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Gary has always had one of the worst grad rates in the ACC, maybe even the country. There were people complaining a decade ago how poor Gary's grad rates were. I certainly agree that the system is flawed and biased, but it's not irrelevant. A very high % of the DI coaches in power conferences are in the same position as Gary and have graduated their kids at a better rate. Schools take grad rates of their student athletes seriously. Now, I would be lying if I said I've ever concerned myself with how many people Gary graduates but that doesn't mean it should have been as bad as it was for as long as it was. Read into this as much as you will, but Gary in one of his more recent contract extensions had a nice incentive clause tied to his graduation rate and unsurprisingly his rate has improved in recent years. I absolutely believe that when coach emphasizes academics to his players that his grad rate will be better and I think Gary has done that in recent years.

Just want to point out that Maryland - unlike a large majority of its peer institutions - requires undergraduate students to do the last semester of their college career on campus in College Park. They cannot do the last semester of their degree abroad or online - it must be in person in College Park.

A basketball player who has a serious shot at a career in the pros often will pursue that almost immediately after the completion of his last collegiate season - whether he's leaving early, or that is his fourth year. In preparation for the NBA draft and in an effort to impress scouts, these guys are traveling and playing basketball around the country (and sometimes world), and can't afford to wait around to do so until June.

So even those guys who are four-year guys are immediately indoctrinated into the world of professional sports after their last collegiate season ends, two or three months before the school year is over. Obviously some make a concerted effort to balance that grueling job interview process with the completion of their degree, and those kids deserve high praise. We at Maryland have been fortunate to have several kids like that go through the basketball program in the last few years.

But ultimately, the University's outdated and unbending rule about doing the last semester on campus hamstrings these kids - and Gary - in a way that most other bigtime collegiate programs don't have to worry about anymore. A four-year player at Duke or Kansas or UCLA who wants to pursue a professional career but also finish his degree can arrange for his last semester to consist of online classes, so he doesn't have to be tied down to the Durham/Lawrence/LA area while he is trying to impress potential employers. A four-year player at Maryland doesn't have that luxury, and who could possibly blame him for giving his 100% effort to trying to make it as a pro in that scenario?

Until the University of Maryland eliminates that rule, I think Gary or whoever eventually succeeds him deserves significant leeway when interpreting NCAA graduation rates.

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GT, NC, and Duke are more talented than MD...That really can't be questioned.

But in GT's case, it is pure talent...It isn't refined talent, that can play as a team.

Ibekwe probably has more pure talent than anyone in the current MD team. Does that mean he'd be the best player on the team? Does that mean anything as far as potential results, if this MD team went against 5 Ibekwe talented players at each position? Absolutely not.

No offense, but this might be the wrongest thing I've ever seen about basketball. Ibekwe is more athletic than anyone on the team, that would be a true statement. I like Ekene a lot more than most, I think, but to say that he has more talent than anyone in the current starting five is terribly wrong. Unless talent means something other than "basketball skills".

This is certainly one of the five most talented teams in the conference. You'd trade this roster for Duke's roster, and that's about it. Georgia Tech and North Carolina might be talented, but they're woefully inexperienced, which can't be ignored. Maybe they're better than our guys were when they were the same age, but that's meaningless.

As far as the grad rates, I really don't know what Gary personally could have done or is doing different now, other than recruiting lesser basketball players who were locks to graduate.

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First Sports Guy has got this grad rate. I agree 100% with what he has said.

Second, Chris McCray flunked out because he wanted to flunk out. Gary cannot control the kids, take them to class. He cannot go to the teachers. The players have tutors and use them if they wish, again the tudor cannot go to class for the kid. In McCrays case the tutor no longer worked there after it happened, maybe the tutor was dismissed?

Third, and this is no knock on Duke, I wish MD could do this. MD is a public school and cannot. at Duke it only takes 130 credits to graduate,MD around 140 to 150 not sure the exact number. Duke you can take classes by correspondence (SP?) MD your last 12 or 16 have to be taken on campus.This causes a problem for the kids.

These grad rates dont account for these things. Rememeber stats dont lie, statistions do.

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Great article on Gary & Izzo. Tons of mutual respect there. (And that military work is such a great idea.)

