#Terps100: This Day in History: January 27, 1979

1.27.79 - terps beat #1 notre dameThe Maryland men’s basketball team has enjoyed a lot of big wins in their 100 seasons on the hardwood, but perhaps none bigger than their 67-66 victory over Notre Dame on January 27, 1979, in front of a sell-out crowd in Cole. The Fighting Irish came to campus ranked No. 1 in the country and riding a seven-game winning streak, while Maryland was unranked and looking for an upset.

The Terps led by as many as 12 during the game, but fell apart in the last 7.5 minutes of the contest, needing some late heroics from stars Larry Gibson and Buck Williams to complement Ernie Graham’s game-high 28 points and eke out the victory. Gibson pulled the Terps to within two, 66-64, sinking two free throws at the 1:26 minute mark. The Irish then passed the ball around until 15 seconds remained (in the days before the institution of the shot clock), and Reggie Jackson fouled Notre Dame’s Stan Wilcox. Wilcox missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Maryland’s Buck Williams grabbed the rebound, one of his 15 on the day. The Terps called time-out with 11 seconds left, then again with 5 seconds remaining to set up the final play.

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Coach Lefty Driesell called for the same set-up that had nearly beaten the No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels only a week earlier. Jackson passed the ball to guard Greg Manning who gave up an open shot to drive to the hoop. Just as he was about to go out of bounds, he flipped the ball back to Larry Gibson who sank a layup and was fouled by the Irish’s Bruce Flowers, who later seemed unconvinced that he had indeed committed the infraction. “If the referee [said] I did, then I guess I did,” he told the Washington Post after game.

Notre Dame called two time-outs in an attempt to ice Gibson, whose free throw hit nothing but net with one second left on the clock.

The Irish called another time-out to set up a last-gasp, half-court shot that fell short, and the celebration was on! Terrapin fans, many of them waving Maryland flags, mobbed the court, and Driesell was mobbed by a huge crowd on the floor of Cole while being interviewed on national television.

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After the game, Gibson told The Diamondback, “That was definitely one of the biggest shots of my life…I was just trying to concentrate on the rim. But I was thinking about beating the No. 1 team in the country.”

You can re-live this No. 1 upset by watching the four reels of footage from the game in the UMD Archives’ collections, which have been digitized as part of our campaign to Help Preserve Maryland Basketball History:

If you enjoyed viewing this landmark Terps’ victory, please visit go.umd.edu/preservembb and make a gift to support our on-going work to digitize additional footage from 1953 to 2014.

This is the fifth in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the celebration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball, 2018-2019, with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.

Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is March 8, the 60th anniversary of the Terps’ first-ever ACC Tournament championship.

 

 

 

 

 

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#Terps100: Surprise Find: George Simler

As we assembled the all-time roster of University of Maryland men’s basketball players over the summer, we came up with some unlikely finds, some gentlemen who were better known for their achievements later in life than they were for the exploits on the hardwood.

We’ve already told you the stories of Charlie “King Kong” Keller, the only Terp to ever play in baseball’s All Star Game and World Series, and author Munro Leaf, most famous for his beloved work The Story of Ferdinand.

But did you know that we had a future lieutenant general playing for the Terps under head coach H. Burton Shipley in the 1940-1941 season?

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George Simler, born in 1921 in Johnstown, PA, entered the University of Maryland in fall 1940 and played freshman football and basketball and ran track for the Terps, but left in June 1941 when he was called to active duty in the Navy.

Two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Diamondback  published a letter he sent to the university community, showing his love for Maryland and how much he missed being on campus:

Nine days later, he enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on December 18, 1941, and  he received his pilot wings on August 5, 1942.

Simler served two combat tours as a pilot in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. He was shot down in July 1944 but successfully evaded capture and returned to the Allied lines two months later. Following the war, he returned to the university serve as a professor of aerospace science and tactics and to complete his education. As he finished out his student days, he rejoined the football team, participating in the Terps’ first-ever post-season bowl game, the Gator Bowl, versus Georgia on January 1, 1948. Five months later, he received his degree in Military Science and was awarded the Sylvester Watch, given to the man who typified the best in Maryland Athletics.

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Terrapin football team, 1947. Simler (#40) is third from right in the second row.

