At some point, there has to be something to be taken from past drubbings.
There’s only so many of them in Gary Williams‘ past, and none quite like Saturday’s 85-44 loss at Duke. But it was worth seeing if there were any lessons from some of his darkest days as a coach that would with his current situation.
“The way we handled it when I was at American U., we played a guarantee game at Syracuse in the Dome,” Williams said. “It snowed and we couldn’t get in there until 4 o’clock the day of the game. So we ate when we landed, went and played and we were down 35 when there were five minutes left. We started, according to Jim Boeheim, one of the best fights ever in the Carrier Dome. That’s the way we handled it that day. Of course, now you get suspended and things like that if you try to do something like that. Things are different now.”
(This is one of those examples of where memories play tricks on you. Williams indeed dealt with a 30-point pounding at Syracuse. It just happened to be in 1979 (go down to page 23) – more than a year before the Carrier Dome opened.)
Regardless, don’t expect a fracas at Comcast Center tomorrow.
What might be expected is something of a bounceback. And, surely, plenty of eyes will be on Maryland to see how it recovers from such a beatdown.
“For me, it’s always a test,” Williams said. “Players read off a coach a lot of times. You have to go in there with the confidence we can win this game Tuesday night. This is how we’re going to do it and let’s spend all our time getting ready for the next game.”