NCAA

Sidwell Friends alum and Villanova forward Saddiq Bey wins Julius Erving Award, declares for NBA draft

Sidwell Friends alum and Villanova forward Saddiq Bey wins Julius Erving Award, declares for NBA draft

While an incredible season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic, Villanova’s Saddiq Bey has won the Julius Erving Award as the top Div. I men's hoops small forward, it was announced Tuesday.

Bey, a graduate of Sidwell Friends in Bethesda, Md., announced that he'll be taking the momentum from that award and entering the 2020 NBA Draft. 

“I will definitely go through that process, whenever I’ll be able to, whenever that opens up, and I’ll be keeping my options open for sure,” Bey said in a conference call Tuesday. 

Bey, who at one point was slated to attend NC State, is the third Villanova forward to receive the Julius Erving Award in the past six seasons -- Josh Hart (Sidwell Friends alum) in 2017,  and Mikal Bridges in 2018. Last season the award was given to Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura for his time at Gonzaga. 

“As a sophomore, Saddiq Bey was an all-around competitor delivering buckets and consistency when Villanova needed it most,” the former 76er Erving said in a statement released by the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“To come into a well-established program and find your place as an underclassman is no easy task, and it’s clear Saddiq earned the respect of his teammates and competition.”

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The 7 best point guards in Maryland basketball history

The 7 best point guards in Maryland basketball history

Maryland basketball is no stranger to success at the point guard position. Throughout the history of the program, numerous primary ball handlers have put up big scoring totals, created highlight plays and led their team to greatness.

But for a program loaded with point guard talent, who are the best of the best? Here's a look at a few of top point guards to ever be a Terp.

Gene Shue (1951-54)

Shue ranks No. 22 on Maryland's all-time scoring list, and while he put up some impressive numbers during his time there, his most impressive work was how he put the program on the map. Before Shue took his spot at UMD, the team had suffered losing season after losing season. That all changed when the point guard arrived.

During his playing career, the Terps achieved their first 20-win season in program history, were nationally ranked and joined the ACC Conference. Thanks in large part to Shue, Maryland basketball began the journey toward national prominence. 

John Lucas (1972-76)

Earning All-American honors once is an impressive feat for most college players, Lucas did it three times during his career at Maryland. The point guard earned second-team honors for the 1973-74 season while playing alongside Tom McMillen and Len Elmore. The latter two would graduate leaving Lucas to shine on his own in the following year.

He did just that, earning First-Team All-American honors for the 1974-75 season. Lucas would do the same in 1975-76 for good measure. During that time he also led Maryland to an ACC regular-season title and an Elite Eight appearance.

Lucas currently ranks No. 6 all-time in scoring at Maryland with 2,015 points. He also ranks No. 4 in scoring average, totaling around 18.3 points per game during his career as a Terp. Lucas wasn't just a scorer, as he also could pass with the best of them as a point guard. His 514 assists in college put him fifth on Maryland's all-time list. Lucas would go on to have a solid NBA career as well after being selected No. 1 overall by the Rockets in the 1976 NBA Draft.

Keith Gatlin (1983-86, 1988)

Gatlin embodied the floor general spirit of a point guard during his time at Maryland. Though surpassed 1,000 points in college, his real brilliance was seen when he distributed the ball to others.

Len Bias and Adrian Branch ranked No. 3 and No. 5 on Maryland's scoring list, and that's largely due to Gatlin's ability to get them the ball and let them take over. Rather than force his own shots, Gatlin would find the open man and rack up assist totals. By the end of his Terrapin career, he had recorded 649 assists, good enough for third all-time in school history.

Steve Blake (1999-2003)

Blake, much like Gatlin, made his mark as a passer at Maryland. His 972 assists during his four-year college career are the highest mark in the history of the program and rank sixth all-time in NCAA basketball history.

Blake's brilliance was seen from day one, as he started from his freshman to senior year at Maryland. His ability to control the flow of the game was instrumental in the Terps 2002 National Championship run.

