First off, let me say that this is my first post on this site, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
We all wonder while Maryland basketball has fallen to unthinkable lows, i.e not making the tournament 4 of 7 years and missing the postseaon altogether this year. GW deserves a part of the blame, however not much has changed in his approach to run this Maryland program. He’s a great X’s and O’s coach, but I would argue that its less of an extent to what GW is doing or isnt doing, but rather how the college basketball landscape has change since 2003.
Lebron James has completely changed the landscape of NCAA basketball. Before you say anything to refute this argument, please consider: (1) Lebron was easily the most popularize high school athlete of the past 30 years. He was picked 1st in the 2003 draft after completing his senior season. (2) The next two years’ drafts were filled with Lebron wannabe’s or followers: Highschool players that thought they could come in and produce at the NBA level immediately. Some were legit (Dwight Howard) and others were making a big mistake (Robert Swift, S. Telafair, Gerald Green). (3)NBA creates a new rule that you have to 19 before a certain date to enter the draft to be effective in 2006. (4) Top HS players that would have gone to the NBA now become more important due to the immediate impact their talent can have. (5) The more important HS players now become, the more popular the players become and more coverage they receive. AAU games become more and more commercialized , as everyone wants to look for the prospect that is the next Lebron. ESPNU starts out in 05-06. HS games now come on TV. This is the current state we are in until the one-and-done rule changes.
What does this have to with GW and Maryland? Well with the coverage HS players now recieve its become harder to find unheralded kids Gary tends to look for. To play off a previous post, guys that used to be “diamonds in the roughs” now can blow up with a good performance in the summer; Anthony Davis is now a type five player and was unranked after his junior year in HS. If GW is an old school coach that prefers HS games over AAU, doesnt want to get involved in “gray areas”, or doesnt want to go after kids early, then he’s coaching in an NCAA that has moved passed his era.
The fact that one and done players don’t win championships will be brought up. However, if we were never a program that got all americans or top 40 players that would have went to college rule or no rule, and would have stayed past their freshman year, than we can never compete on a consistent basis. The past four champions in the post-lebron, post one and done rule era fit the mold with the players they had at the time. (Kansas, UNC, Dook, Uconn)
GW’s refusal to not change has simply put this program in a chokehold. Just because we’ve gotten better recruits in the past 2 years does not mean a centerpiece can leave early before we get back to competitiveness (JWLL). I’m already expecting JA to consider leaving after his freshman year; he has that much upside.