Since 2000, the Big Ten conference has been loaded with elite talents and some of college basketball’s greatest players. Fans have seen numerous Big Ten players earn All-Americans and National Players of the Year honors during that time.
But who has been the best?
With the offseason in full swing, BTPowerhouse has decided to sit down and break down the Big Ten’s greatest players since the start of the 2000-’01 season. We will be taking a look at each program and how it fits into the league.
This time, we will look at the greatest players from the last 17 seasons for the Maryland Terrapins. Please note that this evaluation only looks at college contributions at the particular school. It does not include a player’s contributions at another school or the professional level.
Brief Program Recap Since 2000:
After joining the Big Ten in 2014, Maryland is still a new kid on the block. The Terrapins left the ACC during the heavy conference shakeups across the country, and as such have yet to log the Big Ten history others have on this list. Regardless, the program has enjoyed a wealth of success this century.
-Basic Stats Since 2000
- NCAA Tournament Appearances: 10
- Winning Seasons: 16
- Big Ten POTY Winners: Zero
- Consensus All-Americans: One
Maryland reached the apex quickly after the new millennium, beating the Mike Davis helmed Indiana Hoosiers to win the 2002 National Championship. The case could certainly be made for a Mount Rushmore with players from that team alone.
Former head coach Gary Williams kept the firepower flowing and maintained the cachet to propel the program to its present-day success. The Terrapins have not logged a single losing season since 2000, missing just seven NCAA Tournaments during that time.
Mark Turgeon has taken the torch from Williams, and while it took a few years to get the ball rolling, the Terrapins are back to business as usual. Maryland continues to be on the cutting edge of recruiting as well as maintaining and developing the talent on the roster. Every year they pose a legitimate threat to make a run in March.
Maryland’s Mount Rushmore Since 2000:
-Lonny Baxter (1999-2002)
Lonny Baxter played a crucial role in the Terrapins 2002 National Championship. While Juan Dixon played the role of flashy scorer, Baxter was the enforcer, eating rebounds and cracking down on the block.
Baxter was a big man in the traditional sense, playing anchor and efficient backbone to a roster chocked full of talent. Throughout his career, the 6-foot-8 post presence averaged 13.5 points and 7.2 rebounds on 55.3% shooting.
His senior year, Baxter was name an honorable mention All-American. All said, Baxter ranks second in career rebounds, sixth in career points, fourth in blocked shots, and seventh in field goal percentage in the Maryland record books.
-Juan Dixon (1999-2002)
Outside of Len Bias, no Maryland player has had the storied career and success in College Park than that of Juan Dixon. The gutsy, fearless leader of the 2002 Nation Championship squad, Dixon never shied away from the big moment. In their win over Indiana for the title, the guard finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and chipped in a whopping 5 steals. The performance garnered Dixon the Most Outstanding Player award for the tournament.
The lone first team All-American for the Terrapins since 2000, Dixon enjoyed a tremendous senior season. Dixon, coming off of a final four appearance, entered the 2001-02 year with lofty expectations. He would not disappoint. The senior averaged 20.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists en route to ACC Player of the Year honors, a 32-4 record, and #1 NCAA Tournament seed.
Dixon remains the all-time leading scorer at Maryland. Additionally, he is the only player in NCAA history to accumulate 2,000 points, 300 steals and 200 three-point field goals.
-Melo Trimble (2014-2017)
Though Melo Trimble never quite fulfilled the high ceiling his electrifying potential projected, the guard had a tremendous career for the Terps. Trimble led Maryland to the NCAA tournament in each of his three seasons with the program, garnering both second-team All-American honors in 2015 and honorable mention All-American recognition in 2016.
Trimble exemplified an ability to raise his game in big moments. While not always consistent, he possessed the skills and mind set to produce when absolutely needed. In the NCAA Tournament his sophomore season, Trimble averaged 20 points, 2.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds en route to a sweet 16 appearance. Heading into last year’s Big Ten Tournament, he sent the Spartans packing after drilling a deep three-point shot with 1.1 seconds on the clock.
Ultimately, Trimble helped pull Maryland out of a dark transitional period between Gary Williams and Mark Turgeon, establishing a strong foundation for the program moving forward.
-Greivis Vasquez (2006-2010)
Greivis Vasquez exemplified a unique and versatile skill set not commonly found in the college game. At 6-foot-6, Vasquez had the height and strength to impact the game in several facets. Throughout his four-year career at Maryland, he became the only Terrapin to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists in a single season. Additionally, he is the only player in ACC history with 2,000 points, 700 assists, and 600 rebounds.
His senior season saw a tremendous amount of personal success. Vasquez was named second team All-American and 2010 ACC Player of the Year after averaging 19.6 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.6 rebounds for the Terrapins.
Vasquez ranks second on Maryland’s all-time scoring list, finishing just 98 points behind Juan Dixon.
Honorable Mention: Steve Blake, Nik Caner-Medley, Chris Wilcox
[Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article inaccurately named Indiana’s head coach during the 2002 National Championship game.]