Following graduation, he took on a variety of assignments for the Air Force in the U.S. and overseas, including command of various fighter groups and director of operations of the Seventh Air Force and the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam, even flying several combat missions during that conflict. He also served as vice commander of the United States Air Forces in Europe.

Throughout his 30-year career in the Air Force, General Simler received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross. You can find the text for many of his award citations here.

He was killed in a jet crash at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas on September 9, 1972, shortly before he was to have  been  promoted to  full general and assigned to head the Military Airlift Command.

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Simler played in 14 games as a freshman under head coach H. Burton Shipley, scoring 29 points. While perhaps you wouldn’t characterize as a star on the hardwood, he did make an impact as a freshman baller and is certainly a Terp of whom we can be very proud.

 

 

 

 

#Terps 100: This Day In History: January 9, 1911

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1910-1911 MAC basketball team. Captain H. Burton Shipley in the center of the first row.

Varsity competition for the Maryland Agricultural College cadets (the forerunners of today’s Terrapins) began on a chilly January evening in 1911. A squad of seven players traveled south from New York University to play a series of games against colleges in the Washington, DC, area, and the Aggies were their chosen opponent on January 9.

Unfortunately we have not been able to locate many details about this game, but we do know that the Violets’ (named for the color of their uniforms) thrashed the MAC cadets 29-7. Evidently the “dash” with which the Aggies played, according to a mention in the February 1, 1911, Triangle, was not enough to overcome the strength of the defending intercollegiate champions from NYU.

The Aggies’ mainstays that season were Paul Goeltz and Herbert White at forward, Augustus Rupert at center, and guards H. Burton Shipley, Arthur (Doc) Woodward, and Paul Binder. Woodward also served as the team’s manager, and Shipley as the captain.

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Shipley’s entry in the 1914 Reveille yearbook

Shipley has a particularly interesting connection to his alma mater. After his graduation from the two-year degree program in 1914, he took some coaching courses at the University of Illinois, then began his coaching career at the Perkiomen, Pennsylvania, Prep School, leading the football, basketball, and baseball teams. Positions at the helm of all three sports followed at Marshall College and the University of Delaware. Shipley also spent a summer as the manager of the Martinsburg, West Virginia, baseball team in the Blue Ridge League before returning to the University of Maryland as the baseball and basketball coach. He led the Terps on the hardwood from 1923 to 1947, winning the Southern Conference championship in 1931 and making the conference finals in 1939. “Ship” also coached Maryland’s first All-American, Louis “Bosey” Berger.

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1931 Southern Conference champions

 

shipley as baseball coachHe is better known, perhaps, for his leadership of the baseball team. Shipley took the helm in 1924 as he was finishing up his first season with the basketball team, and led the squad until 1960. The ball field was named for him in 1956 and today is part of Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

 

 

These six young men established a program which has risen to national prominence, including an NCAA championship in 2002.

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the commemoration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball, 2018-2019, with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.

Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is January 27, when we commemorate the Terps’ historic 1979 win against the #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

 

 

 

Terps 100: This Day In History: December 30, 2014

‘I don’t know how we did it:’ No. 12 Terps get past cold shooting with free throws, rebounds in Big Ten debut; College basketball Maryland men 68, Michigan State 66, 2OT

The Big Ten opener for Maryland men’s basketball, December 30, 2014, against Michigan State, was truly a thriller and one of the most memorable victories in the team’s 100 seasons.

The move from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to the B1G had been a controversial one, so Maryland came into East Lansing to face the Spartans with something to prove. The Terps were enjoying their highest national ranking in 10 years and were ready for the test against one of the conference’s toughest teams.

The first half was a low-scoring affair. Maryland led 17-14 at the break, after the teams combined to shoot only 27 per cent from the field. Defense was the name of the game, and Coach Turgeon said afterwards, “Nobody has guarded us as well as they’ve guarded us.”

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Dez Wells hits for two!

The lead see-sawed back and forth in the second half, and it took a three-pointer by Dez Wells, playing in his second game back after suffering a fractured wrist, to tie the score with three seconds left in regulation.