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/13090888/similarities-abound-for-friendly-foes-michigan-state-maryland?tag=headlines;collegebasketball

As for the other points, no one in this thread has hammered Gary about graduation rates. All anyone has said is that there's no reason for UMD to be terrible at it. That's it. Indeed, there's an inherent contradiction in the fact that many of you claim there's no problem, but also argue that

Gary has acknowledged that there were problems in the past, but after the low point several years ago there were changes made, and he is on track to graduate all three of his seniors this year, and 13 of the last 15 seniors.

So, which is it? Was there no problem for Gary to actually acknowledge? Or was there a problem that was acknowledged? My point wasn't that this is an issue going forward, but rather that my main frustration in the near-decade since the National Championship is the mediocrity mixed with issues of institutional control. Graduation rates were part of that. All of the rebuttal arguments cherry-pick examples - whether it be players or schools - but unless Maryland is the only school out there with such draconian requirements (and I doubt it is) the point remains the same: it should never have been the worst.

Now it's not. And they're winning. To me, it seems like he's caught a second wind. I think a lot of that has to do with really enjoying his players again. It's been great to watch.

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There hasn't been mediocrity mixed with institutional control save for one year's class - the recruiting class of 2002. By and large, all of these graduation rates were based on the the classes brought in when we were winning games at an elite level. And, by and large, those players were all wildly successful and went on to pursue lucrative professional basketball players.

Look, I don't disagree that being the worst was not a good thing, if only for perception (I don't really care, even as an alum), but it has to be remembered that

a) This problem was really one that was corrected by the time the recruiting class of 2003 came into College Park. Those guys were being recruited long before they arrived on campus, so in actuality the problem was being remedied even at the time of the NC. It's not just old news, it's positively ancient history.

b) Multiple players have come back and received their degree outside of the six year window - Stokes, Booth, Holden, Rhodes, etc. Several of those guys needed degrees to get into coaching which exemplifies why the situation is over blown. Should they ever need a degree, they can always come back, for free, and get one.

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No offense, but this might be the wrongest thing I've ever seen about basketball. Ibekwe is more athletic than anyone on the team, that would be a true statement. I like Ekene a lot more than most, I think, but to say that he has more talent than anyone in the current starting five is terribly wrong. Unless talent means something other than "basketball skills".

This is certainly one of the five most talented teams in the conference. You'd trade this roster for Duke's roster, and that's about it. Georgia Tech and North Carolina might be talented, but they're woefully inexperienced, which can't be ignored. Maybe they're better than our guys were when they were the same age, but that's meaningless.

As far as the grad rates, I really don't know what Gary personally could have done or is doing different now, other than recruiting lesser basketball players who were locks to graduate.

You should be saying this to SG, not to the poster you quoted. We're just replying to him saying MD is not one of the 5 most talented teams based on how he evaluates talent which doesn't factor in experience or how good players actually currently are.

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You should be saying this to SG, not to the poster you quoted. We're just replying to him saying MD is not one of the 5 most talented teams based on how he evaluates talent which doesn't factor in experience or how good players actually currently are.

But that's not pure talent. You are confusing the 2 things or just don't know what talent is or how to recognize it...I am not sure which it is.

Vazquez was the ACC POY and rightfully so...But he isn't in the same viscinity, in terms of talent, to a guy like Derek Favors for example.

Better now is one thing...But that's not talent.

Brian McCann is better than Wieters right now...But that doesn't mean he is more talented or has higher upside.

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But that's not pure talent. You are confusing the 2 things or just don't know what talent is or how to recognize it...I am not sure which it is.

Vazquez was the ACC POY and rightfully so...But he isn't in the same viscinity, in terms of talent, to a guy like Derek Favors for example.

Better now is one thing...But that's not talent.

Brian McCann is better than Wieters right now...But that doesn't mean he is more talented or has higher upside.

I'm not confusing anything here, I am not trying to recognize talent. That should have been quite clear. For the tenth time, I'm saying you shouldn't use pure talent over how good players actually are to determine if a team overachieved in a given year. Picking a team to win a game or finish ahead in the standings comes down to who has the better players more so than who has the more talented players. Sometimes those are one in the same, but not in many cases.

