And so the Dino Gregory Wait will finally come to an end on Saturday —- or so say “the powers that be,” according to coach Gary Williams.
Ultimately, it makes for a great question: Who will start at the five upon Gregory’s return.
Will it be the junior, a career reserve who played well defensively in the final month last season?
Or will it be freshman Jordan Williams, who started the first eight games and just produced a 19-point, 12-rebound performance against Villanova on Sunday?
You’d like to think history would be a guide. And while Maryland has had its share of starters with season-ending problems in the last decade or so —- Obinna Ekezie, D.J. Strawberry and Chris McCray come to mind —- and plenty of routine one-game absences, there aren’t many injuries that cost a player two weeks or a month.
There’s one of fairly recent note, and that was Eric Hayes‘ high ankle sprain two years ago. He came off the bench in his first game back, then assumed a spot in the starting lineup again the next time out.
Could that happen this time?
Well, Maryland goes 10 days without a game after Saturday’s date with Eastern Kentucky. So there will be time to sort out in practice what an ideal lineup would be going forward.
The guess here is Williams will start this weekend, and that it won’t be until the post-exams stretch beginning on Dec. 22 before anyone has a real idea what the lineup is going forward.
Either way, Gregory and Williams are both going to play in the long-term —- a lot.
—- Patrick Stevens