Friday, January 30, 2004

An Open Letter to University of Maryland Students

Originally posted on "TerpTown" on the network and syndicated to Yahoo

Maryland basketball fans have received an extraordinary amount of media exposure during the last few days. As an alumnus of the school (University College Class of '93), this attention has been aggravating and embarrassing.

Fan behavior at the Comcast Center became an issue on sports talk and ESPN television following the nationally televised Duke game on January 21 st . This has spread to mainstream news programs like Good Morning America, where the Maryland crowd was used as an example of fans running amok.

I need to correct something right away. Most media accounts refer to Maryland “fans” chanting obscenities, wearing shirts with vulgarities, and bringing signs with lewd and crude messages. The vast majority of the offenders on that night, and in recent years, were sitting in the student section. I was there at the Duke game and saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. Therefore, this letter is addressed to students, not fans sitting outside the Comcast Center student section.

The focal point of attention from the Duke game was the moment in the last minute of a hard-fought contest when the star of the game, Duke's J. J. Redick, stepped to the free throw line. A huge group of students serenaded him with an obscene chant. Reports indicate that this was clearly audible on the ESPN broadcast.

On the Terp Town message board, I have seen two primary justifications for this behavior; (1) it only occurs at Duke games and (2) every other school does it.

Regarding the first point--let me see if I understand this rationale. Students think it is OK to save their coarsest behavior for the game against the nation's marquee school that has been one of the most watched regular season college basketball games in recent years. When viewers and members of the unusually large media gathering point out how deplorable the crowd was, there are complaints about Maryland being singled out. Am I being clear enough about the flaw in this logic?

There is some merit to the second argument. Crowd behavior is a nationwide problem. Earlier this season, Maryland was on the receiving end of crowd abuse when they played at Florida. What had Gator fans so riled up that night mystifies me, but that's neither here nor there. The Comcast Center is only one of a growing number of college arenas across the nation where violence and/or obscenity are problems.

Does that make it acceptable for Maryland students to emulate, or even try to exceed, the boorish behavior on other campuses? Any student who adopts that philosophy is wasting their parent's money on college. It's time to cash in the textbooks and get fitted for your little cap and smock at McDonalds.

I am very proud to be a Maryland graduate. I make a point of wearing my class ring everyday and hoping someone asks me what school I went to. That was not such a pleasant occurrence during the late ‘80's and early 90's in the aftermath of Len Bias' death and the “scandal-a-day” media circus that followed.

I still remember when people asked me what school I was attending during that time and their reaction when I said Maryland. Some would say, “oh, that's the school that has all the trouble.” Others would avert their eyes or give me a sympathetic look that made me feel like they just wanted to pat me on the head and give me a cookie. After all, if I was going there I must not have been able to get in a good school. I don't want to get that kind of reaction in the future due to a group of obnoxious students.

As good a school as Maryland was when I attended, it has improved drastically since I graduated. As the university has moved toward becoming an elite school and raised the bar academically during the past decade, the student section at basketball games has lowered it. Guess which trend attracts the most attention?

Obscene chants do not help the Terrapins win basketball games. They only serve to further energize the opposition. They obviously don't help the school's reputation. It is just a way for the future leaders of tomorrow to indulge themselves by acting like juvenile delinquents. Coach Williams stresses to his players that they need to put team goals ahead of their own. The same rule should apply to the students that watch his team play.

There are calls for Athletic Director Deborah Yow to take action or Coach Williams to speak to the students before a game. Dr. Yow has even engaged the state's Attorney General, to see if there is any action the school can take against offending students. I'm sure Dr. Yow has other important matters to attend to, and I'm damn sure the Attorney General does. As for Coach Williams, I would rather see him totally focused on preparing his team for the upcoming game instead of giving a speech to knucklehead students.

Dr. Yow has been told, she is restricted by first amendment rights in disciplining offending students so the students have all the power here. Please use your power to solve the problem and raise the bar, not to continue lowering it.

Students, please go to the basketball games and scream, stomp, and wave your hands. Make the sound waves roll over opposing free throw shooters when the game is on the line. Wear your school colors without F-bombs printed on them. Help your team win basketball games and change the student section's national reputation from rude to raucous. Allow the team to earn headlines on the court and quit drawing them off the court.

Please take enough pride in your school and yourselves to stay on the right side of the line. Quit embarrassing your school and damn it, quite embarrassing mine!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Terps Turn Game Over to Wake Forest, Lose 93-85

Originally posted on "TerpTown" on the network and syndicated to Yahoo

The Maryland Terrapins again faltered in the second half of an ACC road game tonight, losing a ten-point halftime lead and ultimately the game, 93-85 at Wake Forest. At 2-4 in the conference, (11-6 overall) Maryland is now tied with Virginia for 7 th place.

This was an important game for both teams, but especially Wake Forest (12-4, 3-3). The Deacons had lost their last four games, three of them in the conference, and were trying to avoid their first five-game losing streak in five years. On a night when they honored former All-American Josh Howard at halftime, it was a future Wake All-American, freshman Chris Paul, who led Wake to the win. Paul led all scorers with 25 points and harassed Terp point guard John Gilchrist into 3-11 shooting and 6 turnovers.

Maryland threatened to pull off a miraculous comeback in the last minute of the contest. Trailing 86-76 with 1:17, the Terps knocked down three three-pointers in 31 seconds. Gilchrist hit the first one, and, after two free throws by Paul, canned a second three after receiving a touch pass from Mike Jones off an inbound play. The Deacons' Taron Downey then turned the ball over and Jones made Wake pay with another three.

Maryland trailed by only 88-85 when Deacons' coach Skip Prosser called a time out. Following the break, Paul beat the Terps' trapping defense and drew a foul from Jones. Paul made 1-2 free throws with :38 left in the game, giving Maryland plenty of time to pull the game out. Gilchrist then missed a three, and Wake Forest closed the game out with two free throws each from Justin Gray (20 points) and Trent Strickland.

The Terps jumped out to an early 13-6 lead with Jamar Smith and Nik Caner-Medley chipping in two hoops each. After a media time out, the Deacons responded with 8 points in 55 seconds to take a 14-13 advantage.

