While there were a few great college players to grace the court at Cole between 1985 and 2002, the top of the list is occupied by four. But as dynamic as Juan Dixon was during his last three years in College Park, as great as Joe Smith was in his two season,s and as exciting as Steve Francis was in his one year, Bias is clearly as the top. Covering Bias as a reporter was nearly as difficult as covering him as a player -- he often hid out in a tiny bathroom in the locker room to avoid reporters, saying he wanted his teammates to get attention. But as a player, the only one who was as breathtaking for me to watch up close at the time was Michael Jordan. I often said -- and wrote -- that Bias would have been Jordan's rival had he not died tragically.
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Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun
Again, this is a pretty deep list. From Keith Gatlin, Tony Massenburg and Brian Williams on the teams of Driesell and Bob Wade, to Smith and Keith Booth and Rodney Elliott on some of Gary Williams' early teams, it was -- as Baltimoreans Booth and Elliott would often say -- "most definitely" an easy job covering the Terps. But reporters like players who are honest to a fault, and my vote goes to Obinna Ekezie. He was probably more of a go-to-guy for local sportswriters than he was for Williams, but I'll never forget the hard-working Nigerian center ripping into a couple of teammates for breaking curfew, and Williams benching them for an NCAA tournament game against College of Charleston, which the Terps would lose.
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Having been around the Maryland basketball program for most of the past 28 years, I have my own memories of Cole Field House. They are both personal and professional, and run the gamut of emotions from funny to very poignant. Starting with Lefty Driesell's last season in 1985-86 -- Len Bias' senior year -- I have seen a lot of great games and great players. Here are some of the highlights: