Head Coach Gary Williams Quotes
Nov. 12, 2009
Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams
On this year's team:
"It's been really interesting working with these guys. It's a little different this year than the last couple years in that we've had quite a few returning players who were really important players in the program last year and really helped us get to the point where we were one of the 32 teams left playing at the end of the year. Hopefully, we've been able to pick things up from there and move forward. But this time of year you really don't know. We've had an exhibition game with Indiana (Pa.) and a scrimmage with Temple and they're both really good for us. But you know things change when the games count and we'll find out tomorrow where we are."
On what's to be expected from tomorrow's game:
"Our level of play, just where we are. Charleston Southern is a team that had three injuries to key players last year. When they were relatively healthy they were down four with a minute and 40 left to Virginia Tech... So we want to see where we are against a pretty good team. Then this time of year you're just trying to get better. You play that game, you go over some things of the things you didn't do well or emphasize what you did well and then you get ready for the game Tuesday night. I think that's how you have to be this time of year. You can't be satisfied. No matter how we play tomorrow, we don't have all our offense in yet, we don't have everything in exactly what we want to do defensively yet, so there's a lot of things still to do."
On what progress he hopes to see throughout the year:
"You want to be good enough defensively where you're forcing easy scores, layups off of steals, and things like that. But you always want to keep getting better offensively in your half-court because big games come down to your half-court offense against their half-court defense and vice versa. So those last three or four minutes of a game you see, against good teams, very few cheap baskets. You have to earn every point you get and that's why you have to be a great half-court offensive team. I mean you go through periods of the game where you might get a steal, or you might hit a couple of shots in transition. Eventually it comes down to a grind-it-out type of thing at the end of the game."
On the progress of the freshmen so far:
"Different players. Jordan Williams is your typical 6-foot-9, 260-pound big guy... His strength is just being tough around the basket, not trying to look pretty or anything, just trying to be aggressive. He has proven to me that he is not going to back down against anybody and I think that's the key when you're young... When you're in high school at that size you dominate most of the time. Now he goes against guys just as strong, just as big, and it looks like he's going to be able to make that adjustment pretty quick. James Padgett is a different player. He's got like 6-7, 6-8 size, he's really quick, does some explosive things, but learning how to play. I think the more time he can get on the court, the better he's going to be."
On how his team is handling increased expectations:
"I think we've done pretty well in practice in terms of not having bad days in practice. I always want expectations. In other words I'd like to be ranked No. 1 in the country going into the season because that gives you an enormous amount of clout going out there on the court. You come to the ACC, you come to be a good basketball team, that's why you come to this level."