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Gary Williams: still an enigma

There are lots of things to admire about Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams.

One is the obvious passion he brings to the job. The guy lives and breathes to coach hoops. Another is his unwavering devotion to his players -- he never, ever throws them under the bus after a bad game and goes after anyone in the media who does.

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A third is the emphasis he places on teaching during games -- when the Terps do something wrong on the court and you see Williams yelling at the poor guys on the bench, he's actually explaining (not in a gentle way) what went wrong and how to avoid it.

But for all his strengths as a coach and all the things he's accomplished, you wonder why he so often seems so joyless doing his job.  Even after the Terps emotional 92-71 demolition of North Carolina Sunday at Comcast Center, Williams couldn't -- or wouldn't -- crack a smile.

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From his demeanor after a win, you sense Williams is feeling a lot of things: relief, exhaustion, vindication, pride.

But hardly ever joy. Not on the sidelines, not in his post-game courtside interview with Terps broadcaster Johnny Holliday, not in his remarks to the media later.

It can be puzzling to witness. And a little sad, too. After all the years in coaching and all the wins and even a national championship, you'd think he'd loosen up a little -- especially after a great victory like the Terps enjoyed Sunday.

But he hasn't. And maybe he never will.

Maybe that's just asking too much.

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