April's Fool Joke or Not, Gilchrist is Likely to be Parting Ways
John Gilchrist, who was basically the sole man responsible in many people's eyes as to capturing the 2004 ACC Title for the Terps last year, is on the verge of declaring himself for this year's upcoming NBA Draft. According to the Baltimore Sun:
Rumors of the departures of Ibekwe, Nik Caner-Medley and Mike Jones are apparently false, as all three have said they'll be returning. Gilchrist, however, almost definitely will not be back. He has said, at the very least, he will go to NBA pre-draft camps and gauge his status.
Mr. Gilchrist is in a bit of a quandary if you ask The Upstate Life. His stock plummeted this season as he was unable to harness the skill he brought forth to the table last year, not to mention his publicized emotional outbursts rampant throughout the Terps most inconsistent season this year, most notably at a road game against Wake Forest where he and Gary exchanged heated words in front of the bench. If Gilchrist does decide to declare himself, TUL honestly can't see the man claim a higher spot than a low second round draft choice. There are much more talented players right now entering the draft than a point guard who ended his season on the bench with a supposed injured ankle and wrist while watching his team lose in the semifinals of the 2005 NIT Tournament.
If Gilchrist were to decide to stay with Maryland, he'll not only have to deal with the Terps fans frustrated with his performance and attitude as of late, but the players he basically turned his back against to in order to make himself look more valuable for the NBA scouts. It's really a lose-lose situation for Gilchrist, but he could be able to redeem himself if he decides to stay and starts becoming more unselfish with the ball and actually plays with his team rather than for himself. Ledbetter, the point guard reserve and Gilchrist's replacement, demonstrated he could literally carry the ball during the end of the season when Gilchrist was on the bench, but is still sloppy at times and needs more time to develop.
Gilchrist is a talented player, but he needs to dispose of the emotional baggage and focus on playing good basketball rather than determining if he can go pro. Next year, Maryland will be in better if not excellent shape, comparable to the 2002 National Championship team, with the amount of experience and talent this team truly possesses. All they need to do is next season is work as a team, and the success (and W's) will ultimately follow.