Another Day, Another Player Leaves the Maryland Hoops Program

Does anyone want to be a Maryland Terrapin? What the hell is going on in College Park?

In a non-surprising move, forward Shane Walker has announced that he's transferring to Loyola (MD). He had said he was leaving the program over a month ago and has now made his decision to where.

Let's see: that comes after recruits Tyree Evans and Gus Gilchrist "left" already and Bobby Maze couldn't get his grades up to get in.

Fellow FanHouser Nathan Fowler touched on this two weeks ago and the issue needs to be raised again: what's going on at Maryland? This was a program that had reached the ultimate success with consecutive Final Four appearances and a National Championship in 2002.

Since then, the Terps haven't made it past the Sweet 16. Maryland has made just one NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four seasons despite playing in an ACC that has been competitive, but not all that great. Heck, the Terps have had exactly one winning conference season in the last five years.

Is the problem Gary Williams? Rarely does a coach who wins a National Championship finds himself sitting on a hot seat just a few years later. Usually that is only reserved for guys who have some other issues surrounding his program (Jim Harrack, Jerry Tarkanian, Bobby Knight). Williams, it really seems, doesn't have anything like that in his program.

He inherited a program that went through NCAA sanctions and has steered it into "the right way". He's reveled in the fact that he doesn't get those McDonald's All-Americans (that 2002 Terps team is the only champ in 30 years to not have a Mickey D All-American on the roster). However, he is now hated by a contingency of his fans.

The fact that the Terps went after Tyree Evans really rubbed the fans the wrong way. Those fans also felt pride in taking non-elite talents and making them into the good teams (though they didn't mind getting a few great players). Evans is a top talent ... who also carried with him a ton of baggage. This isn't exactly what Maryland was looking for.

Is Williams showing desperation? Maybe. Evans wasn't the kind of kid the Terps went for so that could show signs of a man trying to quickly recapture that magic.

It is a shame. Maryland was one of the better stories over the past quarter-century for the ACC. After hitting such a low, Williams turned it around and made themselves into a worthy rival to Duke and North Carolina for annual ACC glory. Now it seems that it is all crumbling around him.

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