Wake was ahead 26-25 when a sensational stretch by Mike Jones gave Maryland control of the game. After two Hassan Fofana free throws put the Terps up 27-26, Jones caused a tie-up that turned the ball over to Maryland, made a three-pointer, drew a charging foul, and made another three-pointer. Shortly after he and Paul drew technical fouls for an exchange after a foul, Jones made two free throws to give him 8 points in 48 seconds.

The Terps held off the Deacons through the remainder of the half and took a 53-43 lead into the locker room at halftime. That was the most points Maryland has scored at the half all season. Wake scored only one hoop in the last 5:59, but stayed in the game by converting 11-13 free throws during that stretch.

In the first half, the Terps committed only five turnovers, shot 51% from the floor, made 6-12 three pointers, and had 24 points off the bench. Along with Jones' 8, Travis Garrison added 10 on 5-6 shooting. Justin Gray almost single handedly kept Wake in the game with 16 points in the first half.

As clean and crisp as the Maryland's offensive execution was in the first half, that's how slow and sloppy it was in the second. The Terps committed 14 turnovers after halftime and missed numerous layups and short jumpers (shooting only 36%).

As the offense stagnated, Gilchrist dribbled, dribbled, and dribbled some more. Part of it was surely due to the lack of movement from his teammates, but some of it was also Gilchrist's disturbing habit of dribbling the ball too much. It became easier for Maryland players to stand and watch Gilchrist who, with Paul draped over him and violating his personal space, struggled mightily to advance the ball and run the offense.

After Maryland's bench dominated the first half, Wake's bench came up big in the second. Taron Downey (12 points, 6 assists), Kyle Visser (11 points, 6 rebounds) and Trent Strickland (9 points, 6 rebounds) all made significant contributions as the Deacons snatched control of the game away from the Terps.

Maryland appeared to still have matters well in hand when, leading 62-53, Wake Forest's center Eric Williams picked up his fourth foul with 16:08 to play. Williams would sit most of the balance of the game, but his replacement, Visser, scored the next six points of the game.

The Terps were entering an 8:30 stretch where they would only score one hoop. The Deacons would outscore Maryland 17-5 during this dry spell to take a 67-64 lead with 10:16 remaining. The Terps briefly tied the game at 67-67 with 7:42 left, but the missed shots and turnovers were too much for them to overcome.

As you could imagine, Maryland Coach Gary Williams was less than thrilled with his team's collapse in the second half (they were outscored 50-32). “We just weren't smart enough on offense,” Williams said after the game, “and we stopped moving on defense. Hopefully we'll learn to get games like this that you should win.”

Make no mistake; this game was there to be won by the Terps. As they did at Georgia Tech, Maryland wilted under pressure in the second half and let a win slip away. With trips to Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia still looming, the Terps still have ample opportunity to put these lessons to good use and insure their 11t h straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Until they do, however, they can not afford to slip up at home.

Sunday's home contest with NC State, therefore, becomes very important. At 2-4 in the conference, ALL of the games are important.

Notes From Under the Shell
Tonight was Gary Williams' 800 th game as a college head coach (513-287). Reminded of that fact by Johnny Holliday during his radio pre-game interview, Williams said, “That's ridiculous. It's meant a lot of nervous days.”

Caner-Medley led Maryland scorers tonight with 15 points. Garrison added 13 and Gilchrist scored 12. Smith, the ACC's leading rebounder, grabbed only six tonight but still led the team.
On a positive note, Maryland's free throw shooting is coming around. They made 23-30 tonight, 71.4%. Wake Forest, however, converted 38 of 46, 83.3%.

Wake won tonight with little contribution from their starting big men. Williams scored seven points and had only three rebounds. Vytas Danelius, still trying to find his grove after numerous early-season injuries, scored one point in only eight minutes of action.

Maryland leads the all-time series with Wake Forest 56-52. The Terps had won 8 of the last 9 meetings with the Deacons coming into this game.

The Terps have a critical home game coming up next when they host North Carolina State on Sunday at 2 PM. The game will be on Fox Sports Net.

Maryland and NC State played the first Super Sunday game in 1973, the first ACC regular season game to be nationally televised. The Wolfpack prevailed 87-85 in one of the greatest college basketball games I have ever seen. David Thompson's tip in at the buzzer won it for State.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Terps Claw Past Tigers 65-52

Originally posted on "Terp Town" on the network and syndicated to Yahoo

It was not pretty, but Maryland managed to post a critical ACC road win Sunday night, defeating the host Clemson Tigers 65-52.

Desperately needing a spark after a lackluster start, the Terrapins got one from Travis Garrison and Hassan Fofana. Both players came off the bench to provide points, rebounds, and most importantly, hustle during key stretches in both halves.

The game began tonight with only about 3,000 fans in the 10,000 seat LittleJohn arena primarily due to a snow and ice storm that was bad enough to close airports in South Carolina. As a result, there was not much energy in the building, and the play early on reflected that.

Concerned about his team's propensity toward turnovers (Clemson came in ranked #321 in the nation with 20.13 per game), Tiger coach Oliver Purnell started sophomore point guard Shawan Robinson over struggling freshman Vernon Hamilton. This move did not appear to have much of an impact, but the Tigers' offensive rebounding did. Clemson grabbed ten off the offensive boards in the first half, continuing a disturbing trend for the Terps.

It was a sloppy first half during which neither team could manage more than a four-point lead. Maryland did some defensive trapping at halfcourt in an attempt to push the tempo, but the Tigers were able to handle it well as long as they kept the ball off the floor. Once they tried to dribble, bad things happened for Clemson.

The Terps took their largest first half lead at 27-23 with 4:38 remaining, but did not score again until after halftime. The Tigers took advantage of this drought to score the final eight points and take a 31-27 lead into the locker room. Clemson used their 20-13 rebounding edge to offset 12 turnovers. Maryland committed 10 turnovers in the half, did not make a three-point shot, and made only 42% of their field goal attempts.

The Terps were clearly frustrated as the first half ended. The body language of the players was bad, and there was one play late in the half when John Gilchrist and Nik Caner-Medley yelled at each other after they had allowed a pass to go out of bounds. Allowing the Tigers to score the first two hoops of the second half to complete a 12-0 run certainly didn't improve their mood.

Without warning, the game turned around in Maryland's favor. Following a Clemson turnover, Gilchrist fed Jamar Smith for a layup. Smith stole the following inbound pass and fed Caner-Medley for a layup to force a Tiger timeout and draw the Terps back within 35-31.

