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Gary on Recruiting, Doubters

Gary has been pretty gracious in victory to his doubters recently, but he's back to being a BA. The interviewers didn't exactly ask a hard question (they were really getting on the doubters; my ears started to hurt from the shouting), but Gary back to his old defensive self. Here's his quotes, from this morning's Junkies on 106.7 WJFK.

On the booing earlier in the year:

I get frustrated when they get on the players, I really do. This year - I'll say this about our team and I don't think anybody can deny this - our guys played hard every game. I mean, there was no game where we didn't play hard. I don't remember a game, I don't care if it was Morgan State, whoever, we played hard. And that's all you can do as a player.

...

Coaches, you take that, that's part of the deal. But this year was a little different. We had several things on the outside which I don't quite understand, because It took us four years to get off those sanctions for the previous coaching staff. So the last 16 years we've been to 13 NCAA tournaments. If you look around the country, give me another program besides say North Carolina and Duke that's done that. That's what I don't understand. I don't know where it comes from. I have an idea, but I can't prove it. But it's just there, and 13 out of 16 NCAAs, let's just start there and see who's done that.

I agree with the first part; I don't like to get on the players (except Brax every once in awhile). But only Gary could twist a question about the players into a defense of his performance. Not criticizing him for it, I just think that is vintage Gary Williams - always a wrong to right.

He also talked about the Bob Wade era, and how it affects how performance is perceived. I'm not sure if he's forgiving the students for it or is angry that they weren't born earlier.

You remember it. Very few people there at the university remember it. You know, they weren't around 20 years ago. The students weren't born.

Here's the recruiting portion, which you knew was coming. I see his point, but it does go both ways. Does it mean that his recruiting was bad the past few years when they didn't make the tournament?

Our recruits are good enough to go to the NCAA tournament. There's a lot of schools that supposedly got great recruits, but they're not in the NCAA tournament. So that's the bottom line. See, this recruiting thing has really changed, I'd say in the last 10 years, where there's a lot of geeks out there that only care about who you recruit. They could care less about how you do during the season or whatever. If you don't get the kid they think you should get, then you're not recruiting well. Well, we recruited well enough to go to the NCAA tournament this year.

At the tail end he mentioned a little about the Cal game. Not much, but he didn't rule out zone, and respects Cal PG Jerome Randle.

Nah, Oregon St. beat them playing all zone a couple weeks ago in the Pac-10 . They're a funny three point shooting team. They are great when they shoot - they're really good, but they only take about 15, 16. Most teams when they shoot the three shoot 21, 22. ... Their guard is really a good player. He's a little guy, probably an honest 5-8. But Randle can really shoot the three, I mean he goes deep to 25 feet. I've seen him pull up in transition with nobody under him and just fire. If he gets on fire, he's very difficult to stop.

Listen to the entire segment here.