I've probably watched the highlight of Tucker making that shot about 20 times and it still gives me chills. I'm calling yesterday's game against Georgia Tech the lightning game, because lightning struck the same spot twice for Maryland on Saturday. I was covering the game for D.C. Sport Box and when Greivis made the first shot, everyone jumped up in amazement until we realized a time out was called. I've never seen a more stunned look on people's faces (my own included). No one could believe Gary Williams called a time out. But was Gary the one who called it?
According to Cliff Tucker, assistant coach Keith Booth did. And Gary Williams wasn't very happy about it.
"Actually, Coach Booth called a timeout when Greivis hit the game winner and coach was kind of upset about that. But he calmed down and we just had faith. And we just went out there and ran it" Tucker said. "Coach Williams was probably the only one who was frustrated. You know how he gets. We all just had faith. We knew they were going to put more time back up on the clock. We didn't know which play he was going to draw up."
As Gary drew up the play, which was designed for Tucker, Cliff actually joked that he thought Gary was going to change who the play was for at the last second. But he was glad he didn't.
"In the huddle, coach had a play where Greivis was supposed to hit a back screen and I was supposed to go for a lob, but as we got out there, we realized it was too far away" Tucker said. "So I kind of just looked at Eric and told him I was going to go to the three point line. Greivis hit the back screen and I went to the three point line and I kind of gave a little pump fake and I just shot it and it happened to go in."
Probably good for Booth that Cliff came back and hit that shot.
After all, Gary was already upset, as he took off his suit jacket for what he said was probably the forth time in his 21 years of coaching.
"I just try to stay on every play. The good thing about that is I don't usually do that" Williams said. "I've done that probably four times in 21 years. I just needed to get that particular play, whatever that was, we didn't know well. Either we didn't go for a rebound or we screwed up a play. And by doing that, it got it out of my system and I was okay those last four minutes and I could really see. In coaching, you know you're doing well when you can see. When you see everything that is going on offensively, defensively, nothing gets by you; you see it all. And you don't do that all the time, just like a player, you're not always in that zone. So sometimes you have to force yourself down the streatch in a close game to find that zone. After I did that, I felt pretty good. So I should have done it with about 39 minutes left in the game."
Everyone laughed when Gary made that final remark about taking his jacket off. So maybe we'll see some more jacket-less Gary in the future?
On final note from the game, which is Gary's reaction to Vasquez becoming the first player in ACC history with 2,000 points, 700 assists and 600 rebounds.
"I think it speaks for itself. Greivis has his critics but the numbers are there and when you look at what he has done for the team this year, he has always done everything he could" said Williams about Vasquez." Last year he led the team in points, rebounds and assists and for anybody who thinks that he doesn’t belong in the top five to seven players that have ever been here, they don’t know the game very well."
Be sure to check out the poll question below - where does this rank (aside from the National Championship) in your Terps basketball moments/most memorable games? In terms of games I've seen in person, it's probably top 5. I was at the Drew Nicholas shot against UNC Wilmington, which was amazing. I saw Maryland's game against UConn and against Kansas in the NCAA tournament in route to the title come to mind. And I also witnessed Maryland's comeback against NC State in the ACC tournament in 2004, along with the OT win over Duke. I think this game might have been the biggest emotional roller coaster I've ever been on for a game; from thinking you've won, to having that feeling stolen away, to gaining it back five minutes later. I've never experienced anything like that and probably never will again. It was, in a word, amazing.
And now a question to Terp Nation - where does this game rank in the all-time most memorable games, not including the National Championship game, since that would probably be #1 for almost everyone?
This poll is closed
Best moment/game I've seen besides winning the National Title
Definitely a top 5 Terps moment!
Probably in the top 10, but I can think of a lot of other better moments/games
Just another game. Good ending, but that's it.