The Top 10 Terps of My Time, Part I
With Greivis Vasquez starting to play to his potential in the NBA and Terrell Stoglin leading the ACC in scoring, the discussion has come up during the last few days about where these two fit in Maryland basketball history. So, I decided to put together a list of my Top 10 Terps.
Please note: This is a list of the top Terps of "my time," so it does not include anbody who played before I watched, which pretty much coincided with the start of the Gary Williams era -- no Len Bias, no Len Elmore and no John Lucas. Also, the list is based only on what they did at Maryland.
Here goes ...
No. 10: Byron Mouton
One of my favorite players on the national championship team, Mouton was a Tulane transfer who ratcheted up the Terps' passion. He was a starter on both Maryland Final Four teams. According to Gary Williams: "Byron changed our team when he became a starter after the Maui tournament and Wisconsin game. That team was interesting because we had some laid-back guys, and Byron is not afraid to show his emotions. That, along with his ability as a basketball player, really helped us."
No. 9: Chris Wilcox
If Mouton was the emotion on the national champs, Wilcox was the raw energy. He started the championship season on the bench as a sixth man, but fewer then 10 games into the season, he pushed his way on the court. His run as a dominant big man coincided with the Terps' title run. When he flipped the switch, he was virtually unstoppable. His stay at Maryland was too short, but the time he had there was unforgettable.
No. 8: Laron Profit
Well, there was this:
But the true reason I loved Profit was his defensive intensity. He always seemed to come up with a huge steal at just the right time. His teams could never get over the hump, but they laid the framework for the national champs.
No. 7: Steve Francis
The only reason not to love the Franchise is his one-and-done status. A junior college transfer, Francis was one of the few players during Gary's tenure for whom he reached out of his mold. Stevie was spectacular during his only season in College Park, leading the Terps to a No. 2 seed and the Sweet 16, while averaging 17 points and 4.5 assists a night. Had Francis come back for his senior season, the Terps would have been title favorites.
No. 6: Keith Booth
What can you say about the guy that almost single handedly re-built the Maryland program? Although Gary Williams arrived in 1989 amid scandal and had been at the school for five seasons, it wasn't until the Terps' Sweet 16 run in 1994 that Maryland truly "came back." The 1994 appearance ignited a run of seven Sweet 16 appearances during 10 years. The small forward from Dunbar High School was the poster child for that turnaround. An eventual first-round pick in the NBA Draft, Booth finished his impressive career at Maryland among the Terps' all-time leaders in scoring (ninth, 1,776 points), rebounding (sixth, 916 points), steals (fifth, 193) and is one of 15 players to have his jersey honored above the Terps' home court at Comcast Center.
Picks 1-5 Coming Tomorrow
Posted Feb. 8, 2012