This is his kind of team

FACEOFF

Can Gary Williams Resurrect Maryland Basketball?

October 17, 2008|By DAVID STEELE

If there ever has been a prototypical Gary Williams team - not just at Maryland, but at his previous stops at Ohio State, Boston College and American - this edition of the Terps might be it. Lots of unproven and unheralded players, and a team so depleted by losses and defections, it's hard to see how it could even be competitive.

Williams, though, is one of those coaches who works best with groups like these, not with elite recruiting classes. The teams with no-names and seemingly mismatched parts click with his, well, hard-pushing (or abrasive) style. He squeezes something out of nothing, often something very good.

Even the first Final Four team in 2000-01 wasn't expected to be that in the preseason. The 2003-04 team, of course, made its famous run in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. The 2006-07 team was given up for dead at midseason before winning its last seven in the regular season to coast into the NCAA tournament. Those are just the recent cases.

The last thing Williams' teams need sometimes is high expectations. Low expectations, like this season, almost always turn out better.

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