In four seasons at the University of Maryland (1982-86), Len Bias made the transition from being a raw but athletic talent upon his arrival on campus to being one of the greatest players in ACC history. Bias won two ACC Player of the Year awards (1985 and 1986), and in 1986 he was a consensus first team All-American.
With the combination of size (6-foot-8) and skill he was seen as a player ready to have an immediate impact in the NBA, with the reigning NBA champion Boston Celtics taking him with the second pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. Sadly we never got to see what Bias would have been able to do alongside the likes of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish, and some would argue that the tragic circumstances surrounding his death in 1986 factored into his still not being a member of Maryland’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
That changed on Wednesday, as it was announced by the school that Bias is one of eight former Terrapins who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, October 3. Joining Bias in the 2014 class are Bob Boneillo (men’s lacrosse), Edward G. Cooke (track & field, football), Maureen ‘Bean’ Scott Dupcak (field hockey, women’s lacrosse), Alex Kahoe (women’s lacrosse), Debbie Lytle (women’s basketball), Sandy Worth (athletic trainer) and Charlie Wysocki (football).
“We would like to congratulate our newest inductees and their families on their selection for the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame,” Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said in the release. “It’s an exciting time for us to honor and recognize the incredible accomplishments of our former student-athletes during their time in College Park.”
During his four seasons at Maryland, Bias racked up 2,147 points (still a school record) and was a member of four NCAA tournament teams. Among Bias’ best individual performances was his 35-point outing in a 77-72 overtime win over North Carolina on February 20, 1986, as the Terrapins handed the Tar Heels their first-ever loss at the Dean Dome.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.