In the first overtime, Michigan State was ahead 55-51 with less than a minute remaining. Turgeon was slapped with a technical foul, frustrated by the lack of a foul call on a drive by freshman Melo Trimble, and it looked like the Terps might collapse. Jon Graham followed with a lay-up, and Wells added two free throws to extend the game again.

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Freshman Melo Trimble drives for two of his 17 points against Michigan State.

Maryland took control in the second overtime, wearing down the Spartans to secure a 68-66 win. Despite some serious shooting woes and 21 turnovers, they finished with some impressive stats, out rebounding Michigan State 52-36 and hitting 26 of 32 free throws, all of those after halftime.

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Coach Turgeon celebrates the big win.

It’s always tough to win on the road, especially against a perennial powerhouse, but the Terps showed great grit and determination in their first conference victory, a win that Coach Turgeon, all members of the 2014-2015 squad, and Maryland fans everywhere will long remember.

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Post-game celebration in the locker-room.

This is the third in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the celebration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball, 2018-2019, with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.

Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is January 9, when we mark the anniversary of Maryland’s first-ever varsity competition.

 

 

 

 

 

#Terps100: Surprise Find: Munro Leaf

As we assembled the all-time roster of University of Maryland men’s basketball players over the summer, we came up with some unlikely finds, some gentlemen who were better known for their achievements later in life than they were for the exploits on the hardwood.

We’ve already told you the story of Charlie “King Kong” Keller, the only Terp to ever play in baseball’s All Star Game and World Series, who just happened to  be a star shooter for Maryland for four seasons, 1933-1937.

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We were surprised to find another famous name on an early roster—Munro Leaf! Leaf, better known as the author of the delightful children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, took to the hardwood for the freshmen basketballers in the 1924 season.

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You can learn more about Leaf’s famous work here.

His court career did not last long, however, and didn’t even rate a mention in the list of his activities included with his senior photo in the 1927 Reveille yearbook.

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The roster we compiled was recently used by artist Daniel Duffy to create one of his pieces of “word art,” which was distributed to fans at the November 28 ACC/Big Ten Challenge game vs. the University of Virginia Cavaliers.

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See if you can find Munro Leaf or Charlie Keller among the 863 names of former players, coaches, and basketball venues that Duffy incorporated into his work!

We found another surprise or two on the roster, so check back on Terrapin Tales to see who we discovered!

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Lefty’s Legacy Saved in Digital Collections!

As we continue to celebrate the 100th Season of the Men’s Basketball, devoted Terp fans reminisce on the many standout players and coaches who have come and gone through this program. Over the years, University of Maryland basketball footage has poured in from the athletic department and the private collections of former Terps, and University Archives is excited to announce that we have digitized and preserved footage from the recently inducted Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Coach Lefty Driesell!

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In fall 2016, our University Archivist Anne Turkos and Athletic Archivist Amanda Hawk left College Park and drove to Virginia Beach to meet with Coach Driesell. They had previously discussed his interest in donating the archival footage he accumulated from his time as a Terp, and while very excited to add to our athletic history, both Turkos and Hawk were a bit nervous about the state the footage was in. Once the University Archives team arrived, they found 113 pieces of videotape and film spread between Driesell’s personal storage locker and condo! Even stored in optimum conditions, videotapes recorded as recently as 30 years ago are in danger of becoming unplayable, and film could lose sound after 40 years of deterioration. Safe to say, the urgency to digitize Lefty’s footage was immediately apparent.

Lefty Footage

But Coach Driesell and the University Archives shared a goal of trying to save these audiovisual pieces and make them accessible to the public. So after packing up the van and making the 3.5 hour trip back to College Park, the Archives staff set immediately to work to make sure to digitize every piece of footage. Lefty’s contribution to Men’s Basketball history can be found at go.umd.edu/leftyfootage.

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You can support the University Archives’ work to continue to digitize more Men’s Basketball footage by making a gift to Help Preserve Maryland Basketball History. Our Launch UMD campaign is now open to the public and will run through the conclusion of basketball season on March 8, 2019. Check the Launch site frequently to see how we are progressing, and encourage your family and friends to make a gift as well. What better way to celebrate the 100th season of men’s basketball than by making sure that the games that Terp players and fans once enjoyed on the court will be preserved for generations to come!

GO TERPS!

