Best Dressed: 1995-2004 Maryland Terrapins

Posted by rtmsf on May 31st, 2011

John Gorman is an RTC contributor.  Every week throughout the long, hot summer, he will highlight one of the iconic uniforms from the great history of the game.  We plan on rolling out 24 of these babies, so tweet your favorites at us @rushthecourt or email us directly at This week, we recall the great Maryland uniforms from the mid-90s through the early 2000s.  To see the entire list to date, click here.

Fear the turtle. A phrase that elicits smiles from same mouth which speaks its words, but before 1932, would have never seen the light of day without the help of an inquisitive school paper and a Maryland man named “Curley.”  The campus daily, The Diamondback, called out for a school nickname to replace the “Old-Liners,” a reference to the state nickname. Harry Clifton Byrd, the school football coach affectionately known as “Curley”, answered the call. Curley proposed “Terrapins,” a nod to the Diamondback Terrapin turtle endemic to his Chesapeake Bay hometown of Crisfield. As Byrd moved up to the ranks from football coach to athletic director to university president, the Terrapin was minted, popularized and given an identity.

Maryland Was At Its Hoops Peak in These Uniforms (UM Athletics)

The Diamondback Terrapin is green, gray and white, but the school’s red, white, black and gold model is colored after the alternating Calvert and Crossland emblems that appear on the Maryland state flag. You’ll note if you look closely, this same pattern also provides the inspiration for the mid-field Baltimore Ravens’ crest (which doubles as the team’s secondary logo).  The logo and mascot which appears on the threads, “Testudo,” draws its moniker from an old Roman warfare formation where soldiers would pack together closely, and flank all sides with shields, to protect the formation from incoming arrow attacks. Testudo, fittingly, is Latin for “Tortoise.”

Always an aesthetic pleaser and a huge draw at the box office (former Terps coach Lefty Driesell is commonly credited for starting Midnight Madness), the school’s profile rose considerably in the 1990s, as coach Gary Williams built a consistently competitive program. It was at this time Nike stepped in and did what Nike does: Doctored up the athletic wear to entice the locals to buy.  Nike gave the home whites some pop: A big, bold MARYLAND on the front with even bigger, bolder red numbers, and – the perfect touch – black and gold diamondback trim along the edges, crafting that quintessential snapping-turtle look. Never before has something so slow looked so fast streaking up and down the hardwood.

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30 Days of Madness: Childress Owns the ACC Tourney

Posted by rtmsf on March 11th, 2010

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the next thirty days for the last eleven months.  You have too.  In fact, if this isn’t your favorite time of year by a healthy margin then you should probably click away from this site for a while.   Because we plan on waterboarding you with March Madness coverage.  Seriously, you’re going to feel like Dick Cheney himself is holding a Spalding-logoed towel over your face.  Your intake will be so voluminous that you’ll be drooling Gus Johnson and bracket residue in your sleep.  Or Seth Davis, if that’s more your style.  The point is that we’re all locked in and ready to go.  Are you?  To help us all get into the mood, we like to click around a fancy little website called YouTube for a daily dose of notable events, happenings, finishes, ups and downs relating to the next month.  We’re going to try to make this video compilation a little smarter, a little edgier, a little historical-er.  Or whatever.  Sure, you’ll see some old favorites that never lose their luster, but you’ll also see some that maybe you’ve forgotten or never knew to begin with.  That’s the hope, at least.  We’ll be matching the videos by the appropriate week, so for the next four days, we’ll be re-visiting some of the timeless moments from Championship Week.  Enjoy.

Championship Week

Dateline: 1995 ACC Tournament

Context: In the 1995 ACC race for conference superiority, there were four teams who stood above the rest.  UNC, Wake Forest, Maryland and Virginia ended the season in a four-way tie for first place at 12-4 in one of the most closely contested conference races in the history of the league.  The NBA talent just on those four teams was impressive: Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Jeff McInnis at Carolina; Tim Duncan and Rusty Larue at Wake; Joe Smith and Keith Booth at Maryland; Cory Alexander at UVa.  But in that year, there was one player who barely got time at the next level who made the ACC Tournament his own personal shooting gallery: Wake’s assassin, Randolph Childress.  In the quarterfinals against Duke, Childress drilled eight threes and went off for 40 points and seven assists in a comeback win.  The next day in the semis, he cooled off for only six threes and 30/7 assts against Virginia as Wake won again, moving on to face their nemesis North Carolina in the ACC Championship game.  In that overtime thriller, Childress again went nuts, hitting nine more threes en route to scoring 37 points and handing out another seven dimes, including the last 22 points and the game-winner for Wake (keep in mind that eventual 4-time NBA champion Duncan was also on this team).  Over the course of three days, Childress shattered the ACC Tournament record for points (107) and scoring average (35.7 PPG), leaving many of the long-time ACC observers stating that they’d never seen anything like it before in the history of that storied league (even so, Childress was not a unanimous selection for tournament MVP!).  Legend has it that he played the tournament with a broken finger and that during the stretch run against Carolina, he told his teammates to give him the ball every time down the floor and “get out of the way.”  Interestingly, the video showing one of Childress’ crossovers to get open for a three against Jeff McInnis has gotten even more run that his shot to win the game in overtime, but they’re both fantastic.

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