Senior guard Mike Thibeault, a walk-on who played sparingly during his career at the University of Maryland, has informed Terrapins coach Gary Williams that he will give up basketball to concentrate on finishing his academic requirements.
Thibeault, an engineering major from Glen Burnie, is scheduled to graduate next spring. Williams said yesterday that Thibeault came to him after last season and told him he was contemplating quitting the team to spend more time on schoolwork.
"He knew he wouldn't be playing that much, so he wanted to go ahead and concentrate on getting his degree," Williams said yesterday from College Park.
Thibeault appeared in a career- high 19 games for the Terps last season, averaging less than a point and a rebound a game while playing an average of four minutes a game. He finished three of 15 from the field, including one of seven on three-pointers. For his career, Thibeault played in 52 games, for a total of 185 minutes.
Williams said that Thibeault's contribution to the team came mostly in practice, where he often was asked to play the role of the other team's shooting guard. "He gave us a good look at what a guy like Donald Williams [of North Carolina] would do," Williams said. "He would always work hard."
A prolific scorer at Glen Burnie High School who averaged more than 30 points a game as a senior, Thibeault was a walk-on his first two years before earning a scholarship last year.
According to an athletic department spokesman, Thibeault has given up his scholarship for the coming year.
Thibeault's playing time would have been limited by the arrival of three players who Williams can use at the shooting guard position behind incumbent Johnny Rhodes, a sophomore. Thibeault's departure leaves the Terps with 12 scholarship players, one under the NCAA limit.
Thibeault could not be reached for comment last night.