COLLEGE PARK -- Black sneakers are the latest rage in college basketball, and Maryland doesn't want to fall out of step.
So tonight, when the Terrapins open up their 1991-92 season at home against Mount St. Mary's, the home team will be bedecked in your basic black sneakers.
"First, the bald heads [for the start of practice], then the black sneakers," said junior center Evers Burns. "What will be next?"
What better be next is an opening-night victory. Maryland coach Gary Williams, who was still wearing the conventional white sneakers at practice this week, said the black shoes came with a warning attached: Losing might be dangerous for their future.
"If we lose Saturday night," said Williams, "those sneakers are out of here."
The Terps will continue to wear white sneakers on the road. That is, unless they can convince Williams to go for black home-and-away, or if Maryland wins its first four games, all scheduled for Cole Field House.
"If we keep winning, maybe he'll let us keep wearing them," said senior forward Garfield Smith.