Maryland coach Gary Williams retires; who are top 10 Terps of Williams era?

Whoever replaces Gary Williams as the University of Maryland’s basketball coach will have huge shoes to fill.  The 66-year old coach announced his retirement Thursday, after more than two decades at Maryland that included a national championship in 2002 and a Final Four appearance in 2001.  Under Williams the Terps made 14 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, won three ACC regular-season titles, and captured the ACC Tournament in 2004. Williams had seven wins over top-ranked teams, more than any other coach. Williams, a former Terrapin point guard, was also the National Coach of the Year in 2002.

So who are the best Terps of the Gary Williams era?

  • Juan Dixon, shooting guard, ‘98-‘02.  Excelled at mid-range jumpers, three-pointers, defense, and steals and played with a lot of heart…Team leader brought Maryland to back to back Final Fours including its only national championship in ’02, and was named first-team All-American…Earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the ‘02 Final Four, averaging 25.8 points in NCAA tournament that year…Was Maryland’s all-time leader in scoring and three-pointers and second in steals…Averaged 20 points a game in ‘02…Led team to 109 wins in four seasons.
  • Walt Williams, shooting guard/small forward/point guard, ‘88-‘92. It’s not an exaggeration to say the “Wizard” saved the Maryland program when he decided to stay after the Terps were put on NCAA probation from ’91-‘93…In ‘92, Williams averaged a school-record 26.8 points per game, and also had 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals…Named All-American senior year when he scored more than 30 points in seven straight ACC games.
  • Joe Smith, center, ‘93-‘95.  Athletic center dominated the ACC his sophomore year…Won ‘95 College Player of the Year award…Averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for his two-year career…Terps made Sweet 16 in both his seasons after five-year NCAA drought…Drafted number one overall in ‘95 NBA draft.
  • Keith Booth, power forward, ‘93-‘97.  Averaged 19.5 points as a senior, made more free throws than any player in Terp history and ranks sixth on Maryland’s all-time rebounding list despite being only 6-4 and playing power forward…Played a key role in Maryland’s resurgence to NCAA tournament after five-year absence…Decision to attend Maryland opened pipeline for other Baltimore players to play for the Terps.
  • Greivis Vasquez, shooting guard, ‘06-‘10.  Scored from inside and out, also an excellent passer and rebounder for his size…Only player in ACC history with 2,000 points, 700 assists, and 600 rebounds…Was voted ‘10 ACC Player of the Year…Maryland’s second all-time leading scorer…Only Terrapin basketball player to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists in a single season…Had triple double in win vs. eventual national champion North Carolina junior year…Scored 10 points in final two minutes of final college game, an NCAA second round loss to Michigan State.

For the complete list, and the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

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