Maryland tied the score at 38-38 on two free throws by Gilchrist, but Clemson jumped back out to a five-point lead when Olu Babalola drove through the Terp defense for a layup and Hamilton converted a three-point play. Then momentum took one more swing and found its final resting place for the night.

With the shot clock running down, Gilchrist banked in a three-pointer (I'm sure he called it) to bring Maryland back within two. This was the start of a 15-0 Terrapin run, climaxed by a Garrison three-pointer, that gave Maryland a comfortable 53-43 lead.

A three-pointer by Hamilton ended that burst, but a subsequent 10-0 run, featuring 6-6 from the foul line, put the Terps out to an insurmountable 63-46 lead with 2:52 left in the game.
After the game, Maryland Coach Gary Williams pointed to the key adjustment of pressing full court whenever possible in the second half to force the tempo and take advantage of Clemson's difficulties handling the ball.

Williams also praised the surprising contribution from Fofana, who had only played a total of one minute in the Terps' four previous ACC contests. “He gave us toughness,” Williams said, “that we weren't getting the last couple of games. Fofana played 15 minutes and scored 4 points, grabbed two rebounds, blocked a shot, and had a steal. Not overwhelming numbers, to be sure, but a quantum leap from what he had been doing.

The other key reserve tonight was Garrison. Travis made a good case for regaining his starting job by playing his best game in a month. He scored 11 points, pulled down 5 rebounds, and came up with 2 steals in 28 minutes of action. More important than his numbers was his aggressiveness, something noticeably lacking from his game recently. Continued strong play from Garrison and Fofana will give Williams more options to match up against bigger teams like Wake Forest, who they play Wednesday night.

Gilchrist led the Terps in scoring with 15 points, 13 in the second half. Caner-Medley added 13 and Chris McCray has 11. Jamar Smith led all rebounders with 10. Speaking of rebounding, that number evened out in the second half. Maryland had a 37-36 advantage for the game.

Clemson finished the game with 20 turnovers and shot only 38%. Maryland committed 17 turnovers and shot 44%. One particularly encouraging stat for the Terps was their free throw shooting. Maryland made 14 of 18 attempts (78%), leading Williams to say “We're starting to get some confidence at the line.”

Confidence was a key factor in this game. Williams said, “We didn't come in here with a lot of confidence, and it took us into the second half to get some tonight.”
Winning on the road in the ACC is a good way to get a team to believe itself, even if that win comes at Clemson.

Notes from Under the Shell
Clemson Coach Oliver Purnell and his top assistant Ron Bradley are both former assistants at Maryland. Purnell worked at Maryland from the 1985-86 season through the 1987-88 season, and was the person Lefty Driesell asked to clean up Len Bias' room on the morning he died in 1986 (wisely, he did not comply). Bradley started at Maryland as a volunteer assistant to Lefty in 1981 and coached through the end of the Bob Wade era in 1989. He was then an assistant athletic director during the 1989-90 season.

Purnell is now 1-1 vs. Gary Williams. Purnell's Dayton squad defeated Maryland 77-71 at the Maui Classic in November 2000.

Maryland has now won 12 straight games vs. Clemson, including the last six at LittleJohn Coliseum. The Terps lead the all-time series 83-42. The Tigers last defeated Maryland on January 24, 1998.

Maryland's win dropped Clemson into last place in the ACC. A Tiger victory would have put the Terps in last place for the first time since a 0-3 start in 2000. That Maryland squad rebounded to finish second in the conference with a 11-5 record.

Maryland travels to Wake Forest for its next game on Thursday at 7:00 PM. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Duke Bedevlis Terps, 68-60

Originally posted on "Terp Town" on the network and syndicated to Yahoo

The Duke Blue Devils came into Comcast Center with a swagger befitting the #1 team in the nation and left with it intact following a 68-60 win over the Maryland Terrapins Wednesday night.

Duke led most of the game, but Maryland had clawed back to trail by only 63-60 with 1:35 remaining after Nik Caner-Medley hit a baseline jumper. After Duke's Shelden Williams was called for an offensive foul at the 1:05 mark, the Terps had the ball with a chance to tie for the first time in the second half.

It was time for someone to step up and make the deciding play. That player was Duke's J. J. Redick. After Maryland had worked the ball to D. J. Strawberry deep on the baseline, Redick stripped him and got the ball back for the Blue Devils. Redick then closed the game out by making four consecutive free throws, no surprise since he has only missed one this season.

The first half began as a defensive struggle. Maryland posted a 4-2 lead on hoops by Caner-Medley (who led Maryland with 21 points and 8 rebounds) and Jamar Smith. Duke moved ahead 10-6 on two three-pointers and two free throws by Redick and the Blue Devils would never trail again.

Duke threatened to blow the Terps out of their own home arena when opened up a 23-12 lead with 6:44 remaining in the first half. A late Maryland run cut the margin to 35-29 and kept the Terps within reach. Coach Gary Williams said later, “I thought we had a pretty good feel at half time.

In controlling most of the first half, the Blue Devils showed that they were a far different team than the ones Maryland had soundly beaten here the last two seasons. Two years ago, the Terps out-muscled and beat Duke physically, and last year's young Devils team was intimidated by the raucous environment of the Comcast Center.

This season, Duke brought in a team that is stronger, more experienced, and more poised than Gary Williams' young Terps. That showed up most clearly in the offensive rebound totals. The Devils grabbed a staggering 24 offensive rebounds, 12 in each half. After the game, a weary and frustrated Williams said, “The glass was where the game was won. They ripped a few balls away from us that we had at least one hand on it. That's got to stop if we're going to beat a team of that level.”

Despite getting killed on the boards, the Terps played well defensively, holding Duke to a season low 33.8% field goal shooting. They did not have an answer for Redick, however. Early in the second half, Redick broke open a 39-33 game when he was fouled shooting a three-pointer, made all three free throws, and then knocked down a three to force a Maryland timeout only 2:21 into the half.

The Devils briefly stretched their lead to 14 points, but Maryland would not go away. A D. J. Strawberry layup cut the lead to 50-44 with 11:03 to play, but layups by Chris Duhon and Shavlik Randolph quickly built Duke's lead back to 10.

