Juan Derful Season

As a recruit, many questioned whether Juan Dixon would be able to play at Maryland, much less the Atlantic Coast Conference, or if he could even play basketball in general. Very small, Dixon weighed just 150 pounds as a red shirt freshmen, yet Gary Williams kept confidence.

Juan Dixon has lived well past his expectations at Maryland, breaking the all-time record in career points as a Terp, career points in tournaments, and becoming the first college player ever to score 2,000 points, make 300 3-pointers and have 300 steals.

Yesterday, Dixon scored 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting as the Terrapins claimed their first national title by winning a defensive struggle, 64-52 over Indiana. Dixon won the most outstanding player of the tournament as the Terrapins won their first championship in the year 2002 with their 2002nd game in school history.

Dixon always seemed to step up most when Maryland needed him. When Indiana took its first lead at 44-42 in the second half, Dixon came back with a 3 just seconds later to put the Terps up for good, and they never looked back.

"Steve Blake made a great play," Dixon said. "He broke a trap. I had the open look. I made a tough shot and we were able to get the lead back."

"You can't have the fear of failure," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "Juan has never backed down from a big shot."

To cap off an 11-2 run, Lonny Baxter dunked and Tahj Holden made two free throws for a 53-46 advantage with five minutes remaining.

Seniors combined for Maryland had 37 points. Senior leadership definately seemed to be the difference in the game. As fans, we thank Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, Byron Mouton, and Earl Badu for a great four years. You've helped Maryland turn their basketball program around, and we wish you the best of luck wherever you go--whether it be the NBA or not.

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