Greivis Vasquez (2006-10)

The roar at the Xfinity Center when Vasquez tells the crowd he has "Maryland Pride" is all you need to know about how great his collegiate career was. The point guard showed promise in his first two seasons but really stepped up his game during his junior and senior years.

In 2008-09, Vasquez led the Terrapins in almost every category on the stat sheet. The top spots for scoring, assists, rebounds, steals and minutes played all belonged to him. He followed that up with a senior year in which he scored close to 20 points per game and took home the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's best point guard. Vasquez currently ranks second all-time in points at Maryland with 2,171. 

Melo Trimble (2014-17)

Trimble is one of the most recent guards to find success at Maryland. Bursting onto the scene as a freshman, Trimble averaged 16.2 points per game during his first season of college ball. His following two seasons were just as exciting, as Trimble became the go-to weapon for the Terps offense. Before it was all said and done, Trimble surpassed 1,600 points and 400 assists during his three years at Maryland.

Numbers were great, but it was Trimble's heroic moments in the final seconds that he'll always be remembered for. Last-second game-winning shots against Wisconsin and Michigan State showed that there was no moment too big for No. 2. 

Anthony Cowan Jr. (2016-20)

When Trimble left for the pros it became Cowan's time to shine at Maryland, and he did just that. After a solid freshman year, Cowan continued to grow and improve each time out on the court. From his sophomore to senior year Cowan averaged 15.8, 15.6 and 16.3 points, respectively. He now sits seventh all-time in scoring at the University of Maryland

Cowan's biggest strengths, however, were his consistency and clutch. Maryland's newest 'Iron Man,' the point guard started 130 consecutive games during his four years as a Terp. No matter what was going on, everyone could rely on Cowan to be there and ready to make an impact. 

Clutch-wise, Cowan had a knack for stepping up in the big moments, especially during his senior season. A lethal three-point shooter, his performance on the road against Michigan State this past season showed everything there is to know about the Maryland native. With the Terps trailing late, Cowan knocked down two huge threes from way beyond the arc to take the lead and ice the game.

Moments like that helped Cowan bring a Big Ten banner to College Park. 

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Mike Locksley proud of his players' response to Black Lives Matter protests

Mike Locksley proud of his players' response to Black Lives Matter protests

In response to vast numbers of people protesting police brutality and racial injustice throughout the country over the last week, Maryland football coach Mike Locksley decided to have a team meeting. 

Locksley's goal was to communicate with his players, hear their concerns and educate the team as best he could.

"I thought it was really important to create a dialogue," Locksley said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday. "I coach a microcosm of our society. We have all types of races, religions and socio-economic groups on our football team and the last thing you want is the things that are happening out in the real world to creep into something I feel like we've made some gains in building a cohesive team."

Throughout the meeting, Locksley couldn't stress enough how important respect was to the equation. 

"There are no clear-cut answers to it, that's the hard part," he said. "[I'll] by no means try to quiet their voices or stop them. Just go out there and express their feelings, but I also wanted them to educate themselves on what they were saying and what they were feeling and not make emotional decisions, but really think things through.

"I also wanted them to remember that the underlying word that comes to mind with all of these tragedies and all of these things that continue to happen is respect," he said. "If you have respect for someone, those types of [emotional] decisions are hard to make."

Maryland football released a united statement from the players Tuesday, stating their desire to become, "difference makers" and "leaders in creating change" in their community. Not only did the statement condemn racial injustice and the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Freddie Gray, but it provided solutions to bring about change.

"There's one thing to put a statement out and it's another thing to have solutions," he said. "They wanted to educate themselves on the voting process. Far too many 18-22 year-olds in college don't take advantage of the ability we have to vote. They wanted to go out and become more involved in underserved communities with voter registration as well as getting people who can't get to the polls transportation to get them there."

Every player signed the statement, and most of the solutions were focused on voting. Locksley explained his players believe that is the best avenue for change.

"I thought it was a tremendous answer as a team and for 18-22 year-olds to think that deeply, I was really proud of them coming up with just not the statement piece but what they wanted to do or could do to try and make a difference down the road."

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