Maryland missed their best opportunity to catch the Blue Devils, however. They held the Blue Devils scoreless for 3:07 and did score seven unanswered points (a layup by Chris McCray, a jumper and a three-pointer by Caner-Medley), but also came away empty on three straight possessions with the score 58-52.

Caner-Medley's three did draw the Terps back within 58-55 and the crowd, frustrated so much of the night, exploded. After the game, Coach Williams said about Caner-Medley, “I think he left it all out on the floor, which is what you have to do.”

Redick quickly quieted the fans knocking down a three on Duke's next possession. He was the game's high scorer with 26 points, making 5-6 threes.

The point guard battle tonight was clearly won by Duke's Chris Duhon, who dished out eight assists and turned the ball over only twice. Maryland's John Gilchrist had comparable numbers with seven assists and four turnovers, but it was Duhon who ran his team's offense more efficiently.

After the game, Coach K lavished praise on his senior point guard, “Chris Duhon was huge for us. You'll hear about JJ (Redick) tonight, but we wouldn't have won without Duhon. He was a great senior leader tonight.”

Maryland's senior, Jamar Smith, did not come up big. Smith made only 5-14 shots and pulled down a season low three rebounds. His 12 points were second highest for the Terps, and Gilchrist added 10.

A tribute to Maryland's overall defensive effort was the fact that Luol Deng was the only Blue Devil besides Redick to reach double figures in scoring with 13 points, but he made only 5-18 shots in the process. He was the game's leading rebounder with 12.

Overall, Duke outrebounded Maryland 49-34 and committed only 11 turnovers. The Terps made it to the free throw line only nine times, making seven. The Devils were 13-17 from the line. Duke has still only allowed two opponents to score more than 61 points all season and showed anyone who doubted that they are one of the best (if not THE best) defensive teams in the nation.

Williams summed up the Terps effort, “As a team we just didn't play well enough. When you lose you have to look inside yourself, and we'll have to do that here very quickly.” There is little time to think about what might have been, particularly when you team sports a 1-3 conference record like Maryland does after this loss. As tough and deep as the ACC is this season, it will be difficult for any team to make up much ground.

After this dip in their roller-coaster season, Maryland needs to begin making the uphill climb quickly.

Notes From Under the Shell
Duke has now won 13 of their last 17 games vs. Maryland and leads the all-time series 98-55.
The Terps are now 3-3 vs. ranked teams this season and have five more regular season games scheduled vs. opponents currently in the Top 25. Maryland and Duke have split their regular season meetings each of the past four seasons, which means the Terps will need a win at Cameron Indoor Stadium next month to continue that trend. Maryland is the last visiting team to win at Duke, beating the Devils in February 2001.

This was the lowest scoring Maryland-Duke game since the Terps defeated the Devils 40-36 on January 9, 1982. Games like that brought the three-point arc and shot clock into college basketball.

The attraction of #1 Duke brought out even more media all-stars than last week's Carolina game. The First Couple of sports media, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon (co-hosts of “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN and Washington Post columnists) were both in attendance. Kornheiser made it known to anyone who cared that he would leave before the game actually started, however. ESPN NBA writer and Washington DC resident David Aldridge was also at press row. Other notables were former St. John's coach Mike Jarvis, former NFL Star (and Duke alum Grant Hill's dad) Calvin Hill and Baltimore Orioles' Vice-President Mike Flannagan.

ESPN analyst and former Maryland star Len Elmore was also courtside tonight along with his former teammate Tom McMillen. It was great to see them exchange a warm handshake and take a few minutes to catch up with each other before the game. Other former Terp players in the house were Steve Blake, Obinna Ekezie, Walt Williams, and Keith Booth.

This is the space where I was going to write about the clever signs the students brought to the game, but if there were any of note I did not see them. Most of the ones I did see mistook crudeness for cleverness and are not worth mentioning.

Maryland's next game will be on Sunday night at Clemson. Game time is 6:30 PM, a change from the originally schedule 8:00 start. The contest will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Net.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Of Dreams and Mascots

Originally posted on "TerpTown" on the network and syndicated to Yahoo

Hear ye, hear ye! Court is now in session! There are columns where I will deal with important issues and analysis of ACC basketball. This is not one of them. Instead, I have a strange story to share with you.

As I drifted off to sleep one night recently, I must have had the ACC on my mind. I had a dream where I was in a room with all nine ACC school mascots. Actually, it was a therapy session. At the risk of violating confidentiality laws, here is the transcript for your enjoyment.

CourtMaster: Thank you all for coming today. I'd like to begin by going around the room and asking each of you to introduce yourselves.

Tiger: I'm the Clemson Tiger. Growl!

CM: You have lovely orange fur, tiger, but aren't your school colors orange and purple?

Tiger: Hey pal, have you ever seen a purple tiger?

CM: No, can't say that I have. Good point. You with the pitchfork, please introduce yourself.

Blue Devil: I'm the Duke Blue Devil! I represent the greatest school and the best basketball team in the land!

CM: You're pretty sure of yourself. I bet you do well with the ladies on campus.

Blue Devil: Actually, not so good. If you're wearing blue tights without a big red S on your chest, girls don't find it so attractive. They do enjoy the pitchfork, however.

CM: Please, no details. You with the horse, please identify yourself.

Seminole: Chief Osceola and horse Renegade. Me represent Florida State.

CM: That's great, but you've got to extinguish the flaming spear, this is a non-smoking building. While you're at it, lose the horse. Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with horses indoors?

Seminole: White man keep me down!

CM: Whatever. What's that buzzing noise I keep hearing? Oh, of course. And you are?

Yellow Jacket: I'm Buzz, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket. Feel my sting!

CM: Actually, I'm allergic. Hey, buddy; put away the fly swatter. Who are you?

Terrapin: I'm Testudo, the Maryland Terrapin.

CM: What exactly is a Terrapin?

Terrapin: Does the turtle suit give you a clue?

CM: I know it's a turtle, but what's the difference between a generic turtle and a terrapin?

Terrapin: We're unique to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and we have brown shells.

CM: That's exciting. How do you do with the ladies?

Terrapin: I'm a freakin' turtle, How do YOU think that works out?

CM: I'm thinking not so good. Next mascot. Who are you?

Ram: I'm the North Carolina Ram.

CM: Aren't the Carolina teams called the Tar Heels?

