Casualty of Capitalism

Exiled into Wilmington, Delaware by virtue of corporate layoffs. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2005, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Location: Wilmington, Delaware, United States

Graduate of University of Maryland School of Law; University of Maryland, College Park (Economics/Political Science).

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Falling to Pieces

I think Mike Wise of the Washington Post is ripping off some of my ACC Basketblog pieces:

Almost as disturbing seeing the body language of John Gilchrist's teammates toward the mercurial starting point guard near the end of the loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday that put the Terps' season on the brink.

There is no easy way to say this, especially because you're dealing primarily with 18- to 22-year-olds: But the promise of a very good team disintegrated each time Gilchrist dominated the ball and stopped trusting his teammates. In a year, Gilchrist somehow morphed from John Lennon into Yoko Ono; the leader of the band became the reason it broke up.

One of the great sporting events of the year comes to MCI Center on Thursday, and the Terps probably won't make it to the weekend. Williams has complained over the years about the ACC tournament being held on Tobacco Road, thereby giving the Carolina teams a distinct home-court advantage. Now, the moment it comes to the Maryland coach's backyard, you wonder if the hosts will even show at their own party.

How do you beat Duke twice and you can't beat Clemson or N.C. State once? And if you're Gilchrist, how do you go from enjoying the signature moment of your career at last season's ACC tournament to being the leader of a mediocre team that has not won anything?

Gilchrist has said players are "fighting things we can't even see." He said teammates, but not him, were "dealing with personal issues that the media and fans do not know about." What is he talking about? We have no idea. We only know for certain that Maryland and Gilchrist have not been right since winning the ACC tournament last season, a triumph that Williams has got to believe was more curse than blessing. Because that's when Gilchrist blew up, double-clutching, dribbling through nine other players until he made some incredible twisting layup that made him the MVP of a long, improbable weekend.

Every starter except Jamar Smith returned from that team. There were few reasons the Terps should not have been in top 10 contention, especially the way they knocked off Duke twice and nearly took out North Carolina, a likely No. 1 seed.

I think he captured the essence of my column for most of the season.


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