April 21, 1997
1996-97 Maryland Men's Basketball Season Review
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The 1996-97 Men's basketball team finished with a 21-11 record, a No. 22 ranking in the USA Today coaches poll and a fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Head Coach Gary Williams claimed his 350th career victory as the Terps defeated Clemson to advance to the ACC tournament semifinals for the third consecutive season.
Senior Keith Booth earned 3rd Team All-America honors and 1st Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors to close out his brilliant career as a Terp. His uniform No. 22 was honored on February 22 and will hang in history from the rafters of Cole Field House as a tribute to his tremendous career. Sophomore Laron Profit was honored in the post season with 3rd team All-ACC accolades.
The Terps won their first 10 games of the season with victories over NCAA Tournament No. 5 seed California, 25th ranked George Washington, ACC rival Georgia Tech and NIT participant Hawaii. The Terps 10 game winning streak to begin the season helped them to a school best 17-2 record after 19 games and a No. 5 national ranking. Included in the early season winning streak was the Franklin National Bank/Children's
Charities Classic Tournament championship and an appearance in the championship final of the prestigious Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In January the Terps pulled off the greatest second-half comeback in school history coming from 22 points down to defeat North Carolina, 85-75, in Chapel Hill, N.C. It was the second largest comeback in ACC history. Following their victory in Chapel Hill, the Terps won at N.C. State and knocked off previously unbeaten and No. 2 ranked Wake Forest. Sophomore Laron Profit lifted the Terps to the victory over the Demon Deacons with a buzzer-beating three-point shot.