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The 10 best wing players in Maryland basketball history

The 10 best wing players in Maryland basketball history

Over the history of the program, Maryland basketball has seen numerous talented players come through College Park. After looking at some of the best point guards the Terps have had to offer, it’s time to examine the top Maryland wing players.

Wings -- for this list -- are defined as shooting guards and small forwards. The players selected may have spent some time in other positions at Maryland, but this is where a majority of their work was done.

Here are the 10 best wings in Maryland history.

Bob Kessler (1953-56)

Kessler’s sophomore and junior years at Maryland were statistically great, and the wing also helped the program begin a journey toward prominence in the ACC. He averaged 20 points and at least 11 rebounds per contest in his final two seasons, being selected to the All-ACC team both years.

Gary Ward (1963-66)

Ward nearly averaged a double-double for his career at Maryland, scoring around 16.2 points per game and bringing in 9.5 rebounds per game throughout his three years as a Terp.

Known as the “Spider,” his best season came in 1964-65 when he averaged 18.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest. 

Albert King (1977-81)

King put together a great four years at Maryland, with his junior year topping all others. Averaging 21.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, he was named ACC Player of the Year and led the Terps to a Sweet 16 appearance.

Adrian Branch (1981-85)

The most impressive part about Branch’s game was how well he performed statistically even while having to share the ball with Len Bias. Some would have crumbled, but he was a perfect compliment during their time together and shined prior to Bias’ arrival.

Branch averaged over 16 points per game during four seasons as a Terp and finished his career with 2,017 points. The DeMatha High School product helped lead Maryland to two Sweet 16 appearances.

Len Bias (1982-86)

One of the easiest selections to the list, Bias is one of the best Maryland players ever, period. In fact, it’s not wrong to consider him one of the best collegiate players in the history of the sport.

After a quiet freshman year, Bias’ sophomore year in which he averaged 15.3 points per game was a sign of things to come. Averaging 18.9 points per game during his junior season and 23.2 points per game his senior year, Bias earned back-to-back ACC Player of the Year honors.

Bias left Maryland with 2,149 career points, good enough for No. 3 all-time. If it were not for his tragic death just days after being drafted No. 2 overall by the Boston Celtics, Bias was destined for a dominant NBA career as well.

RELATED: LEN BIAS' LIFE WAS LEGENDARY

Walt Williams (1988-92)

Williams did carry the ball up the court and handle it quite often for Maryland during part of his time there, but his size and ability to play off-ball puts him on this list.

The 6-foot-8 forward got progressively better each year he was a Terp. His junior season saw him average over 18 points, five rebounds and five assists per game. Impressive enough, he took his game to a whole other level during his senior year. Averaging 26.8 points per game, he earned First Team All-ACC honors as well as Second Team All-America honors.

That performance during the 1991-92 season still holds as one of the best individual seasons in Maryland and NCAA history.

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Johnny Rhodes (1992-96)

Rhodes could score with the best of them in college (1,743 career points) but he was also a dominant 3-and-D player for the Terps.

With 186 made threes and 344 steals, Rhodes was productive on both ends of the floor en route to three NCAA Tournament appearances with Maryland during his time there.

Keith Booth (1993-97)

Booth’s four years at Maryland was a model of consistent success. He averaged double-digit points in each of his campaigns, including a phenomenal senior season in which he scored 19.5 points per contest and earned First-Team All-ACC honors. He also helped the Terps reach the Sweet 16 twice. 

Not only could Booth score the ball (1,776 career points), but he could rebound as well. The wing nearly eclipsed the 1,000 mark finishing with 916 boards during his time at Maryland. 

Juan Dixon (1998-2002)

A bonafide Maryland legend, you don’t have to look far through the record book to see Dixon’s name. The guard ranks first all-time in scoring for the program with 2,269 points. He also holds the Maryland record for most made three-pointers with 239.

Beyond the stats, Dixon became a legend because he helped the Terps reach the pinnacle of success. After a Final Four trip in 2001, Dixon led Maryland to the national title in 2002.

Byron Mouton (2000-02)

Mouton only spent two seasons at Maryland after transferring from Tulsa but makes the list because he did something very few have done as a Terp: help bring a National Championship to College Park.

During the 2002 season, Mouton averaged 11.1 points and five rebounds and was a key piece of the title team. 

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President Trump favors college football being played in 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic

President Trump favors college football being played in 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump wants to see college football played this fall despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled," Trump tweeted on Monday.

