Hey, what does it take to get noticed? Maryland's 5-0 record only a blip in AP poll

December 10, 1991|By Milton Kent ......C

Attention voters in the college basketball poll: Maryland coach Gary Williams would like a word with you.

Williams' Terps are undefeated in five games, which is more than Bobby Knight or Dale Brown or Joey Meyer, each of whom has lost two games, can say about their teams.

And it's not as if Williams thinks Maryland, which meets Louisville at Freedom Hall tonight in the first of a home-and-home series, belongs among the elite of college basketball.

But he does believe an undefeated record, which includes wins over Providence in the ACC-Big East Challenge and Saturday's 101-91 victory over West Virginia, should have earned the Terps, who received 10 points in this week's listings, more respect from voters than that.

"We beat a team from the Big East and a team that was picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10, which is a pretty good league, but we can't get any votes," said Williams.

"I don't think anybody really knows who the top 25 teams are. I mean, you can see that Duke is there on top, but I think that the polls, at least until you get into conference play, don't mean a lot."

That may be, but Williams won't deny the emotional lift that a top-25 ranking would have on his players and the program, which hasn't appeared in the Associated Press poll since the first regular-season list of 1985-86, Len Bias' senior season, when the Terps were ranked 17th.

"I think some of the voters think that we aren't eligible for the poll because of the [NCAA postseason] sanctions," said Williams. "Nothing has ever come easy for my team since I've been here, so this is nothing different. We can't worry about it. We just have to keep playing well."

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