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Maryland-Navy series to resume; Mids to play Terrapins in nightcap of 2018 Veterans Classic in Annapolis

Maryland Gazette - 10/21/2017

Len Bias and David Robinson were the star players the last time Maryland and Navy met in men's basketball.

Bias led the way with 20 points and eight rebounds as the Terrapins beat the Midshipmen, 64-59, in the second round of the 1985 NCAA Tournament at Dayton Arena in Ohio. Bias did a solid job of defending Robinson, who totaled 22 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

It marked the 58th meeting between the intra-state rivals. The Terps and Mids have not shared the same basketball court ever since.

Naval Academy athletic director Chet Gladchuk revealed on Saturday that the series will resume following a 33-year hiatus. Maryland has agreed to play in the 2018 Veterans Classic and will face the host team in the nightcap of a doubleheader.

"We are very fortunate because the Veterans Classic has been an outstanding event that has drawn a lot of attention and interest," Navy head coach Ed DeChellis told The Capital during the Baltimore Basketball Media Day at Towson University. "We are very excited to be able to secure Maryland for 2018. I really have to thank Mark Turgeon for that."

Such heavyweight programs as North Carolina and Michigan State have appeared in the Veterans Classic since it was established in 2014. This year's edition, slated for Friday, Nov. 10, will feature Alabama versus Memphis and Navy against Pittsburgh.

DeChellis said he's had several conversations with Turgeon about getting the Terrapins to participate and the timing worked out for next year.

"Mark Turgeon thought it would be great for Maryland to come down to Annapolis and participate in the tournament. He didn't have to do that and the Maryland administration didn't," DeChellis said. "Mark made the decision that he wanted to play the game and I'm really appreciative of his willingness to come over and compete with us."

Navy and Maryland played almost annually from 1924 through 1980, meeting 55 times during that span. There were only three seasons (1940, 1971, 1978) during that time frame the Midshipmen and Terrapins did not play. The last regular season game between the schools came on Jan. 31, 1983.

Paul Evans and Charles "Lefty" Driesell were the respective head coaches when Navy and Maryland ceased playing during the regular season in 1984.

DeChellis has committed to playing in-state opponents since becoming head coach at Navy in 2011. Navy has played Mount St. Mary's, Towson, Loyola, UMBC and Maryland-Eastern Shore over the previous six seasons and will face Coppin State for the first time ever this season.

"Maryland is the one local school we haven't been able to play so I'm glad that is finally going to happen," DeChellis said. "I know it's good for Navy and I hope it will be good for Maryland. I know Mark is looking forward to the military experience and I think his players will enjoy that."

As part of the Veterans Classic, participating teams tour the Naval Academy and observe the midshipmen in their daily regimen.

Credit: By Bill Wagner - bwagner@capgaznews.com

 
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