Today the University of Maryland honored one of their most successful recruiting classes in the Gary Williams era. There was a buzz two hours before tip for the return of the 2001 Final Four team and the 2002 National Champion team.
Coming into the 2002 season, the Terps were returning the core of their 2001 team that lost to Duke in the Final Four. They were composed and experience going 32-4. The Terps were led by the devastating trio of Juan Dixon, Steve Blake and Lonnie Baxter. After losing to Duke three times and North Carolina two times in 2001, they split with the Blue Devils and swept the Tar Heels in 2002.
Going into the tournament, the Terps got a fourth to compliment their powerful trio. Sophomore Chris Wilcox averaged 12 points and 4.7 rebounds and scored 81 points in the tournament. Wilcox was key in the win over Kansas in the Final Four. He squared up against Kansas’ Drew Gooden and poured in 18 points and 9 rebounds in the 97-88 victory.
The momentum carried into the Championship game as the Terps ended Indiana’s Cinderella run. Dixon scored 18 while Baxter chipped in with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook. Member: USBWA, FWAA