Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Maryland Basketball All Decade Team

Since the All Decade teams are a popular theme these days with the New Year coming I figured I would give my Maryland basketball team of the decade. Clearly the 2002 National Champion team will have a heavy footprint but after that things are more murky. I only considered seasons that fit in this decade. By position here is my list:

PG: Steve Blake 1999-2003
This is a much closer call than many would think if you consider Greivis Vasquez a point guard. Blake gets the slight edge at the moment because of his superior defense and the achievements of his Final Four teams but in many ways Vasquez is the superior player. If Vasquez can turn around his senior season he would supplant Hayes on my list. Honorable Mention: Greivis Vasquez

SG: Juan Dixon 1998-2002
There isn't much need to explain this pick. One of the great players in Maryland history. Honorable Mention: Drew Nicholas

SF: Byron Mouton 2000-2002
Many focus on his lunch pail style but Mouton was a very underrated offensive player who went from the main scoring threat at Tulane to a complementary player at Maryland where he was an impressively efficiently fourth option. As a senior his offensive rating was 113.9 and he shot nearly 47% from the floor. It is his efficiency and defense that gives him the nod over Nik Caner-Medley. Honorable Mention: Nik Caner-Medley, D.J. Strawberry

PF: James Gist 2004-2008
This may surprise some people but Gist was the best of a grab bag of forwards that Maryland has had this decade. Chris Wilcox was clearly the best athlete Maryland has had at the position but not the best basketball player. Wilcox never averaged over 12 points a game while Gist did that twice. Gist was a much better free throw shooter and also was a better shot blocker if not as physical a defender. Gist was surprisingly also a better defensive rebounder (17.6 and 18.8 %) compared with Wilcox (17.5%) as a sophomore. Who knows what Wilcox could have done on a very talented 2002-3 Maryland squad but based on his limited time at Maryland I couldn't put him in front of Gist. Honorable Mention: Chris Wilcox

C: Lonny Baxter 1998-2002
A work horse who may not have been a true center but was consistently productive throughout his career. Considered by some to be too short and unathletic he used impressive footwork and his barrel chest to clear space for himself and shoot well over 50% from the floor. No Maryland big man has had his kind of low post game since. Honorable Mention: Ryan Randle (Best of a mediocre bunch)


Optimality said...

Power Forward = T Mo

Terence Morris

Esquire said...

The only season Morris had in this decade was his senior season (2000-2001): 12.2 PPG 7.7 Reb, 43% FG, 29% 3pt

Decent but not too impressive. If you include his sophomore and junior season I agree he would be on that list but those were not in this decade.

Brooklyn Dave said...

Personally I think you have to put DJ Strawberry ahead of Mouton and go with a three guards. Yes, Mouton won a national championship, but he did it alongside four guys who made the NBA. Strawberry played three positions, was a great defender, was a three year starter, and improved every year. Yes, the teams he was part of were never that great, but I blame that on other guys not living up to their potential, like Garrison and Mike Jones.