seem like decent players on paper. However, Gist, NCM, and Ibekwe don't have..I don't know, what am I looking for? Oh yeah...heart. These players don't fit into Gary's system. The blame falls on the players and him for things not working out. I'm not at the point where I want MD to get a player from one of those basketball "academy" high schools, but it sure is tempting. Losing Gary's assistant coaches may have hurt more than anyone is willing to admit.

Is there a reset button like my XBOX?

The MD men's basketball team underperformed for the third year in a row (compared to what we were used to). They've been a bubble team each year and may not have even made it two years ago if not for winning the ACC tournament. This team wasn't shafted by any NCAA committee - they shafted themselves. Since I've really followed this team (mid-90s or so), I've become accustomed to a sweet 16 appearance. MD regularly got players good enough for the round of 16, but not much else. Not until my Senior Class did we have players who broke through that round to a level of play not seen in a long time. Sadly, this year's squad had no heart, nor desire to play hard. Strawberry seemed to show emotion and desire during the season, but what good is it when only one player tries to get pumped only to look in his teammates' eyes and see them slack off?

Umterps.com actually placed this picture of Ibekwe getting rejected by the rim in its recap of the BC loss. Believe it!

Sure if McCray had gone to class (or gotten the "right" kind of help from his tutors) MD would have had a better chance of making the tournament, but this still wasn't a strong team. I know the strength of schedule was very strong, but it doesn't help when you don't have any quality wins outside of BC (barely at home). What pisses me off about these guys is what they said after games. Most amount to thinking what they did was good enough to win or just that they thought they were good enough to cruise to victory.

I could always root for...the women's team...haha. At least they try and they are #3 in the country.

After finding out they didn't make the tournament, NCM said, "If you told me that we'd have 19 wins and go 8-8 in the ACC before the season started, I'd think we'd make the tournament." That's the exact problem I'm talking about. Too much expecting what they put out is enough to get by instead of just blowing things out of the water and leaving no doubt in the outcome. Instead of thinking a blowout over Georgia Tech would be enough, try to stay close to BC for at least the first four minutes instead of being down 17-2.

At least we have better cheerleaders.

Though John Gilchrist's attitude was a pain to watch and play with for his teammates, it was clear when he gave his all, the team elevated its play. Getting him to give his all was a problem, but he's the only one to show he could even do that. I know next year will also be a struggle when we have to count on Bowers' rebounding prowess for a low post presence. I know this is all subjective, but nobody on this year's team ever seemed to be trying hard. NCM and the rest of the cast should have realized over the last two years that just showing up and going through the motions were not enough. Unfortunately, they didn't so they get to sleep in the NIT bed they made.

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