 

Terps 100: This Day In History: December 2, 1955

The scene in the newly completed Student Activities Building was a festive one the night of December 2, 1955. University officials, dignitaries from around the state, including Governor Theodore R. McKeldin, and representatives from other Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools gathered to dedicate the new structure and celebrate the opening of the second largest arena on the East Coast, dwarfed at the time only by Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The ceremonies, chaired by J. Freeman Pyle, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, featured addresses by Governor McKeldin and Charles Wickard, president of the Student Government Association. Judge William P. Cole, Jr., Class of 1910 and chair of the Board of Regents, presented the building to the university, and President Wilson H. Elkins officially accepted the structure.

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(left to right) Victor Frenkil, chairman of Baltimore Contractors, Jim Tatum, UMD athletic director, Judge William P. Cole, chair of the Board of Regents, and President Wilson Elkins at the dedication of the Student Activities Building

Following all the speeches and photo-ops, the Terps took to the court against the Virginia Cavaliers.  Bob Kessler scored the first points in the new arena, hitting two free throws in the opening moments, but Virginia answered back quickly, with two free throws of their own from Bob McCarty and a basket by Bob Hardy. The Terps hit a lay-up and capitalized on an offensive rebound to take the lead at 6-4. At halftime, they were in front of the Cavaliers by 4, at 34-30, and they continued to pull away in the second half, thanks to some hot shooting from Kessler and teammate Bob O’Brien.

Ultimately Maryland prevailed in a low-scoring affair, 67-55, the ACC opener for both teams. Kessler finished with 23 points, and O’Brien 15, as the high scorers for the Terps.

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Who could have predicted at the time that the Terps would also end their playing days in Cole with a game against those same Virginia Cavaliers, winning that final contest on March 3, 2002, 112-92.

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Today the historic field house, named in December 1956 for Judge William P. Cole, Jr., has been re-purposed as the Terrapin Performance Center, with a dazzling indoor practice facility; the Center for Sports Medicine, Health, and Human Performance; and the future home of the Academy of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

This is the second in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the commemoration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball, 2018-2019, with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.

Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is December 30, when we mark Maryland’s first win in the Big Ten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Alive! Help Preserve Maryland Basketball History!

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It’s alive! Our Launch UMD campaign to preserve Maryland’s men’s basketball history has gone live, and we are excited to get going on this major fundraising effort!

As we celebrate the beginning of the 100th season of men’s basketball at UMD, the University Archives embarks on one of its most ambitious initiatives EVER—a project that will digitize and make publicly accessible over 5,000 hours of UMD Basketball footage. This project will cost $500,000, and we will need the support of many fans to preserve this important history. You can join them in this critical initiative by visiting go.umd.edu/preservembb and making a gift today.

The collection includes 1,207 reels of 16 mm film and 2,727 videotapes, dating from 1953, the days of head coach Bud Millikan, to 2014, the end of Coach Mark Turgeon’s third season. When all the footage is converted to digital form and made accessible online 24/7/365, former players and coaches, members of the current campus community, and Terp fans will be able to watch games of the past anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

The clock is ticking, though, on preserving this significant slice of Terrapin athletic history. 16 mm film has its own condition issues, but surprisingly, videotape is even more susceptible to deterioration.

 

Tapes recorded even as recently as 30 years ago are in danger of becoming unplayable within the next five years, so the Archives needs to move quickly to raise the funds needed to convert these fragile materials.

You can support our work by making a gift to Help Preserve Maryland Basketball History. Our Launch UMD campaign is underway and will run through the conclusion of basketball season on March 8, 2019. Check the Launch site frequently to see how we are progressing, and encourage your family and friends to make a gift as well. What better way to celebrate the 100th season of men’s basketball than by making sure that the games that Terp players and fans once enjoyed on the court will be preserved for generations to come!

GO TERPS!

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First game in Cole Field House vs. Virginia, December 2, 1955

 

 

 

Tags: #Terps100, Maryland Men’s Basketball, 100 seasons, Launch UMD, Help Preserve Maryland Basketball History

 

The World Series Slugger: Charlie “King Kong” Keller

Once a year, baseball fans flock to the ballparks and TV screens to watch the battle of the American League and National League champions as they go head to head for THE WORLD SERIES TITLE! In honor of this year’s World Series showdown between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers, University Archives thought we would share the story of an early University of Maryland baseball dynamo, Charlie “King Kong” Keller.

