When Steve Blake arrived at Maryland, there was no question whether or not
he was going to start. Although Blake may have been considered not quick or
athletic enough to be successful on the college level by some, there were no
other point guards on the roster. In four years, Blake started 171 out of
173 games including 16 NCAA tournament games and is fifth on the all time
division 1 assist list with 972. Along the way his father, Richard became a
quasi celebrity as a result of his driving from Miami to most Terp games.
Blake was Maryland's version of Bobby Hurley. They were both loved by their
teams supporters and hated by most every one else. Neither was much of a
scorer unless the game was on the line, both players contribution can be
measured by wins and losses rather than individual stats. It was no
coincidence that both were point guards during their respective schools most
Steve made the All ACC rookie team as a freshman for his role in the Terps
surprising 25 win season. He finished the regular season with four straight
double digit games including a 17 point and 10 assists against FSU. Unfortunately, Blake
was ill for the NCAA loss to UCLA.
Blake led the ACC in assists and was third team All-ACC as a sophomore. He
had six games with double figure assists including 13 in 23 minutes against
Stonybrook. A constant throughout Blake's career was hitting big shots at
end of games after scoring little or no points until the final minutes.
Steve did this against Penn and in the ACC tournament against Duke during
the 2001-2002 season. Scored thirteen point in three of the five NCAA game
including the final four heartbreaker against Duke.
Blake had a brilliant ACC regular season in 2001-2002 averaging an
incredible 8.8 assists in leading the Terps to a 15-1 conference record. He
had six double digit assist in the ACC regular season and again led the
conference in assists. Steve likely would of had a triple double again UNC
if Coach Williams had not taken him out with about eight minutes left. He
fished with 12 points, 9 rebounds and a career high 14 assists in a
slaughtering of a hapless Tar Heel squad. Blake's steal from Jason Williams
(who was busy getting instructions from Coach K) and breakaway lap up keyed
the Terps emotional lopsided victory against Duke at Cole. Steve's three
pointer against UCONN in the regional finals was the explanation point on an
extremely hard fought game which put the Terps in the final four for the
second straight year. Against Kansas in the semi-finals, Blake was
tremendous for a ten minute stretch early in the second half when Maryland
pulled away and finished with 11 assists. Steve struggled a bit in the
finals against Indiana but it did not matter as the Terp front court
dominated the Hoosiers and the Terps were the national champions.
Without Dixon, Baxter, Mouton and Wilcox, Blake picked up his scoring as a
senior. Steve shot 45 percent from the three point line as a senior and
earned first team All ACC honors during the Terps first season in the
Comcast Center. Despite Blake being the only returning starter, the Terps
still finished second in the ACC regular season and advanced to the sweet
sixteen before losing a tough one against Michigan State. Blake became the
first player whose jersey was hung from the rafters at the Comcast Center
after his final home game against Clemson.
Steve was a 2nd round draft pick of the Washington Wizards and made the team
after an impressive summer camp. He frequently teams up in an all Terp
backcourt with Juan Dixon.