Ram: Gee, I haven't heard that question before. Back in 1922, the school was searching for a symbol. They had a fullback on the football team named Jack Merritt who was nicknamed “the battering ram.” They bought a ram for $25 and the rest is history.

CM: They didn't spare any expense, did they? Hey Devil; quit sticking the Ram with your pitchfork! I guess we shouldn't have put them next to each other. Who's next?

Wolf: I'm the Wolf representing the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Growl!

CM: Please don't blow my house down! Seriously, I bet you do well with the ladies?

Wolf: Let's just say they don't call me Wolf for nothin' baby!

CM: I'm happy for you. What is that smell?

Seminole: Horse do heap-big poop!

CM: Well clean it up pronto, Tonto! Who's our next mascot?

Cavalier: I'm the Virginia Cavalier.

CM: Nice outfit. Hey, what's the racket in the back of the room?

Yellow Jacket: It looks like the Wolf jumped the Tiger on his way to the litter box.

CM: Great. Can you go over there and poke them with your sword and break them up, Cavalier?

Cavalier: Those brutes? I might soil my cape!

Devil: I'll do it. Coach K showed me the pressure points to stick someone with my pitchfork and temporarily paralyze them.

CM: Good. Testudo, please take your head out of your shell. Now, who is our last mascot?

Demon Deacon: I'm the Wake Forest Demon Deacon.

CM: I see the Deacon part with your oversized head and the nice hat, but where does the Demon come in?

Demon Deacon: Growl?

CM: I don't think so. The reason I asked you all here is to find out why you dress up in these strange outfits and work so hard during games when no one ever gets to see your face.

Ram: Because we love our school! There isn't anything we wouldn't do to help our school win!

CM: Ram, your voice sounds awfully familiar. Take off your head and let me see who you are.

Ram: No, you can't see it! I'm hideous!

Demon: I've got him! See I can be a real bad ass! Go on and take his head off.

CM: Oh no! It can't be you! Matt Doherty!? Matt, give it up! It's over!

Then I woke up. Just in time, I imagine. I still wonder, though, how that Ram's head wound up in bet next to me. Too bad I'm not an investigative reporter.

No actual mascots were harmed in the writing of this column.

Question for the Jury
I'd like to hear from you regarding ACC mascots. Besides your favorite school, which one is your favorite? Also, which one would you most like to see shot out of a cannon? Let me know by e-mail at

CourtMaster Briefs
Since I anointed Wake Forest the best team in the ACC last week, they've had a rough time. The Deacons were soundly beaten in road losses to Texas and Duke. After watching the Blue Devils take apart Wake, I would shift that mantle to Duke as they return to the #1 ranking in the nation. We'll see if the Devils can survive a road trip to Maryland on Wednesday, where they have lost the last two seasons as the nation's top ranked team.

North Carolina's win over #1 Connecticut was the tenth time in school history that the Heels have defeated the top ranked team, tying them with UCLA for the most in college basketball history. Maryland will have an opportunity to match that with a win over #1 Duke Wednesday.

Maryland Coach Gary Williams leads all active coaches with six wins over a top ranked team.

North Carolina's Rashad McCants made up for a lackluster performance at Maryland by coming up big with 27 points and knocking down the game winning shot vs. UConn. His teammate Sean May has fallen into a nasty slump, however. May has made only 10 of 31 shots in his last two games and has been abused on the defensive end by Jamar Smith and Emeka Okafor.

Just when I'm actually trying to like NC State's Julius Hodge, he does or says something stupid. After the Wolfpack lost at Duke and Hodge had contributed seven points and seven turnovers, he was asked if the Cameron Crazies had bothered him. He told the Durham Herald-Sun, “There's no way I could let a guy with a 4.5 GPA (with) acne and bad breath decide the way I'm going to play on the court.” That's very classy, Julius.

Clemson sent a reminder this week that teams will need to bring their A game to LittleJohn Coliseum if they expect to leave with a victory. They took advantage of 37% shooting by Florida State to post their first ACC win of the season last Tuesday night.

Virginia also recorded their first conference win vs. Florida State on Sunday, a very bad trend for the Seminoles. Leonard Hamilton seems to have reverted to the John Chaney (Temple's long time coach) strategy of playing tough defense and launching three-pointers on offense. Both teams attempted 31 threes on Sunday in a game that's not likely to be shown at any coaching clinics. A season which appeared to be so promising for the ‘Noles before New Year's has taken a very nasty turn with a four-game losing streak. With North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Duke on tap in their next three games, things could only get worse for Florida State.

NC State currently stands second in the ACC standings and has already posted a road win at Florida State, but they have yet to defeat a ranked opponent. Upcoming games vs. Georgia Tech and at North Carolina will show if they are a contended or pretender.

With Virginia's win, every team in the ACC has already won at least one conference game, and only Duke at 4-0 remains undefeated. Along with the Duke-Maryland game, Georgia Tech's visits to Wake Forest on Tuesday and NC State on Saturday should be the games to watch this week.

Until next week, court is adjourned!

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Jackets Sting Terps 81-71

Originally posted on "TerpTown" on the network and syndicated to Yahoo

The key play in Saturday's Maryland-Georgia Tech game came in December 2002. That was when guard Will Bynum decided to transfer from Arizona to Georgia Tech. It was Bynum's scoring (a career high 25 points, 5-7 3-point shooting) that was the difference in the Yellow Jackets' 81-71 win over the visiting Terps. A stretch of nearly seven minutes in the second half without a hoop also hurt Maryland's chances.

For the second straight game, Maryland had to come back from an early double-digit deficit. Three-pointers by Bynum, Marvin Lewis, and Jarrett Jack fueled an 11-2 Georgia Tech spurt that gave them a 19-8 lead eight minutes into the game.

Yellow Jacket Coach Paul Hewitt, knowing his center Luke Schenscher needed lots of help guarding the Terps' Jamar Smith, gave it to him. Tech dropped at least one extra man down to guard Smith every time he got the ball. This strategy succeeded in forcing Smith into 2-8 shooting in the first half and made it a struggle for him every time he touched the basketball.
Maryland's backcourt of John Gilchrist and Chris McCray made the Yellow Jackets pay for this strategy

Trailing 28-23, Maryland went on a 10-0 run. Ekene Ibekwe followed a Smith miss, then Gilchrist knocked down a three-pointer. McCray then made two free throws, Nik Caner-Medley made the first of two free throws and Smith scored on a putback of the second one to give the Terps a 33-28 lead.

