In a year when he led Maryland to its first national championship while being named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, Juan Dixon had another honor bestowed on him yesterday as one of the 50 greatest basketball players ever in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Dixon was one of eight former Terrapins named to the team. Maryland had the third-most players on the team, behind North Carolina (12) and Duke (11). The former Terps will be introduced during the Nov. 9 football game against North Carolina State at Byrd Stadium.
Joining Dixon, who last season became the school's all-time leading scorer, were Joe Smith, the national Player of the Year and the NBA's top pick in 1995, and all-time leading rebounder Len Elmore, John Lucas, Tom McMillen, Len Bias, Albert King and Buck Williams.
"There's been a lot of great players that have passed through the ACC, which I feel has been the best conference in college basketball," said Lucas, who coaches the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. "It's quite an honor."
Said McMillen: "It's a very elite and illustrious group, and I am honored to be included. I'm very pleased, but I'm cognizant that others should have been included as well."
The most glaring omission for Maryland was Walt Williams, who has been widely credited with keeping the program afloat after it had been sanctioned severely by the NCAA in 1990.
Despite not playing on television for much of his career, Williams was named an All-American as a senior.
"Walt got buried a little because of the sanctions; he never got the publicity he deserved," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "He kept the damn program alive. Him not making it is very disappointing."
The 50-player team was announced by ACC commissioner John Swofford and was selected in conjunction with the league's 50th anniversary.
Smith, who left Maryland after his sophomore year, was one of only two players chosen to have spent less than three seasons at their respective schools. (Former Georgia Tech guard Kenny Anderson was the other.) Smith was also one of 17 former national players of the year who were selected.
Among those honored were former N.C. State star Rodney Monroe, who played at Hagerstown's St. Maria Goretti High School. Charles Davis, one of five Wake Forest players selected (1969-71), is athletic director at Bowie State.
Of the 50 chosen, 18 were three-time first-team All-ACC selections and 48 were picked in the first round of the NBA or ABA drafts, including nine who were the first players chosen.
ACC 50th anniversary team
Kenny Anderson, Georgia Tech, 1990-1991, Rego Park, N.Y.; Shane Battier, Duke, 1998-2001, Birmingham, Mich.; Len Bias, Maryland, 1983-1986, Landover; Elton Brand, Duke, 1998-1999, Peekskill, N.Y., Tom Burleson, N.C. State, 1971-1974, Newland, N.C.; Len Chappell, Wake Forest, 1960-1962, Portage, Pa.; Randolph Childress, Wake Forest, 1991, 1993-1995, Clinton; Billy Cunningham, North Carolina, 1963-1965, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Brad Daugherty, North Carolina, 1983-1986, Black Mountain, N.C.; Charlie Davis, Wake Forest, 1969-1971, New York, N.Y.; Walter Davis, North Carolina, 1974-1977, Pineville, N.C.; Johnny Dawkins, Duke, 1983-1986, Washington, D.C.;Juan Dixon, Maryland, 1999-2002, Baltimore
Tim Duncan, Wake Forest, 1994-1997, St. Croix, Virgin Islands; Len Elmore, Maryland, 1972-1974, Springfield Gardens, N.Y.; Danny Ferry, Duke, 1986-1989, Bowie; Phil Ford, North Carolina, 1975-1978, Rocky Mount, N.C.; Mike Gminski, Duke, 1977-1980, Monroe, Conn.; Horace Grant, Clemson, 1984-1987, Sparta, Ga.; Matt Harpring, Georgia Tech, 1995-1998, Dunwoody, Ga.; Dickie Hemric, Wake Forest, 1952-1955, Jonesville, N.C.; Art Heyman, Duke, 1961-1963, Rockville Center, N.Y.; Grant Hill, Duke, 1991-1994, Reston, Va.; Bobby Hurley, Duke, 1990-1993, Jersey City, N.J.;Antawn Jamison, North Carolina, 1996-1998, Charlotte, N.C.Bobby Jones, North Carolina, 1972-1974, Charlotte, N.C.
Michael Jordan, North Carolina, 1982-1984, Wilmington, N.C.; Albert King, Maryland, 1978-1981, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Christian Laettner, Duke, 1989-1992, Angola, N.Y.; Jeff Lamp, Virginia, 1978-1981, Louisville, Ky.; John Lucas, Maryland, 1973-1976, Durham, N.C.; Tom McMillen, Maryland, 1972-1974, Mansfield, Pa.; Larry Miller, North Carolina, 1966-1968, Catasauqua, Pa.; Rodney Monroe, N.C. State, 1988-1991; Hagerstown; Jeff Mullins, Duke, 1962-1964, Lexington, Ky.; Barry Parkhill, Virginia, 1971-1973, State College, Pa.;Sam Perkins, North Carolina, 1981-1984, Latham, N.Y. Mark Price, Georgia Tech, 1983-1986, Enid, Okla.; John Roche, South Carolina, 1969-1971, Bronx, N.Y.
Wayne "Tree" Rollins, Clemson, 1974-1977, Cordele, Ga.; Lennie Rosenbluth, North Carolina, 1954-1957, New York, N.Y.; Ralph Sampson, Virginia, 1980-1983, Harrisonburg, Va.; Charles Scott, North Carolina, 1968-1970, New York, N.Y.; Dennis Scott, Georgia Tech, 1988-1990, Reston, Va.; Ron Shavlik, N.C. State, 1954-1956, Denver, Colo.; Joe Smith, Maryland, 1994-1995, Norfolk, Va.; David Thompson, N.C. State, 1973-1975, Shelby, N.C.; Buck Williams, Maryland, 1979-1981, Rocky Mount, N.C.; Jay Williams, Duke, 2000-2002, Plainfield, N.J.; James Worthy, North Carolina, 1980-1982, Gastonia, N.C.