Roddy Peters heard all the chatter this summer when the incoming Maryland freshman point guard's jersey was listed as No. 3, an iconic number in College Park last worn by Maryland Hall of Famer Juan Dixon.
But before the team’s three-game tour of the Bahamas in early August, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon announced that the former Suitland High star would go down a digit — to No. 2 — and wear a much less notable number.
It turns out that Turgeon wasn’t the one to nix the idea of Peters wearing a number that hangs from the ceiling of Comcast Center and belongs to Maryland’s all-time leading scorer. Dixon, who has been more of a presence around the program since his NBA career ended, was apparently not on board with the idea.
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“I kind of wanted to wear 3 because I have a little sister, a big sister and my mother, I was going to wear 3 for them,” Peters said during the team’s media day Tuesday. “I knew there was a lot of pressure wearing Juan Dixon’s number, and I wanted to see if I could wear it. Coach Turgeon was going to let me wear it, but a week later, he called me and said, ‘Juan said, ‘Nah.’ ’ It was fine.”
It was also disappointing to Peters. Two of his favorite players growing up were Dixon and Allen Iverson, who also wore No. 3 throughout his college and pro playing career. Peters wore Nos. 1 and 5 at Suitland, purposely staying away from No. 3.
“I was trying to wear it when I got to college,” Peters said with a smile.
So is there any pressure wearing Logan Aronhalt’s old jersey number?
“He could shoot,” Peters said.
That’s the one thing Peters couldn’t do that well in high school. From what Turgeon and others who have seen the Terps practice the past few weeks say, Peters has improved his shooting dramatically, particularly in terms of mechanics.
“I started from scratch,” Peters said. “I was kind of slinging the ball at first, I wasn’t really square to the basket. Now I’m trying keep my feet square when I come around screens. I’ll be all right.”
Maryland doesn't retire numbers of former players. Instead, the school honors them by placing the players' names and numbers on banners hanging at Comcast Center.