Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Isn't Donte' Greene A Marlyand Terrapin? Because Gary Williams Blew It

Don't get so down, Gar. It's not like your team needed a 6'11" three point shooting NBA Lottery pick anyway.

College basketball recruiting is a fickle business. Unlike college football where a recruit usually doesn't develop physically until about sophomore or junior year of high school, college basketball recruiting begins around 8th grade and gets progressively more aggressive as the player matures. These kids are pampered and told how great they are years before they are ready to accept the responsibility of leading a lucrative NCAA basketball program. And it's because of this immaturity and enhanced self-image that it has to be hard as hell to sell your program to 4-8 kids a year who all believe that they are the best player going without pissing one of them off. Gary Williams ran into this issue and unfortunately for him, 45 minutes was the difference between landing a top 5 recruit and watching him walk:
"Maryland recruited me when I was a sophomore, before anybody was recruiting me," Greene said. "I was waiting for them to call and they called. (Maryland assistant) Keith Booth came up to me and was talking to me and I was on my way to Maryland."

Greene took an unofficial visit to see the Maryland campus, but when he arrived in the basketball office, Maryland coach Gary Williams was with Julian Vaughn, a recruit from Vienna, Va., who is now at Florida State.

"Coach Williams had him in his office, talking for a while, for like 45 to an hour," Greene said. "Then he brought me in there and only said a couple words. I felt like I was disrespected and Gary Williams didn't really want to recruit me."

Greene said he told Booth he should stop recruiting him.

"It ended quick," Greene said. "But I would've definitely loved to go to Maryland."
It's amazing to me that the difference between landing and losing a future lottery pick and potential program changing player is an extra 45 minutes with a 15 year-old kid. Then again it's amazing that these coaches can even carry a conversation with these kids.

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