Brent Harris: Fire burns for Williams

Brent Harris: Fire burns for Williams
March 10, 2011, 12:44 am
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 7:46 p.m.


By Brent Harris

The Maryland Terrapins have dug themselves into a rather steep hole. And the only way to climb out of it will be to go on a Greensboro run and win the ACC title.

The Terps' NCAA resume took a bad hit when they dropped their final three regular-season games -- all by double digits -- losing to North Carolina by 11, Miami by 14 and Virginia by 14.

One thing is for sure, with their NCAA tournament backs against the proverbal wall, Gary Williams and his guys will come out fighting.

The coach may be a bit more reserved in his post-game comments or he might flash a quick smile at a practice, but don't -- for even a second -- buy into the idea that Williams doesn't have that famous intensity.

"Did you watch me out there today?" Williams asked after an hour-long practice in Greensboro in preparation for the Terps' ACC tournament opening-round game against N.C. State. "I've worked hard this last month. Ask the players if I've been intense the last month of the season. They are the only ones who would know."

The players agree, their coach continues to show that intensity.

"He still has the same fire, and it's unbelievable," said Jordan Williams, who was named All-ACC first team on Monday. "That's what separates him from all the other coaches. That's what makes him a great coach and a great leader."

Williams points out that the people who have questioned his intensity are the same people who have never been to practice to see it first hand. And in games, no coach is quite as intense on the bench. You only have to look at Maryland's loss last Saturday against Virginia for proof.

"I just got my first technical foul in 2 12 years in our last game," said the Terrapins all-time winningest coach.

And behind Williams' leadership, the Terrapins are ready to make a run in this ACC tournament.

"We have worked hard. I'm proud of the team, the way they have worked," he said. "We have to continue to work hard this week, and we can do some damage here."