Lots of things spring to mind when the subject of Lonny Baxter comes up.
His efficiency around the basket was incredible, utilizing moves that looked almost effortless and identical time after time after time.
He was as astute at playing off an incredibly talented teammate as any player in Maryland history. Baxter had extra space in the paint in part because of Juan Dixon, but not everyone would have utilized it as affectively.
He was twice the most outstanding player of a regional, and is the only player in Maryland history to rank in the top six in both rebounding (second) and scoring (sixth).
And, to be completely truthful, there’s the firearms arrest stemming from an incident around the White House from a few summers ago.
Of course, dubious headlines are not what’s being counted in the 20-in-20 series running down the top players of the Gary Williams era (and if they were, well, it wouldn’t be hard to guess the top players on that list, either).
Instead, being the program’s best-ever second banana does matter – and it’s why he’s safely in the top 10.
Could Baxter have starred under other circumstances – i.e. without Dixon? Certainly. But it would have been curious to see just how well he would have done.
Take a look at Baxter’s senior year, and an interesting item emerges. Over the Terps’ last 28 games, he led the team in scoring all of four times; one of them, though, was a 29-point masterpiece against Connecticut in the regional final.
Also of note: Baxter was basically the same player his final three seasons, though he did get incrementally better. After averaging 9.4 points and 4.6 rebounds over the last 11 games of his freshman season (when he took over as a starter for Obinna Ekezie), Baxter was a reliable 15-point, eight-rebound guy with a field goal percentage better than 50 percent and a free-throw percentage hovering around 60 percent.
Basically, there was a settling steadiness about Baxter, who just went about his business for four seasons while banking solid game after solid game.
There’s a lot to be said for that. At the least, it’s something that surely comes to mind when Baxter’s career is recalled.
* No. 20: Exree Hipp
* No. 19: James Gist
* No. 18: Obinna Ekezie
* No. 17: Evers Burns
* No. 16: D.J. Strawberry
* No. 15: Drew Nicholas
* No. 14: Tony Massenburg
* The Next 10
* No. 13: Chris Wilcox
* No. 12: John Gilchrist
* No. 11: Laron Profit
* No. 10: Terence Morris
* No. 9: Greivis Vasquez
* No. 8: Steve Francis
* No. 7: Johnny Rhodes