The Washington Times - January 31, 2009, 11:18AM

The amusing thing about yesterday’s media session with Maryland coach Gary Williams is how it basically turned into a midterm evaluation of individual players once the business of not talking about off-court matters was established a few minutes in.

It was, in short, a ton of secondary questions getting tossed at Williams, and he did his best to spin what has been an awful three weeks (five losses in seven games) into something a little more hopeful.


Here’s guessing it isn’t an easy sales job. After all, the recent evidence does not suggest the rest of the season will unfold noticeably better —- especially with a combined five games against Clemson, Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest still looming.

But it didn’t hurt to ask a question or two about tame matters, so out came a question about how Dave Neal and Dino Gregory have essentially split time over the last three games.

“We need to get what each guy has, and we’ll play them both together at times,” Williams said. “Dave, obviously, is a good shooter and knows the offense really well. Dino gives you that player who can get over the rim and can block some shots once in a while. The combination of those two is good, so we try to sense the situation and see which guy can play the best or get them both in there at the same time when Landon [Milbourne] has to come out of the game. That’s what we have to do right now.”

Translation: They’re the best Maryland has to work with inside, so no matter how much Williams wishes they’d both grow three inches overnight, Neal and Gregory have to hold up inside.

Neal in particular did well in the first meeting with Miami. It’ll be curious to see if that happens again tonight at Comcast Center.

—- Patrick Stevens