Maryland Remembers Its 1st National Championship
- Published on Sunday, 15 April 2012 13:29
National Championship - shooting over coverage COLLEGE PARK – 10 Years ago, Chris Wilcox helped lead the Maryland Terrapins to their first ever National Championship. Only a sophomore at the time, Wilcox was regarded as one of the best big men in college basketball because of his strength, power, and athleticism.
The 2001-2002 Terrapins, coached by Maryland alum Gary Williams, went 32-4 that season including an impressive 15-1 mark in the rugged Atlantic Coast Conference. The team included stars Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter and Taj Holden. With their impressive regular season record, they earned the tournament’s No. 1 seed. The road to the championship was not easy as they faced several great teams with future NBA stars: Kentucky’s Keith Bogans and Tayshaun Prince; Connecticut’s Caron Butler, Ben Gordon, and Emeka Okafor; Kansas’ Drew Gooden and Nick Collison; and in the Championship Game Jared Jeffries and his Indiana Hoosiers. Despite the attention that Wilcox’s play demanded, he had a strong performance in the title game, recording 10 points and 7 rebounds en route to a 64-52 victory over Indiana at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Terrapins did something that no Maryland team had every done, and the players will always have a special bond because of it. After the season, Wilcox decided it was time to take his talent to the professional ranks, and became the 8th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.