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Maryland's Williams dominates in debut

SPOKANE, Wash. -- When the season started, Maryland coach Gary Williams didn't really know what to make of 6-foot-10, 260-pound freshman Jordan Williams.

"I wasn't sure how much he was going to play," Gary Williams said. "But we needed someone inside to take up some room."

Williams took up some room in his first NCAA tournament game: He earned a space on the list of "best performances of the first round."

Williams scored a career-high 21 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds in Maryland's 89-77 win over Houston.

The two games before his tourney debut? Williams scored a combined 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He averaged 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds this year.

So this was a bit of a "Hello world" moment.

Jordan Williams said he tried to force things in the ACC tournament loss to Georgia Tech and he struggled. So he went with a different approach here.

"I just let the game come to me," he said.

His goal was simple: "I want to get every rebound."

That notion sounds like it might have originated from Terrapins star Greivis Vasquez, who has taken Williams under his wing.

"He really pushes Jordan," Gary Williams said.

Maryland earned a date Sunday with Michigan State. Williams won't sneak up on the Spartans, a much stronger rebounding team than the Cougars.

But Williams still figures to try to take up some room again.