Gary Williams sounds like a man on a mission.
A Sporting News Q&A with Maryland's coach covered quite a bit of ground, including his prognosis for the Terps' upcoming season, his recruiting methods and the heat Williams took last January when the Terps lost five games, including a 41-point drubbing by Duke and a shocker to Morgan State.
Some pointed to Williams' lack of high-profile recruits on the roster as the reason behind the Terps' failings, but when they reached the ACC tourney title game and the second round of the NCAA tournament, some that talk died off.
In fact, Williams says the criticism was one of the reasons behind Maryland's finish.
"We had great motivation. We'd been really criticized. I was criticized quite a bit. Probably the most ever in my career. … I think it was a great year for the players in terms of what that will do for them when they get out of basketball. Because we probably took more hits than I'd had in any of my 20 years at Maryland."
Translation: Everyone who thought we stunk and that I should be fired – eat it.
That statement to a series of recruiting questions, which put Williams on the defensive, probably because he's sick of talking about it.
The gist? He's always enjoyed recruiting and the Terps do get local players, just not Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley because "that's not the way we do it." (Indeed, the Terps have been busy this summer.)
Williams' squad should be good enough to allay any heat that comes this season
The Terps return eight of their nine top players, including star guard Greivis Vasquez, who may be the ACC's top player. Throw in a couple of sizable recruits in Jordan Williams and James Padgett, and it makes Maryland a team to watch, again.