Down here, they call him the human highlight film. Dominique Wilkins--quicker than a 6-foot guard, dunks like Darryl Dawkins, able to leap over 7-foot centers in a single bound.
Some people say Wilkins, a 6-7 all-America forward, is the most talented player in college basketball.
Maryland will find out Monday night at 7:30, when the Terrapins (16-12) visit Georgia for a second-round match of the National Invitation Tournament in the Bulldogs' home Coliseum.
Maryland doesn't seem to have anyone quick and strong enough to guard Wilkins man-to-man. Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell doesn't like to reveal his defensive strategy, but when the Terrapins are not playing zone defenses, Driesell's options are limited.
Sophomore forward Mark Fothergill, 6-9, has shut down Ralph Sampson and Sam Perkins--two all-Americas. But he has never had to guard an end-to-end, all-court threat like Wilkins.
Freshman forward Adrian Branch is quick and fast enough, but it is unlikely Driesell would want his leading scorer expending so much energy on defense. A likely candidate appears to be 6-6 forward Herman Veal, who leaps and rebounds well.
Wilkins, of course, is not a one-man team. The Bulldogs (17-11) have 6-8 center Terry Fair, forward James Banks, and guards Eric Marbury and Vern Fleming. But what usually gets the Bulldogs going is a dunk by Wilkins.
Georgia, in its first-round NIT match, had early trouble at home against Temple. Wilkins was playing so poorly he was benched twice in the first half by Coach Hugh Durham.
"He wasn't pleased with the way I was playing, and let me know in specific terms," Wilkins was quoted as saying.
With the score tied at 48 in the second half, Wilkins stole the ball at half-court, took four steps and double-pumped in the air before dunking. Georgia had no more trouble and won, 73-60.
The best way for Maryland to keep Wilkins from taking over would seem to be a continued ball-control offense, to deny Georgia many transition baskets.
The Terps appear to have a distinct advantage in ball-handling. Georgia's biggest problem much of the season has been turnovers. Still, a Maryland victory would be a major upset.
Maryland won its first-round NIT game at Richmond. But Georgia, from the Southeastern Conference, plays a higher level of basketball.
While the NCAA championship tournament is the talk of the nation, Athens gives the impression that Georgia's playing in the NIT is the hottest thing since Herschel Walker. Along with Bradley and Syracuse, Georgia must be one of the favorites to win the NIT.
Driesell has contended all season that his Terrapins are one of the best 48 teams in the nation. They'll have to convince Georgia they're at least No. 49.
In other NIT games Monday, Cal-Irvine (23-6) will be at Oklahoma (20-10), Bradley (22-10) at Syracuse (16-12), Dayton (20-8) at Illinois (18-10), Virginia Tech (19-10) at Mississippi (18-11), Rutgers (20-9) at Purdue (15-13), Tulane (18-8) at Nevada-Las Vegas (20-8), and Texas A&M (19-10) at Washington (19-9).