The University of Maryland Men's Basketball Team celebrated its 40th anniversary of Midnight Madness Friday night in front of an almost-full crowd at the Comcast Center, in preparation for the first season under new head coach Mark Turgeon. Past and present were showcased to the crowd, as members the 2002 team and former head coach Gary Williams were present for the event.
Williams led the 2002 team to the NCAA Men's National Championship, but retired unexpectedly in the offseason amid turmoil between him and the athletic department. Though not all of the players from his 2002 team were present, NBA veterans Steve Blake and Chris Wilcox appeared. Recent Maryland star guard Greivis Vasquez was also in attendance The veterans also put on a scrimmage at the event, though not all in attendance played.
The current crop of Maryland players is what the night was supposed to be about, but it's safe to say that the Terps have lost some of their luster since the 2002 season. Though it's not been a marked decline, at least gradually, Maryland has wavered to some degree, which surely contributed to Williams' retirement. The 2011-12 team will be tasked with improving upon the 2010-11 team's 19-14 (7-9) record. A full account of the happenings at the event can be found here.