Terps Q&A; with Heather A. Dinich

Ari, Ardmore, Pa.: Why if Chris Mcray was at Cornerstone along with Travis Garrison was he not suspended as well? They both violated the same team rule.

Heather A. Dinich: I'm still trying to figure this one out. A lot of people have been asking about it. I put in a request just two seconds ago (2:15 p.m. Tuesday) to speak with Gary about it. If I can't get him on the phone this week, I'll ask him at Friday's media availability if we have it. We usually do the day before a game. When last asked about it, Gary said Chris was there, but that's all. We should've followed up on it right then.


Rich, New York: Hi, Heather. Thanks for doing your column, I enjoy it. In the wake of the blowout in Durham I am, sadly, forced to look to the future -- past this group of seniors. Would you mind giving me a rundown on the recruits Terps have in the fold for next year, a quick scouting report on them, and other players may possibly join the program? Thanks.

Heather A. Dinich: Rich, thanks for reading the Q&A.; Here's your rundown:


The Terps received Letters of Intent from Eric Hayes, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Potomac High in Virginia, Jerome Burney Jr., a 6-9 power forward from Westlake High in Atlanta, Landon Milbourne, a small forward at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, and Greivis Vasquez, a versatile guard from Montrose Christian in Rockville.

Recruiting experts have this year's class ranked among the top 20 in the nation, and Terps coach Gary Williams got what he needed in a point guard with Hayes. Maryland has one scholarship remaining. Vasquez, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, was coaxed to the United States last year by the coaching staff at Montrose Christian. In his first season there, he averaged 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists. Hayes has led his team to a 54-2 record over the past two seasons. He is ranked as the ninth-best point guard in the country by Before transferring to Oak Hill Academy, Milbourne, 6-6, spent two seasons as a center in Georgia, where he helped his high school to a 54-6 record. Last I checked, Milbourne was averaging 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds as a starter. Burney is the only three-star recruit in the class, and averaged 12 points, 13 rebounds and 6.5 blocks last year. He had five triple doubles as a junior.

Pete, Salisbury: Gary is paying the price for the last couple of years of not recruiting. Wasted National Championship. Is Gary really going to be here another five years or so? He needs to do a Brian Billick and change. What is Gary's plan?

Heather A. Dinich: Wasted national championship?? Geez, it's not like second prize at the county fair. It's kind of hard to forget. The kids who might have been lured to Maryland by that season are this year's juniors - D.J. Strawberry, Ekene Ibekwe and Mike Jones among them. It's not uncommon for somebody not to pan out. Will Bowers is dealing with confidence issues now more than anything. Recruiting is a gamble. Their incoming class is ranked 18th in the nation. Gary's plan, I assume, is to move D.J. back to guard/small forward next year and use a freshman or Parrish Brown at the point.

John, Columbia: Do you think Gary Williams might eventually change the lineup a bit? Maybe putting Parrish Brown at point, and moving Strawberry. With the new point guard coming in next year, I don't see Strawberry staying there anyway. Secondly, I haven't seen much improvement on a consistent basis from Caner-Medley and Garrison over the years. They seem to be really hot or really cold. It might be time to start Gist and Jones. Are any of these scenarios a possibility this season?

Heather A. Dinich: To answer your first question, yes - he's been doing that on occasion during games. I think Jones and Gist answered your second question when they saw siginificant time against Wake Forest. Of course, it's up to Gary to leave them there. It's my first year covering the team, so it's hard for me to gauge improvement.

Lisette, Columbia: How come Mike Jones sat on the bench during the second half of the game against Duke?

Heather A. Dinich: Mike played four minutes in the second half. He was on J.J. Redick a bit in the first half. Perhaps Gary didn't like his defensive effort. Maybe it was because he turned the ball over three times in nine minutes. Those are just guesses. I really don't know. Gary's use of Jones has me perplexed. I'm working on figuring it out. He did have a great game (22 points) against Wake Forest.


Susan, West Orange, N.J.: Do you see the Terps regrouping and being a dominant force in the ACC this year?

Heather A. Dinich: I do see the Terps regrouping - I think - but I don't think anyone but Duke will be considered a "dominant force in the ACC this year." There's too much parity, as evidenced by Miami's win over North Carolina. At the same time, I think that parity is what will help Maryland regroup.

Mike, Columbia: What's the chemistry been like for the Maryland basketball team? Is it better now since Gilchrist is gone?

Heather A. Dinich: Yes, all of the players have said they're getting along well with each other, and apparently they're hanging out together downtown. As to whether it's addition by subtraction with Gilchrist - I didn't cover the team last year, but it seems to be. The players continuously use the word "unselfish" this year, and Caner-Medley has said that John liked to play outside the offense and that sometimes threw things off. Maryland did need a player like him, though, when they were at Duke.

Bryan, Woodbine: Heather, After the turnout and success of the Maryland Navy football game last season, will these two schools play each other in football or will it be another 40 year wait? It appears that the athletic directors at both schools seem reluctant to schedule any future football games between both schools.

Heather A. Dinich: I definitely don't think fans should expect a rematch anytime soon, but Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow has said the Terps are holding an open date in 2010.


Guy, Frederick: Do you see any real quarterback competition emerging from spring practice?

Heather A. Dinich: Definitely. Sam Hollenbach threw 15 INTs and 13 TDs. Ralph said he was going to open it up again, and Jordan Steffy told me last season he didn't come to Maryland to call plays in from the sidelines. Spring practice starts April 1. If I'm not at the Final Four, I'll be there and let y'all know.