What happened to Maryland Terrapins Basketball?

Dude, what happened?
Hmm, just six March’s ago the Terps won the National Championship. Those Terps were led by 3 future NBA’ers (Steve Blake, Chris Wilcox, and Juan Dixon), and everyone’s favorite “guy who shot his gun off too close to the White House,” Lonnie Baxter. People actually feared the turtle. At that time, Gary Williams and his squad were in the middle of an 11 year run of NCAA appearances, and an 87 game non-conference home winning streak. It woulde be a stretch to say the Terps were dominant, but they were pretty damn good.

Fast forward to today, and the only turtle fearing to be seen is in the N.I.T. Over the past few years, no bubble discussion is complete without Maryland. This year, 18-13 Maryland looks to be headed to it’s third N.I.T. in four years. What the hell, why? How can a program go from national champs to N.I.T. junkies in six years with the same coach?

Did Gary Williams forget how to recruit? Where are the Wilcoxes, Joe Smiths and Stevie Franchises now? How do you let local talent like Kevin Durant go to Texas? Durant is just one example, but the Baltimore/DC area ain’t exactly hurting for hoops talent to my knowledge, and somehow this talent has avoided College Park lately. Can coaches actually forget how to recruit? Or, maybe Williams forgot how to coach?

If any Legend readers have any clues about Maryland’s demise to mediocrity, please let us know. We’re dying to find out. Luckily, the blogosphere is rife with Terps resources: It Never Rains in College Park, Terrapin Nation, Scott Van Pelt Style, Turtle Waxing, East Coast Bias, and The Mottram Brothers, all Maryland fans. Those blogs might hold the key to the answer, and if they don’t we’ll probably never know. Nobody will.

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About the Author: I am a Cleveland sports and Buffalo Sabres fanatic. I'm currently living in Erie, but even when I'm not there, Erie runs deep in me. I'm an ex multi-sport goalie, and we goalies tend to see things a bit differently. I went to college with Cecilio's Scribe and I am also a Big Red afficiando. Otherwise my college sports loyalties are all over the place. I try to keep my posts light, but I'm a Cleveland fan so the occassional rant is possible (inevitable?).

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  1. Matt Brown says:

    The Hoyas are stealing from Gary…

    Roy Hibbert: Adelphi, MD (although he went to Georgetown Prep for HS, so maybe asking him to go anywhere but Georgetown was a stretch)

    Jeff Green: Hyattsville, MD (Northwestern HS, 2004 State Champs)

    DaJuan Summers: Baltimore, MD (McDonough HS, 2-time Baltimore Sun POY)

    And how about this NBA talent….

    Carmelo Anthony: Baltimore, MD (Baltimore Metro POY 2001)

    Rudy Gay: Baltimore, MD (Eastern Tech HS and Archbishop Spalding HS, Baltimore Sun Co-POY with GMU’s Will Thomas).

    Not only can Gary not recruit any elite talent, he can’t even graduate his crappy talent. You need to do one or the other, man.

  2. Erie's Scribe says:

    Matt, thanks for the rundown on the h.s. hoops talent in the area who didn’t end up at Maryland.

    It’s not going to turn around until Gary or somebody gets some of those type of guys to COllege Park

  3. J-Red says:

    There are others. I don’t have the encyclopedic knowledge on this subject that others have, but some people might be familiar with Kevin Durant, who left for Texas from Maryland’s back yard.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Guys,
    Thanks for explaining this. After Terps won the championship, I surely thought we’d be getting the 4 and 5 star recruits, but obviously not.

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