With the amount of talent returning to campus, led by sophomore point guard Melo Trimble and senior forward Jake Layman, and the addition of five-star big man Diamond Stone the Maryland Terrapins are expected to be a national title contender in 2015-16. Mark Turgeon led the Terrapins back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years last season, and after reaching the Round of 32 expectations are much higher in advance of the upcoming campaign.
With that being the case, why not turn back the clock to the program’s proudest moment, when Maryland alum Gary Williams coached his alma mater to the national title in 2002? That team was an experienced group led by senior (and Final Four Most Outstanding Player) Juan Dixon, with point guard Steve Blake, wing Byron Mouton and forwards Lonnie Baxter and Chris Wilcox (just to name four) also factoring into the team’s run to the crown.
That Maryland team, which rebounded from a tough loss to eventual national champion Duke in the 2001 national semifinals, won 32 games and finished atop the ACC with a 15-1 conference record. Above is Maryland’s title game victory over Indiana, which was preceded by wins over Siena, Wisconsin, Kentucky, UConn and Kansas.
Video credit: NCAA
Throwback Thursday: Which Jim Calhoun rant was the best Jim Calhoun rant?
Jimmer Fredette may be getting his last chance to make a name for himself in the NBA, as he signed with the Spurs after failing to find a solid role in any of his previous three stops, including last season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The one thing that we know Jimmer can do at an NBA level is shoot the ball, and if they’re looking for a mini-microwave, floor-spacing guard that can score in bunches, isn’t that really all Jimmer does? That’s not a bad risk to take considering the Spurs are essentially getting him for peanuts; as Adrian Wojnarowski put it, a “modest financial guarantee”.
I’d hesitate to call Jimmer a flop in the NBA, but he certainly has failed to live up to the hype that he had coming out of BYU. And while the red flags he had in college — limited size, limited athleticism, relying too heavily on his right hand, a habit of settling for deep contested threes — have come to fruition at the professional level, it doesn’t change the fact that Jimmer-mania was totally and completely justified.
Because the dude might have been the most entertaining player in college basketball history, and I know what I’m saying there. Every game his senior season turned into a scramble to find an illegal stream to be able to watch this little mormon kid from upstate New York hit defenders with ankle-shattering crossovers before pulling up from 25-feet with two hands in his face.
When he got rolling, the things he could do on a basketball court were insane.
And while his NBA career hasn’t exactly panned out the way some hoped, don’t let it cloud the memories of college Jimmer.