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Who’s the best power forward in Maryland history?

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We’re more than halfway done the lineup. Let’s keep going.

Lonny Baxter #35

Last summer, we ran a series of polls to determine the best players in Maryland football history by position, which gave us a fan-voted all-time Terps team. We’re running it back this summer, but with basketball. Steve Blake was voted best point guard, Juan Dixon was chosen at shooting guard, and the late great Len Bias was picked as the best small forward. Now we move to the post.

For the purpose of this poll, the only players considered were those that played power forward at the college level. We’ll provide further clarification about those not considered. The Terps have had some solid and unique post operators in their history. Some helped push the programs to new heights, while others helped define Maryland in their respective eras.

Here are the nominees, listed alphabetically. Vote and let us know your favorites in the comments.

Lonny Baxter

Another member of the 2002 National Championship team, Baxter was a three-time All-ACC selection before he left College Park. He ranks seventh in school history in career points (1,858), sixth in career blocks (227), second in rebounds (998) and first in offensive rebounds (347). Baxter reached the tournament in each of his four years on the Terps, scoring two regional MVP honors during Maryland’s Final Four run in 2001 and its title run in 2002. He also earned an NCAA All-Tournament team nod for his performance during that run. He was drafted No. 43 overall in the 2002 draft by the Chicago Bulls, and Baxter played four NBA seasons from 2003-06 before moving his career overseas until he retired in 2013.

Nik Caner-Medley

A four-year starter and two-time leading scorer at Maryland from 2002-06, Caner-Medley was a do-it-all forward for the Terps. He ranks in the top 20 for points (15th) with 1573, rebounds (20th) with 659, offensive rebounds (10th) with 248, made three-pointers (17th) with 116 and steals (14th) with 146. The 6’8 forward went undrafted and tried the Summer League route four times and the D-League once before deciding to keep his career overseas. He’s played for 10 different teams during his 11-year professional career, and will play out the second year of a two-year agreement with the ACB’s Estudiantes Madrid.

Derrick Lewis

One of the most complete post operators in school history, Lewis holds the program record for career blocked shots with 339 swats and ranks third in career rebounds with 848 boards. Also a top-20 scorer all-time for Maryland, his 1,458 points currently sit 18th in program history. The Washington, D.C., native was an All-American coming out of Dunbar High School in 1984, and was later named a Second Team All-ACC selection in 1987.

After four years in College Park, Lewis was a third-round draft pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1988. He never cracked the roster, but took his game to France for a while. After retiring, he coached at Archbishop Spalding from 2009-15. He stepped down after the team hit the bottom of the standings, before returning to coaching in 2017 as the head coach of the Community College of Baltimore County Dundalk’s women’s basketball team.

Tom McMillen

The Mansfield, Pennsylvania, native was one of the most sought-after high-schoolers ever, and the No. 1 recruit in 1970, before following his older brother, Jay, to Maryland. A lights-out scorer from the power forward position, McMillen was a two-time First Team All-ACC selection in 1972 and 1973. At a slim 6’11, McMillen was an early version of a stretch-four, with his ball-handling skills and agility allowing him to move away from the basket. In 1972, he was named the National Invitation Tournament MVP, leading Maryland to its only NIT title in program history.

After four years, he’d leave Maryland as a three-time All-American for both basketball and academics. He was drafted in the first round of both the ABA and NBA draft in 1974, but elected to go to the NBA and played for 11 years. He retired in 1986 to pursue politics and served from 1987-93 at the U.S. Congressman for Maryland’s fourth district. His 1,807 career points and 859 rebounds still rank eighth in program history, and he holds the sixth-highest career rebounding average, averaging 9.8 boards over 88 games.

Buck Williams

Known for grabbing rebounds in his signature goggles, Williams was a presence at Maryland from the moment he stepped on campus. He’d finish his freshman year as the ACC’s Rookie of the Year in 1979. He helped snap a five-year tournament drought and led the Terps to two NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 1980, earning back-to-back Second Team All-ACC selections from 1980-81 in the process. William was also named a Second Team All-American by Converse in 1981.

He played three seasons with the Terps before moving on, and finished his time in College Park as a 1,000-point scorer. He’s still the program’s fourth-leading career rebounder and holds the second-highest career rebounding average. He’d go on to get drafted No. 3 overall by the New Jersey Nets and win Rookie of the Year in 1982, to kick off 17 seasons in the NBA.

Honorable mentions: Jordan Williams, Obinna Ekeze, Tony Massenburg
Considered as small forwards: Keith Booth, Len Bias
Considered as centers: Len Elmore, Chris Wilcox

Poll

Who do you think is the best power forward in Maryland history?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Lonny Baxter
    (267 votes)
  • 1%
    Nik Caner-Medley
    (25 votes)
  • 0%
    Derrick Lewis
    (19 votes)
  • 28%
    Tom McMillen
    (549 votes)
  • 54%
    Buck Williams
    (1048 votes)
  • 1%
    Other—comment your answer
    (24 votes)
1932 votes total Vote Now