Don’t blame Gary!!!by Jason Weisbecker
I recently pleaded to my University of Maryland Terrapin Basketball fan friends to stop blaming Gary Williams for their buzzer beating loss to Michigan State on Sunday. Apparently, I must not have been watching the game because I missed Gary missing shots, making poor decisions and being out rebounded all game long. I must have also missed him getting beat on a pump fake at the end.
I posted that he made the right call by not pressing with about 6.3 seconds left on the clock. Granted, I am only 27 years old, but I have been coaching and officiating basketball for 10 of those years. Most every coach that I have discussed this with says the same thing, “Gary made the right call.” You do not press with 6.3 seconds and up by 1. You get back and set up your defense and make them use some time off the clock and beat you with a shot, not a drive to the basket (not to mention, that if you were watching the game, you would have saw that Michigan State players were getting good looks at 3 pointers and easy lay-ups off the press). The Terps did exactly that and just about forced a poor shot choice from a freshman forward and then an errant pass. Unfortunately, the pass was caught by Spartan guard Korie Lucious, who shot faked and then sunk a very difficult 3 pointer at the buzzer.
After getting out rebounded and allowing wide open 3 point shots all game long, the Terps finally played defense correctly on the last play of the game. Unfortunately, Lucious made a great shot and the rest is history. The only thing that I am hearing is how coach Williams made the wrong choice and lost his team the game. I don’t hear anyone talking about he motivated his guys and helped them come all the way back from as many as 16 points down to take the lead with 6.3 seconds left. But I guess that doesn’t matter. Apparently players win and coaches lose.
And that’s my two cents….