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Greatest Terp Ever (Hardwood Version)?

As our Web site is exploring different entries in Len Shapiro's book The Great Book of Washington, D.C. Sports Lists, today's topic is the top Maryland basketball players of all time. The consensus No. 1 seemed to be Len Bias, which is tough to argue with but some might want to. For a certain generation of us, Bias's death remains a landmark event, a What-were-you-doing-when-you-found-out? type of thing. And I was a teenager in Detroit at the time; I can't imagine how it must have resonated for folks around here.

But back to the list. Again, my close history with this team goes back about 10 years, so I'm not the best person to compare the relative merits of Tom McMillen and Gene Shue with any kind of authority. But with that bit of disclosure, I think Juan Dixon is too low on this list at No. 9. Dixon wasn't an intimidating physical presence and didn't call a lot of attention to himself, but he was virtually always the toughest guy in the gym and when you needed someone to take a clutch shot, you wanted it to be him. He also has one more ring than anyone else on the list.

What do you think? Go here and vote, and discuss among yourselves.

By Matthew Rennie  |  December 18, 2008; 2:35 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Dixon is way to low on that list. He was clutch and did bring home a title. I would put him in the top 5 if not the top 3.

Posted by: drj09 | December 18, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with Dixon at 9. I'd actually move Walt Williams ahead of him. It's a good list. Just glad that Steve Francis is not on it and still wonder why they hung a banner for him.

Posted by: erniegogo | December 18, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing they hung a banner for him because he donated a bunch of money. That's usually how these things work.

I personally wouldn't mind seeing Len Elmore even higher, but that's more for emotional reasons (love the guy) than any kind of basketball argument.

Posted by: pipkin42 | December 18, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Gene Shue

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | December 18, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Banners go up for All-Americans. Francis was a 2d-team All American, so his banner went up. Keith Booth was 3rd team - his banner went up.

Posted by: dlgood | December 18, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the list is pretty accurate. I've watched the various generations of Maryland basketball since the John Lucas days (as a kid), as a student (Bias) and since as an alum.

There's definitely no better player than Bias in terms of what the guy could do with a basketball. He was just amazing to watch, Jordanesque, both live and in person.

Dixon is great, and I loved his role in bringing home a title, but the talent in 2002 was a lot more diluted than in the 70s. I agree with pipkin42 that Elmore should be higher (over McMillan). I also think Buck Williams should be above Smith and Walt above Dixon.

Also, I think it's important to point out Walt stayed with the program when it was really at rock bottom. I think that showed a lot of character.

Posted by: mwr68 | December 19, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

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