Terps Q&A with Heather A. Dinich

Steve: Heather, thanks for all of your astute commentary. As a longtime season ticket holder, (basketball, both men and women) I am disappointed not to see Gary or any of the men comment on the success of the women's team. I thought at least Gary would be in Boston. What's the story here?

Heather A. Dinich: Gary, like almost every other men's basketball coach in the country, was in Indianapolis. As for commenting on the women's success -- and I admit this is not the most "astute" response -- but what's he supposed to do, put out a press release? They're happy, I promise.

Ed, Washington: What a contrast between the men's and women's basketball programs! Gary seems constantly angry with his players, while Frese offers encouragement. Gary de-emphasizes recruiting, while Brenda sees recruiting as the path to success. Do you think Frese's philosophy will influence Gary?

Heather A. Dinich: Hahahaha. Is that a valid answer?

Texas Terp, Dallas: I'm already aware of Maryland's pursuit of Koufus, Sanchez and McClain for 2007, however, until any of them sign with the Terps, I cannot count them. Koufus is the No. 1 rated center in that class and Maryland is not the front-runner for him. Likewise for Sanchez, who's a forward. McClain is probably the most likely signee out of the three of them. As far as Gary's recent inability to recruit front line players (i.e., centers), Hassan Fofana was a top 10 center recruit. Changing subjects, it appears Vasquez's performance in the Charm City Classic was very impressive and, hopefully, was not an illusion. If true, perhaps he may provide the Terps with another scoring option next year. (I'm thinking a more complete version of Drew Nicholas as a freshman) I did not see Eric Hayes' line. Do you have any information on his performance? I was in Indianapolis, but according to the event's web site, here it is: 4 points, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, 24 minutes.

Heather A. Dinich: Here's what the Sun reported on it:

Vasquez and fellow Maryland recruit Eric Hayes (Potomac, Va.) traded off duties at point guard and shooting guard for Team USA in what could be a preview of the Terps' backcourt.

"We're starting to get a feel for each other," Vasquez said of the 6-foot-3 Hayes, who averaged 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists this year. "I can play point guard and he can play two guard or we can switch. It keeps the defense guessing."

Elijah, Baltimore: Thanks, I love your coverage of the Terps. But my question is dealing with the recruits that come to Maryland. Yes, some are good but none, I mean none, are what they should be coming from this state. Maryland produces some of the best recruits in the U.S. You can always usually find a connection to Maryland. I went to the Charm City All-Star game and the only one that showed me that should he should be on the team is Grievis.

Heather A. Dinich: Some kids play better in that kind of setting, but overall with the recruits coming next year, the staff is happy, and they needed Hayes at point guard. They should all be able to contribute right away and the coaches are equally as excited about their character.

Henry, Annapolis: I would like to know if Maryland is the only Division I school to have won both the men's and women's basketball championships and also the football championship. Wouldn't it be great if we can lay claim to that accomplishment?

Heather A. Dinich: Ah, a fellow Annapolitan! Great question. I called the statistics department at the NCAA, and Jeff Williams was on top of his game. The short answer is yes, it would be quite an accomplishment, and actually, from what Jeff found, the Terps are in very elite company: It boils down to Stanford and Maryland, but it's a little more complicated.

Here is Jeff's breakdown of it:

In the 25 years of the NCAA Division I women's championship, there have been only 13 different champions, which significantly reduces the pool of possible teams.

Only four of those 13 (Stanford, North Carolina, Connecticut, and Maryland) have won NCAA national championships in men's basketball.

Again football (in Division I-A) is different than all other sports. The NCAA does not sponsor a championship in Division I-A football. Our record book does list a number of different publications or organizations that have sponsored polls or named national champions over the years. While some of these are more widely recognized, no one in I-A can accurately claim an NCAA national championship.

With that said, I [Jeff] have found football championships for Stanford (1926 and 1940) and Maryland (1951 and 1953).

Steve, Richardson, Texas: Regarding the 2005-06 basketball campaign, I did notice one small improvement in the effort during the season. Specifically, I noticed that players stopped showboating after every made shot and focused instead on getting back to defense quicker with less chest pounding. Was I dreaming that there was a difference in that regard or was this an issue that the coaches talked to the players about during the season?

Heather A. Dinich: Well, um, I'm not so sure it was necessarily that as it was there wasn't that much to showboat about. And there was chest pounding. (I have a tendency to look for that kind of stuff, and scribble it in my notebook).