- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Gary Williams finished his final piece of business from last year's national championship season by wrapping up a new contract.
The deal, announced yesterday, runs through the 2008-09 season, one year longer than the contract Williams signed after reaching the Final Four in 2001. Williams, who did not discuss the specifics of the contract, will reportedly earn about $1.2million a year plus incentives that could raise the deal to $1.5million annually.
"That's where the market is right now for guys who win the national championship," said Williams, whose No.13-ranked Terps play the Harlem Globetrotters tonight in an exhibition game at Comcast Center. "The school understands where the market is and where we are as a university. I hope its not based on just the national championship. I hope it's based on the last nine years."
Maryland has reached nine consecutive NCAA tournaments under Williams, and made the Sweet 16 six times in that stretch. Williams is beginning his 14th season at his alma mater. The 57-year-old coach doesn't envision coaching beyond the new contract, but intends to coach until 2009 as long as his health allows.
The deal includes a higher base salary, increased bonuses for competitive and academic achievements and income from radio, television and other personal appearances.
"The big thing for me is after 14 years it's good to have roots," said Williams, who played at Maryland before graduating in 1968. "When I first got here, I don't think that was as important at the time. It's important to me now."
The Terrapins will get their first game experience tonight at Comcast Center before a national television audience. These Globetrotters are not the basketball tricksters like their more famous relatives. They are a competitive team stocked with former NBA players, including Cedric Ceballos, Olden Polynice and Todd Day.
The Globetrotters beat St. John's 86-61 and Purdue 83-64 last week and have treated college teams lately like were facing the Washington Generals. The Globetrotters held the Red Storm to 33 percent shooting. The only college team that has beaten them in three seasons was Michigan State in 2000.
"We could have played Estonia and won by 50, like some other teams," said Williams, who will have five new players on his team. "But we wouldn't learn anything from it. We are trying to get a feel for where our young guys are. I have a pretty good read on the veterans."
Steve Blake is the lone returning starter from last season's team that finished with a 32-4 record. Fellow seniors Drew Nicholas, Tahj Holden and Ryan Randle will join the point guard in the lineup. There is still competition at small forward. Williams suggested fifth-year senior Calvin McCall could start because of his experience, but athletic 6-foot-8 freshman Nik Caner-Medley figures to be in the rotation. So does freshman point guard John Gilchrist, who could be part of a three-guard set.
In addition to the 7-foot-1 Polynice, who played for Virginia and turns 38 next week, the Globetrotters have 7-1, 300-pound Lorenzo Coleman. The Terps expect their beefy visitors to try to push them around in the first game in their new home.
"I'm very curious," Blake said. "It's a new building. It's the first real game here. I'm anxious to see all aspects here."
Williams was pleased with the No.13 ranking in the preseason poll released yesterday.
"That's really a compliment to our program," he said. "To lose four starters, three to the NBA, we have to really look at it with a sense of pride."
Football notes Saturday's Maryland-Clemson game will start at 7:45p.m. and be televised on ESPN2. The Nov.23 game at Virginia will begin at 5:30p.m., also on ESPN2. Three players received ACC player of the week honors: Steve Suter (offensive back), Todd Wike (offensive lineman) and Randy Starks (defensive lineman).


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