The game became increasingly chippy and more difficult for the referees to control at the first half progressed. During this Maryland run, Hewitt was hit with a rare technical foul, becoming incensed enough with the officiating that he needed to be gently pushed back by one of his assistants. The crowd showed their disapproval by throwing objects onto the court and drew a warning from the public address announcer.

The half concluded without further incident, and the Terps took a 38-35 lead into the locker room. Afterwards, Maryland Coach Gary Williams said, “I thought we did a good job in the first half.”

The Terps quickly extended their lead to seven points at the start of the second half on a jumper by Ibekwe and a drive by Gilchrist.

Three-point shooting kept the Yellow Jackets close early in the second half. The game turned when Bynum made a three to cut the Maryland lead to 47-46. Chris McCray answered with a jumper, but Bynum struck again, knocking down another three-pointer of the half to pull Georgia Tech even at 49-49 with 14:03 to play.

The teams traded the lead for the next few minutes. A three by Mike Jones gave the Terps a 55-53 lead with 9:43 remaining, but Bynum connected from what seemed like Peachtree Street for his fourth three of the half to put the Yellow Jackets back ahead 56-55. This was the fifth lead change within three minutes and would be the final one of the night.

Bynum's shot ignited a 14-0 Georgia Tech run that gave them a 67-55 lead with 6:02 to play in the game. Bynum added six more points in this stretch. After Maryland tightened up their defense and denied him looks beyond the arc, he drove through the Terps for a layup, a floating jumper, and made two free throws to essentially put the game away.

The Jackets led by as many as 15, 72-57 with 4:25 left before Maryland made a last gasp attempt to get back in the game. Gilchrist scored seven straight points and led a 10-2 run that drew his Terps within 74-67 with 2:01 remaining, but Bynum scored again and grabbed the loose ball after Schenscher blocked a Gilchrist shot to extinguish and Maryland hopes of a miracle comeback.

Amazingly, after Jamar Smith outplayed All-American candidate Sean May of North Carolina Wednesday night, he was badly outclassed by Schenscher, a center who May made look like a turnstile on defense last Sunday night. Schenscher made 7-10 shots, scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and had 3 blocked shots and 2 steals. Smith, on the other hand, did pull down 13 rebounds, but made only 2-12 shots. Smith finished with only 7 points and committed 3 turnovers.

Caner-Medley suffered through his worst game of the season, making only 1-10 shots. The combined 3-22 shooting by Smith and Caner-Medley offset a career-high 27 points from John Gilchrist. A symptom of the Terps' dysfunction on offense was the fact that Gilchrist had only one assist and the team had only nine, barely half their average. He was the only Maryland player to score in double figures.

The Terrapins' 20 offensive rebounds helped offset some of the poor shooting (36% for the game), but was not enough to overcome that and 19 turnovers. Tech's performance was no work of art, as they shot only 41% and committed 17 turnovers, but on this night they were the tough team down the stretch while the Terps wilted.

Coach Williams said, ”I guess we were tired, but that's a losers' excuse. It seems like every time we win a big game, it's hard to play the next game. We didn't run our offense. We couldn't stop them on defense; we stopped moving.” His only consolation was hoping, “We got something out of this game.”

Maryland will find out soon enough. Duke comes to Comcast Center on Wednesday for another ESPN game at 9:00 P.M. In a league as tough as the ACC is this season, there are no easy lessons to be learned.

Notes From Under the Shell
Georgia Tech's 14-2 start is the best in their school's history.

Maryland should have the opportunity to record the program's 10 th victory over a #1-ranked team when Duke visits the Comcast Center Wednesday night. The Blue Devils' convincing win over #3 Wake Forest combined with #1 Connecticut's loss at North Carolina should elevate Duke to the #1 spot in the next polls. The Terps are currently third in all-time wins over #1, one behind UCLA and Carolina, both of whom have posted ten wins over top ranked teams.

Georgia Tech fans serenaded D. J. Strawberry with his father's name every time he entered the game tonight. That's very original. It will be interesting to see how the Cameron Crazies welcome Strawberry in his first to Duke next month.

Maryland is now 3-2 playing ranked opponents and has two more coming (Duke and Wake Forest) in their next three games.

The Terps trail the all-time series with Georgia Tech 32-28. They had won three of the last four meetings and 12 of the last 15 before tonight.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Terps Shoot Down Tar Heels 90-84

Originally posted on "TerpTown" on the network and syndicated to Yahoo

Maryland’s first ACC home game of the season vs. North Carolina promised to be a war.
As in any important battle, the participant with the most seniority would have a big impact on the outcome. The Terrapins’ Jamar Smith lived up to that responsibility tonight. He dominated the second half and led Maryland (10-3, 1-1) to a thrilling 90-84 win over the visiting #11 ranked Tar Heels (10-3, 1-2).

It was easy to tell early on that it was a special night at Comcast Center. The student section, filled with recruits in the newly named “Red Army”, was completely full over an hour before tip-off. ESPN’s Dick Vitale was mingling with the troops, feeling the love as he does on campuses across the nation. When Carolina came out for their early warm-ups, the army took up arms, booing lustily as the Tar Heels entered and later left the court. When their general, Maryland Coach Gary Williams, saluted the troops with his customary fist pump, the battle was on.

The Terps avoided the fate that befell Carolina’s last opponent, Georgia Tech last Sunday night. The Heels ran out to a 9-0 lead at the Smith Center and never looked back, but John Gilchrist insured that would not happen to Maryland. His driving layup past Raymond Felton and three-pointer from the top of the key offset points in the paint from Sean May and hoops from Melvin Scott and Felton to keep the Terps within 14-10 at the first media timeout.

The Tar Heels threatened to pull away when David Noel’s breakaway dunk gave his team a 29-20 lead, but Maryland quickly responded with an 8-2 run. Taking advantage of Carolina’s lack of a shot blocking threat, the Terps repeatedly took the ball to the hoop, scoring on a short turn-around jumper by Travis Garrison, a driving layup by Nik Caner-Medley, a Ekene Ibekwe follow of a Gilchrist missed three-pointer, and a Gilchrist follow after Jamar Smith has stolen the ball and missed a driving layup. Gilchrist’s hoop brought the crowd to its feet and pushed the noise up to the highest level so far this season.

