SBNation – A neat tradition happens when Big Ten teams play each other — the teams’ managers square off on the same court the actual teams will play on. It’s a cool experience for guys who put in a lot of hard work to make things go right for their teams, but would never otherwise get the opportunity to play on the courts. Except Maryland is employing the help of one player who, uh, played on many big courts: All-American, national champion, 2002 Final Four Most Outstanding Player Juan Dixon. From the Baltimore Sun: “It’s fun, get out here and communicate, get guys playing basketball the right way,” Dixon said before last week’s managers game at Purdue. “Hit a couple of jump shots, make some steals. Add on to my scoring [record] and my steals [he ranks second to Johnny Rhodes in Maryland history]. I’m having fun. “I do want to win, though,” Dixon added with a smile. Dixon is a “special assistant” to head coach Mark Turgeon. Even worse, he’s apparently trying to hide his identity: “It was hilarious,” (MSU head manager Scott) Besko said. “He got to Breslin [Center] and came down to the main floor and he said, ‘I’m Jake, nice to meet you.’ “I said, ‘Jake from State Farm? C’mon man, I know who you are. You were my favorite player growing up as a kid.'” The whole story is worth a read about the neat tradition of manager’s games. It appears Dixon’s presence isn’t enough to power the Terps to blowout wins — the team beat Purdue in overtime thanks to a late Dixon assist.
Turns out Juan Dixon IS walking through that door! That’s what I love about this Maryland basketball team right now. Nevermind the main squad is 16-2 and first in the Big 10, their managers are crushing it too. Does it matter that Juan Dixon is playing for the team? Absolutely not. You play. To win. The game. A quote as old as time itself. You win by any means necessary. And I love that Dixon is trying to climb up to number 1 in alltime Maryland steals. Doesn’t matter if it’s by emasculating Duke or playing against the white managers of Minnesota, stats are stats.
Besides Dixon, Maryland is rolling because Melo Trimble is a stud, Jake Layman is a stud, Jared Nickens is a stud, Dez Wells is a stud, and a bunch of other guys are putting in really great productive minutes. Add in that Turgeon is slowly getting better at coaching and this team will continue winning game in and game out. Dirty Terps to the ship baby!