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Charlie Keller Day at Yankee Stadium, Sept. 25, 1948

A native of Middletown, Maryland, Charlie Keller (1916-1990) was a standout in high school, both as a guard on the Middletown High School basketball team and bouncing between pitcher and catcher on the baseball team. As a two-sport athlete at the University of Maryland, he was instantly recognized as quite the slugger, finishing his first two varsity seasons with batting averages of .500 and .495. By 1936, Keller came back to campus for his senior year with an accepted offer from well-known scout, Gene McCann, to play for the New York Yankees.

As a left fielder for the Yankees, he was praised for his ability to hit massive, wall- reaching fly balls and home runs, earning him the nickname “King Kong.” He played with right fielder, Tommy Henrich, and center fielder, Joe DiMaggio, forming one of the best-hitting outfields in baseball history. This feared slugger hit .334 with 11 home runs and 83 RBI’s in 111 games! “King Kong” Keller was a 4-time World Series Champion (1939, 1941, 1943, 1958) and 5-time All Star (1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1947). In his 13- season career with the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, Keller played in 1,170 games, hit .286  with 189 home runs and 760 RBI. Upon his retirement, he was elected to the Frederick County and Maryland Sports Halls of Fame, The Kingston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame, the International League Hall of Fame, and the University of Maryland Hall of Fame in 1982. 

We are also celebrating Charlie Keller as part of the commemoration of the 100th season, of Maryland men’s basketball this year, #Terps100. He is best known for his baseball exploits, but he did hit the hardwood as a guard for the Terps for 4 seasons, 1933-1937.  The yearbook from his senior year contains a great description of his accomplishments:

Keller was one of the most accurate potshot artists from long range Marylanders have ever known. Keller was the lone consistent marksman on the team and frequently sent long arches through the hoop to start an Old Line rally.

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1934-1935 Maryland men’s basketball team, Charlie Keller at right in second row

Charlie Keller definitely knew what it took to win a series like the one that starts tonight! This Dodgers vs. Red Sox face-off is the first in the World Series since 1916, the year “King Kong” Keller was born! May the best team win!

 

#Terps100: This Day in History: October 15, 1971

October 15, 1971, was a landmark day in basketball history, not only for the University of Maryland but also for colleges and universities across the country. Practice for the 1971-72 season officially began at the stroke of midnight on October 14, and three minutes later, UMD head coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell had his team out in Byrd Stadium to run a mile around the stadium’s track.

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Lit by the headlights of a few cars and under the watchful eyes of a small group of fans, future Maryland stars Tom McMillen, Len Elmore, and John Lucas and their teammates took off around the track, trying to beat the clock by running 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes.univarch-016399-0001_blog

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Coach Driesell, wearing a cowboy hat and smoking a big cigar, cheered the players on and watched their times carefully.  Asked about the consequences a player would face if he did not complete the distance in the required time, Driesell answered “If they don’t, they run it each day until they do [but] during the day. I ain’t getting up this early again.”

This initial midnight run has since evolved into a nation-wide celebration of the first official day of basketball practice, known today as “Midnight Madness.”  Many of these events are now regularly televised, including the Terps’, though few are held at the witching hour.  The annual fall event usually features dramatic player introductions, a scrimmage, and a slam dunk contest.  In recent years, women’s teams have also begun to participate, sharing equal billing with their male counterparts.  Hard to believe that this ‘hoopla’ began with a chilly time trial in the middle of an October night 47 years ago.

The “Midnight Mile” returns this year the night of October 15, as the 2018-19 Terps join students at the Kehoe Track and Field Complex for a midnight run of their own. More details about this event can be found here. Come on out and help them mark this special day in UMD Men’s Basketball history!

This is the first in a series of blog posts the University Archives will be featuring as part of the commemoration of the 100th season of Maryland men’s basketball with our colleagues in Intercollegiate Athletics. Visit the #Terps100 website for more information about and to participate in the celebration.

Follow Terrapin Tales throughout the season for additional features on landmark days in Maryland men’s basketball history. Next in line is Sunday, December 2, when we mark the 63rd anniversary of the first game in Cole Field House.