The excitement didn’t last long as Carolina quickly moved back out to a ten-point lead. Felton controlled the game for the next few minutes, He fed Jawad Williams a beautiful lob pass for a bucket, made two free throws, drove for a layup, and scored on a textbook 2-on-1 fast break on a feed from Jackie Manuel. The crowd, which had roared only moments earlier, now buzzed anxiously as their team trailed 40-30.

Mike Jones helped the Terps stay within reach by following a Caner-Medley miss and knocking down two free throws. Gilchrist added a couple of free throws and a jumper while leaning over Felton to draw Maryland back within 42-36. An Ibekwe follow and a Jones free throw brought the Terps with two points at halftime, trailing 49-47 despite committing 13 turnovers in the half.
After a first half where big men Jamar Smith and Sean May played to a standoff (they both had eight points and three rebounds), it was Smith who stood tall at the beginning of the second. A jump shot and two free throws by Smith along with a three-pointer by Gilchrist brought Maryland all the way back, knotting the score at 54-54 early in the second half.

A breakaway layup by Chris McCray gave the Terps their first lead, 56-54, since they were ahead 4-3 early in the game and raised the noise level at Comcast Center to a thunderous crescendo. After this early burst, the teams’ roles had reversed and it was now Maryland fighting to keep the Tar Heels at arm’s length.

The Terps continued to pound the ball inside to Smith, and it continued to pay off. North Carolina Coach Roy Williams said afterwards, “Maryland was very focused on getting the ball to Jamar Smith, and we didn’t do a good job of guarding him.” Indeed, as good a player as the Tar Heels Sean May is, he does not play good interior defense. After the Terps regained the lead, Smith worked him over, scoring three straight hoops on a drive, and jump hook, and a putback. This extended Maryland’s lead to seven points at 62-55.

Carolina answered with six straight points, but the Terps bounced right back with seven unanswered points of their own. Gilchrist made a running jumper, Caner-Medley knocked down an open three after his defender Jackie Manuel fell down, and Smith made two free throws. No, that is not a misprint. He made 6 of 12 from the line in the second half, not award winning numbers but a step in the right direction given his foul shooting woes so far this season.

Maryland successfully held off Carolina until an 8-2 run tied the game at 78-78 3:08 to play. Three-pointers by Felton and Rashad McCants sandwiched around a layup by May brought the Tar Heels even. These games are often won or lost at the foul line, the Terps’ biggest weakness up to this point. McCray made 1 of 2 to put Maryland back ahead 79-78 (amazing how quiet 17,950 people can get when their players are shooting), and Smith added another free throw after drawing Sean May’s fourth foul. Caner-Medley then made the play of the night, coming from behind to cleanly block a short jumper by May.

Travis Garrison and McCray both knocked down two free throws to give Maryland an 84-79 lead with 1:07 left, but the heels did not quit. A three-pointer by McCants drew Carolina within 86-84 with three seconds left, but McCants then drew a technical foul for interfering with the Terps’ inbound pass. McCray made both the free throws and then hurled a long pass to a breaking Caner-Medley for the game-ending layup and the proverbial icing on the cake.

Smith led all scorers with 22 points; making 8 of 14 shots, and led Maryland with nine rebounds. Gilchrist added 20 points on 7-10 shooting and dished out 5 assists. In the key matchups for this game, Smith outplayed May, who made only 7 of his 19 shots, and Gilchrist fought Felton to a draw.

The Terps gave up 21 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 22 times, both unacceptable numbers, but they had an outstanding night shooting. The Terps made 54.4% from the floor while the Tar Heels connected on only 41.1%, dropping to 32.4% in the second half. They also enjoyed a big advantage from the foul line, making 25-35 (71.4%, their second best performance of the season) while Carolina made 17-26.

Coach Gary Williams expressed his pride in both players after the game. Regarding Smith, he said, “Our players did a good job in the second half getting Jamar Smith the ball, and he did a good job finishing. That’s why he’s one of the best players in the ACC.” Commenting on the point guard battle, Williams said, “I don’t think that there is a better matchup than between those two players. John impressed me in how well he knew the game tonight.” High praise indeed from the coach to his point guard.

Williams also praised the Red Army in his post-game radio show, saying, “Our crowd’s as good as any in the country. We don’t always get credit for that, but it doesn’t get any better than it was here tonight.”

Roy Williams summed it up well, saying, “The bottom line is that Maryland made big-time plays down the stretch.” That can cover up a lot of flaws, and it did on this night.

Notes From Under the Shell
Jawad Williams played with an ugly mask covering the broken nose he hurt against Georgia Tech Sunday night. There were doubts he would play at all, but doctors cleared him of any concussion-like symptoms. Despite his effort, he was ineffective tonight.

Four Terrapins are among the top five in the ACC in scoring improvement over last season. John Gilchrist leads the conference with a nine-point per game increase, Nik Caner-Medley is a close second, Jamar Smith is fourth, and Chris McCray is fifth.

The Terps handed North Carolina their worst ACC lost ever in last season’s game at Comcast Center, winning a 96-56 blowout.

It was a media all-star gathering at Comcast Center tonight. Among the notables finding their way to the game were Dick Vitale, nationally renowned writer John Feinstein, and columnists Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post and Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun. Vitale hosted a book signing session at the Maryland Student Union earlier today.

Each student attending the game received a tee shirt announcing their induction into the “Red Army”; the new name of the student section as voted on, appropriately enough, by the students themselves.

Gary Williams is now 3-0 vs. Roy Williams, also having defeated his namesake twice while Roy was coaching Kansas, most recently in the 2002 Final Four

Maryland has won five of their last six games against North Carolina, including the last three at home.

The Terps are now 3-1 against ranked teams this season, having also defeated Wisconsin and Florida while losing to Gonzaga.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The CourtMaster's Random Ramblings

Originally posted on

Hear ye, hear ye! After an extended recess, court is back in session. I have some thoughts I want to share with my first column of the New Year.

Georgia Tech’s surprising start is a wonderful story. Nobody thought they would jump out to a 12-0 start (the best in school history), and they played exciting basketball while doing so. They are NOT a Top Ten team, however. Any team with a strong inside presence (like North Carolina) has an excellent chance to beat the Yellow Jackets. I’m sure Tech’s starting center Luke Schenscher is a fine young man, but he is in way over his head trying to play at the major college level. Schenscher is not strong enough to be a factor in the low post on offense, and he is like a turnstile on defense.