Trump's post was a quote tweet response to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, arguably the brightest star in college football and likely No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence was one of many notable players across the country to tweet the hashtag #WeWantToPlay on Sunday following multiple reports that the college football season could be canceled or postponed as early as this week.

Following Sunday's reports that the season likely won't happen, Lawrence was one of several stars from multiple Power 5 teams that joined a Zoom call Sunday evening to attempt and organize a plan for players to express their opinion on the why they should play and ultimately save the season. 

Other notable names such as Ohio State's Justin Fields, Alabama's Najee Harris, and Oregon's Penei Sewell were on the call, according to ESPN. Since then, college football players have reportedly attempted to unionize as one final push to save the season.

Lawrence also explained in detail on Sunday why he feels there should be a college football season. The Clemson QB tweeted Sunday night saying he believes that canceling the season would actually put college football players more at risk of the contracting virus.

"Players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting covid because the season/ teammates safety is on the line. Without the season, as we’ve seen already, people will not social distance or wear masks and take the proper precautions," Lawrence wrote on his Twitter thread. 

While the outlook for the 2020 college football season doesn't look promising, Lawrence and several of the sport's biggest names are not going down without a fight. And based off President Trump's tweet, it looks as if he's on the players' side.

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College football players attempt to unionize as hope for a season dies out

College football players attempt to unionize as hope for a season dies out

With the 2020 college football season seemingly hanging on by a thread, players around the NCAA are ushering one final push in hopes of playing a season this fall.

With the Big Ten and Pac-12 expected to cancel or postpone their seasons on Tuesday, the rumors have earned a response from some of the biggest names in the sport who took to Twitter to share their stance on the coming season. Among their sentiments and concerns, the most notable response was the players’ proposal of a college football players association – a union which could push to save the college football season and demand the proper treatment and safety precautions in the process.

Late Sunday night, a graphic began to circulate within the college football world and was ultimately shared by notable players such as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, Alabama running back Najee Harris and numerous others. 

The image showcased the logos of all five Power Five conferences above the two trending hashtags coined by players recently: #WeAreUnited and #WeWantToPlay.

Their call to unionize also featured a further explanation of their hopes and wishes for these efforts.

  • “We all want to play football this season.”
  • “Establish universal mandated health and safety procedures and protocols to protect college-athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA”
  • “Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision”
  • “Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not”
  • “Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials; ultimately create a college football players association”
  • “Representative of the players of All Power 5 Conferences”

Sunday’s efforts became the first NCAA-wide attempt to unite across conferences in the wake of COVID-19. Previously, Pac-12 players threatened to opt out until economic, racial justice and safety issues were addressed while Big Ten athletes released a list of safety and COVID-related demands for themselves and their families. Both conferences’ players aired their concerns through articles in the Players’ Tribune. Now, the efforts are much larger as they transcend conference borders in a final push from players following the anticipated cancelations on Tuesday. 

The attempt to unionize is only the second ever in college football and comes six years after Northwestern’s football team tried to form the first union in the NCAA to fight for better health protections, compensation and other benefits. After gaining support on a regional level, their plan was ultimately shot down on a larger scheme.  

While many players have expressed their strong desire to play, a number of others chose to opt out of the coming season for health and safety concerns. Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, Miami defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau, Maryland quarterback Josh Jackson, Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore, Michigan State defensive end Jacub Panasiuk, Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, Illinois running back Ra’Von Bonner, Auburn linebacker Chandley Wooten and Pitt defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman are just some of the notable names who chose to forgo the upcoming season. But the remaining players demand the opportunity to take the field this fall even though the leagues believe risk of playing a season during a global pandemic is too much to wager.

The pushback on college administrators and conference leaders has come from more than just the athletes. Coaches have expressed a similar desire to play and supported the players’ attempts to unionize and fight back against their conferences. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh released a statement of his own amidst Monday’s rumors and said, “I am not advocating for football this fall because of my passion or our players desire to play but because of the facts accumulated over the last eight weeks since our players returned to campus on one 13. I am advocating on August 10 that this virus can be controlled and handled.”

He continued to list nine coronavirus-related facts that support his claim of why college football could happen safely this fall and ended with similar hashtags that the players used: #WeWantToPlay and #WeWantToCoach.

But no matter how powerful the final unionizing efforts from the players and coaches may be, it seems their attempts to save college football are too little, too late with conferences ready to pull the plug on their seasons in a matter of hours. 

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