I thought my first crack at the #WNSTSweet16 (Driven by Jerry’s Chevrolet) was difficult. This one was excruciating. Much like Drew Forrester, I probably did better the first time around than I did this.
We’re recognizing the Sweet 16 “Most Underappreciated Maryland Basketball Players”. If you missed the set-up, check it out here.
Here we go.
16. Juan Dixon
I wanted to get this out of the way quickly. There are two ways Dixon qualifies as being “underappreciated”.
1-As I mentioned during my “Most Disliked Dukies” conversation on the show last week, I still haven’t let go of the fact that Juan Dixon was named the ACC Player of the Year in 2002 by the media members that saw him most (still an upset considering how many voters are based in North Carolina) but Duke’s Jason Williams still somehow managed to claim the Wooden Award and Naismith Player of the Year Award. Somehow the rest of the country appreciated Dixon less than the people who saw him the most.
2-This will bother a number of people, but Juan Dixon was the greatest player in Maryland basketball history. Somehow there are people that are unwilling to accept this. Perhaps he wasn’t the most talented, most naturally gifted or the most physically impressive player in school history. Perhaps another player would have joined Dixon in winning a national championship had the NCAA Tournament accepted at-large teams in the past.
It doesn’t change anything. He’s the best player in school history and the fact that some of you are clinching your fists in reaction is the reason why I included the most decorated player in school history on the list.
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