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Tyree Evans, Maryland Part Ways - What Next?

As it turns out, Maryland and Tyree Evans parted ways Friday afternoon. The question now is how much damage this has done to Gary Williams' program.

Or perhaps how much deterioration it reveals.

Recruiting Evans was a reach for Maryland (and by the way, if we recall correctly, they quit chasing Bobby Maze, who then signed with Tennessee, so it's a 2 for 1 screwup), and as Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun points out, the whole stupid mess shows how far Maryland has fallen and how desperate Williams is.

When he first got to Maryland, he sort of made a specialty of recruiting guys who were under the radar and who turned out to be players who really reflected his personality: tough, relentless, explosive, and brittle under pressure. And yes, resentful.

For a long time, Maryland had a rep as a team that could explode or collapse, and as one that couldn't take a serious punch.

When they put together the brilliant backcourt of Juan Dixon and Steve Blake, things changed. Over the course of their career, those guys became two of the most tough-minded players the ACC has ever seen, and Maryland's image changed completely.

For a time.

We remember guys like Dick Vitale talking about how Williams had mellowed and grown as a coach, and it just seemed stupid to us: he had a backcourt he barely had to coach. Why wouldn't he seem more mellow?

Since that glorious run, though, things have gone south for Williams. His team has struggled to make the tournament, and has had to settle for the NIT more than once. John Gilchrist proved to be a train wreck. Chris McCray bombed out in his last semester.

And while he managed to overcome his legendary disdain for recruiting by finding overlooked gems like Blake and Dixon, among others, it hasn't happened lately.

Maybe it was the pressure which has built over the last few seasons that led him to gamble on Evans. Maybe he figured getting a serious talent in was worth the risk.

Whatever his reasons, it blew up in his face. Now he's lost Evans, Maze, probably some credibility with his boss and a lot with fans and the media. If Maryland turns in another NIT-level season - and that's a distinct possibility - he's likely to be under a tremendous amount of pressure next spring.