I like that Ernest Graham
Ah, the great world of Maryland men’s basketball. There were so many great memories from the days of Lefty Driesell to the national championship on the day my Grandmother died.
Loved the television broadcasts with Jim Thacker, Billy Packer and the late Bones McKinney. All on tobacco road and maybe they were rooting for NC State, Duke and North Carolina. It didn’t matter. Our Maryland teams were so good.
And now Maryland is jumping leagues. The bad news is the Terps belong in the ACC. The good news is I might see some Maryland games when they come to the Midwest.
Now for some history. Here comes Albert King flying down court on television. He spots Buck Williams with a behind the back pass and Williams fires down a dunk. This game in the late 70’s is at Duke. And we are winning by 30. Did I mention that Duke was ranked first in the national polls. I’m thinking to myself that we are blowing out the top team in the nation. Blowing them off the court.
Now on to my favorite 10 Maryland hoops players of the past.
1. Ernie Graham: Yes, I watched that game on TV. Ernie Graham tore apart North Carolina State in a game in 1978. He scored a school record 44 points in that ACC contest.He couldn’t miss. If they had the three-pointer in those days he would have scored 70 that day. Maybe that’s when Bones yelled out, “I like that Ernest Graham” in his best Southern accent.
2. Tom McMillian: Rhodes scholar bright and off to Congress he went. Before that, Lefty snagged this 6-11 kid and brought some excitement to Cole Field House. I must have thought he was here to dunk but gosh could he shoot outside and who is going to block the shot of a 6-11 player.
3. John Lucas: A teammate of McMillian, this talented tennis player brought stylish point guard play.
4. Lenny Elmore: Out of the same high school as Lew Alcindor, Elmore gave us great play inside for a number of years. Still Maryland’s all-time leading rebounder.
5. Buck Williams: The ACC rookie of the year when he broke in. Williams went on to be an NBA star. But first he tore up the ACC.
6. Greg Manning: The guard with McMillian and crew. The Washington Post called him the fastest white boy going to the hoop. Gosh he was fun to watch.
7. Owen Brown: Loved the way he played the game. Of course it was a great shock when he passed away at age 23.
8. Tom Roy: Another inside player for Maryland. Not especially gifted but worked so hard for the Terps.
9. Mo Howard: I can still recall him flying through the air in the final seconds of what many called the greatest college game ever against North Carolina State. He was underrated.
10. Brad Davis: Another talented guard who played in the 1970’s. He also went on to play in the NBA.