- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2003

DURHAM, N.C. Maryland coach Gary Williams thinks momentum is like the weather it blows hot and cold and is ever changing.

The No. 13 Terrapins (16-6, 8-3 ACC) stumbled twice after five consecutive victories to force Williams into calming fans and reassuring players the season was still salvageable. Maryland then regained the ACC lead by beating Florida State and Wake Forest before facing Duke last night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The ended too late for this edition.

Williams often talks of mood swings based on the twice-weekly games. Building momentum can sometimes take a season, but it can vanish in minutes.

"It's easier to lose momentum than gain momentum," Williams said. "You can lose momentum in a 10-minute period of the game where you gradually build momentum. If you win this game OK, that gets you going a little bit. Then you win another game and you're doing all right. Then you win that third game you get some things going, but confidence is a fragile thing. It's hard to build a positive thing."

Williams said last season's national championship was a result of a two-year run.

"I really felt with last year's team that it was a one-, two-year thing that made us so confident," he said. "The way we played last year was what we earned the right to feel about ourselves. This year was a different team. We didn't have that mass of confidence going into the team. We earned the right to have it, but when you don't play particularly well you can lose it pretty quickly."

Air up there

Gary Williams said the key to rebounding is going after the ones that seem unobtainable.

"Part of rebounding is getting off the floor even if you don't think you have a [chance]," he said. "The great rebounders don't take no for an answer. They think they can get every rebound. They end up jumping more than an average rebounder."


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