Sunday, April 23, 2017

Can Juan Dixon turn Coppin State into a mid-major contender?

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- Juan Dixon is a historically important college basketball player. In an era of the sport when it wasn’t yet as easily accessible as it is today, he transcended the game. Time has gone by, however. The world is different. Gone is the player, and in its place is a Division I basketball coach.

That’s right. Juan Dixon is going to once again attempt to create greatness. This time, it will be as the head coach of Coppin State.

It is hard to put into words as to how important Dixon was to Maryland. Maybe it is partially this author romanticizing him over the years to the point it no longer matches any facts, but Dixon was to the Maryland Terrapins to what most marquee players are to blue-blood programs.

With Gary Williams’ face forever implanted on one cheek, Dixon was the other half of the face of Maryland hoops.

A thorough history lesson is not needed when discussing him in terms of his lasting impression. We can point to his prolific scoring (because it was prolific) as proof of his impact, or Maryland’s rise to national prominence during his tenure with the program to help better understand the impression he left, but his long lasting legacy is that he — along with help, obviously — aided in making Maryland, well, Maryland (at least for my generation).

Is some of that hyperbolic? No. Maybe. Probably.


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