The Jackets’ depth and the exceptional skill of their perimeter players will be enough to win a lot of games and will quite likely earn them a berth in the NCAA Tournament. They are not yet ready to crack the upper echelon of the conference, however, which consists of Wake Forest, Duke, and North Carolina this season. They will fight it out with Maryland, Florida State, and NC State for position in the second tier of the ACC.

Most if not the entire second tier should also earn NCAA bids this season. At this point it is easy to see six of the nine ACC schools making the big dance. A seventh spot is not beyond the realm of possibility, but it is unlikely since the Selection Committee frowns on inviting teams with losing conference records these days. The seventh place team in a nine-team league almost certainly will fall into that category. In the latest edition of’s Bracketology, Joe Lunardi has Duke and Wake Forest as #1 seeds, Georgia Tech and North Carolina at #3, Maryland as a #7, and NC State as #9.

It was nice to see Seth Davis, a college basketball writer for Sports Illustrated and, stand up for the ACC during CBS’s halftime show Sunday. Davis and analyst Bill Raftery were asked to name the best conference in the nation. Raftery chose the Big 12 while Davis, a Duke alum, picked the ACC. Davis got it right. So did Andy Katz,’s senior college basketball writer, when he referred to the ACC as, “clearly the best conference this season and arguably one of the best of all time.”

‘Ol Roy Williams sure has everyone fired up in Chapel Hill this season. I don’t remember hearing the Smith Center crowds as consistently loud in recent years as they have been so far. I wonder, though, if the emotional edge Williams has been on will wear his team down by March? I remember people used to say that about the other Williams, the one who coaches at Maryland. Oh, I forgot, Gary’s not the OTHER Williams; he’s won a National Championship.

Speaking of the Terps, their fans must feel like asking for a blindfold and a cigarette when their team, especially Jamar Smith, goes to the foul line. Maryland is shooting 55.7% as a team, one of the worst marks in the nation. Smith, the Terps’ primary low post threat, is converting only 41% of his attempts at the line. As competitive as the conference games promise to be this season, that deficiency could cost the Terps a couple of close games and, in a worst-case scenario, hurt their chances for an 11th consecutive NCAA bid.

With so many quality teams in the ACC this season, wins on the road will be like gold. A simple way to track your team’s position is my plus-minus system. Merely add a +1 for a road win and subtract a –1 for a home loss. For example, North Carolina and Florida State are a –1, each with a home loss but no road wins, while NC State is a +1 with a road win and no home losses.

Going into the first full week of conference play, I think Wake Forest is the best team in the ACC. The Deacons’ depth, the development of center Eric Williams, and the emergence of point guard Chris Paul put them ahead of Duke and Carolina. Coach Skip Prosser has been using a smaller lineup, but that could change if Vytas Danelius ever gets healthy. They have balance, depth, plenty of talent, and excellent coaching; in other words, the entire package.

One of the best quotes I have seen this season came from Prosser after the Deacons beat Clemson on Saturday. Asked about how he allocated playing time, Prosser replied, “It’s not like Halloween – everyone who wears a suit gets candy. You have to earn it.” That just struck me as a fascinating way to make that point, and Prosser strikes me as a fascinating person.

Duke has struggled at times on offense this season, but their defense is the best in the conference. They are not just winning; they are smothering their opponents. The 71 points they allowed by Virginia was the second most they have given up so far. The Blue Devils have already held nine teams below 60 points. They are doing it with quickness and intensity on the perimeter and surprising toughness inside provided by Shelden Williams and Shavlik Randolph. This is a far different team than the ones Coach K has fielded the past few years, but apparently every bit as good if not better.

Duke’s Chris Duhon has gone from one of the most overrated players in the ACC to one of the more under appreciated ones. In a conference loaded with outstanding point guards like Raymond Felton, Jarrett Jack, John Gilchrist, and Chris Paul, Duhon is easily overlooked this season. He has reined in his game, playing more of a pure point guard role instead of looking to launch a three-pointer as soon as he crosses mid-court. He has also been one of the catalysts of the Blue Devils’ stalwart defense and has earned a spot among the top point guards in the nation.

Say what you will about Julius Hodge, but I don’t think there is a player in the ACC as important to their team as Hodge is to NC State. He has developed into a very intelligent player who can control a game without scoring a lot of points. He makes so many big plays for the Wolfpack, whether it’s a pass setting up one of his teammates, grabbing a key rebound, knocking down an important free throw, or scoring a critical hoop. The team seems to feed off his emotion, and Coach Sendek is wise not to rein Hodge in too much. He still has moments where he is out of control, but those are now the exception and not the rule. We’ll see if he is good enough to lead a very flawed team (no inside game, limited athleticism, short bench) to their third straight NCAA Tournament.

There won’t be many better days for watching ACC basketball during the regular season than next Saturday. Wake Forest visits Duke at 1:00 on ABC, Connecticut travels to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels on CBS at 3:30, and the day ends with Maryland playing at Georgia Tech at 8:00 PM for a Raycom/Jefferson Pilot syndicated game. What a great day to hunker down for a day of hoops!

Congratulations to Duke’s J. J. Redick, who set a new conference record by extending his 50th consecutive free throw. Jeff Lamp held the old record, making 48 straight foul shots for Virginia during the 1979-80 season. The icing on the cake for Redick, a Roanoke, Virginia native, was the opportunity to set the record in front of a large hometown contingent at Lamp’s old stomping grounds in Charlottesville.

Question for the Jury:

Although he has struggled at times this season, I don’t recall seeing a better pure shooter than J. J. Redick. What do you think? Does anyone think they’ve seen a better shooter in the ACC? Let me know by e-mail at

I received a tremendous response to my last question before the holidays regarding Street & Smith’s Top 100 college basketball players. Maryland’s Juan Dixon was far and away my readers’ choice for the worst ACC omission from the list. Also receiving considerable support was the NC State backcourt duo of Rodney Monroe and Chris Corchianni. Duke’s Jason Williams was also a runaway winner for the most overrated player on the list.

Please leave your feedback on the message board or sent e-mail to Until next time, court is adjourned.