In your example of McCann and Wieters, there would be a good case to take McCann over Wieters or to take the O's over a lot of teams based on pure talent, but that won't mean teams that finish ahead of the O's overachieved or that the O's underachieved necessarily.

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i'm not confusing anything here, i am not trying to recognize talent. That should have been quite clear. For the tenth time, i'm saying you shouldn't use pure talent over how good players actually are to determine if a team overachieved in a given year.
No one is doing that!!!!!! My god...stop using this stupid gd argument!!!!

I feel like I am talking to shack, JTrea or OldFan.

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No one is doing that!!!!!! My god...stop using this stupid gd argument!!!!

I feel like I am talking to shack, JTrea or OldFan.

If ny no one, you mean no one but you, sure. Use all the exclamations points you want, but it won't change that you did make that arguement it in your first post which I showed earlier.

Yeah, I feel the same way, except they at least normally know what they've said.

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You did it in your first post which I showed earlier. Yeah, I feel the same way, except they at least normally know what they've said.

What i said in the first post is so meaningless to how you are taking it.

It is so damn obvious to most people with common sense.

It should be very obvious what I am saying.

Maryland isn't as talent as a lot of teams and haven't been over the year but yet they win...Why? Because of Gary. That's it, that's point...This thread is about the importance of coaching..I don't know if you are stupid or just trying to be difficult but it should have been obvious to a 2 year old what my point was. If you want to read anything more into it, that's fine... but stop ruining the thread with your piss poor argument.

Start your own thread crying about the word talent and what it means.

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What i said in the first post is so meaningless to how you are taking it.

It is so damn obvious to most people with common sense.

It should be very obvious what I am saying.

Maryland isn't as talent as a lot of teams and haven't been over the year but yet they win...Why? Because of Gary. That's it, that's point...This thread is about the importance of coaching..I don't know if you are stupid or just trying to be difficult but it should have been obvious to a 2 year old what my point was. If you want to read anything more into it, that's fine... but stop ruining the thread with your piss poor argument.

Start your own thread crying about the word talent and what it means.

Once again, I said I agree with everything you wrote except the part about MD being such big overachievers this year. So I agreed with your overall point, it's not my fault that you responded to it the way you did and continued to debate a poor point. And again, I'm not trying to define talent, but I guess you're too obtuse to realize that.

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Once again, I said I agree with everything you wrote except the part about MD being such big overachievers this year. So I agreed with your overall point, it's not my fault that you responded to it the way you did and continued to debate a poor point. And again, I'm not trying to define talent, but I guess you're too obtuse to realize that.

I didn't say MD was an overachieving team...So I see now you are putting words into my mouth too?

Pedro Cerrano gave some very sage advice to you in the other thread.

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I didn't say MD was an overachieving team...So I see now you are putting words into my mouth too?

Pedro Cerrano gave some very sage advice to you in the other thread.

So what does this mean?:

They aren't one of the top 5 most talented teams in the ACC THIS year and they won 13 games...Why? GARY WILLIAMS.

Not putting words into your mouth at all.

Yeah, because my comment in the other thread was so off-base.:rolleyes: He also called you out quite a bit recently and was loving my posts in the thread about you posting negative MD stuff in the MD forum, but now you love his comment.:D

And many many people have given you advice on this board, yet you haven't taken much of it.

But you know what, I'll agree that I am argumentive, sometimes too much so, and I'm sure it can be annoying at times, but I think the same can be said for you and the person whose advice you're asking me to take.

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So what does this mean?:

Not putting words into your mouth at all.

Yeah, because my comment in the other thread was so off-base.:rolleyes: He also called you out quite a bit recently and was loving my posts in the thread about you posting negative MD stuff in the MD forum, but now you love his comment.:D

And many many people have given you advice on this board, yet you haven't taken much of it.

But you know what, I'll agree that I am argumentive, sometimes too much so, and I'm sure it can be annoying at times, but I think the same can be said for you and the person whose advice you're asking me to take.

It means that it is very obvious that you don't understand the difference between pure talent and having a very good team.

For you to take that to mean I think they overachieved(which BTW, I know for a fact you didn't pick them to be 13-3 in the ACC, thus they overachieved for you) tells me all I need to know about this conversation with you.

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