1996 All-Anne Arundel boys basketball

March 15, 1996

The teams

Player of the Year: Boo Diggs, Annapolis

Coach of the Year: Tom Albright, Southern

First team

Player -- School, Year

Joe Barnes -- Old Mill, Senior

Maurice Bowie -- North County, Senior

Scott Crandell -- Southern, Senior

Desmond Dailey -- Glen Burie, Senior

Boo Diggs -- Annapolis, Junior

Jamaine Young -- Broadneck, Senior

Second team

Cornelius Burley -- North County, Senior

Ryan Dacey -- Annapolis, Senior

John Downs -- Annapolis, Senior

Jamell Miller -- Arundel, Junior

Mike Tasker -- Broadneck, Senior

Matt Thomas -- Southern, Senior

Third team

Jon Briggs -- Severna Park, Senior

Howie Edelstein -- South River, Junior

Terry Gaither -- Glen Burnie, Senior

Anthony Graves -- Old Mill, Senior

Danny Marohl -- St. Mary's, Senior

Darnerian McCants -- Arundel, Senior

Dennard Melton -- Severn, Sophomore

Player of the Year

Boo Diggs, Annapolis, 6-7, junior: The first player to lead the county in scoring (20.5) and rebounding (11.5) in the same season since Andover's Steve Stielper (33.04 points, 17.8 rebounds) in 1975-76, Diggs led the Panthers to their state-record 23rd region title, the first since 1991. Diggs is the seventh Panther named county Player of the Year since 1981 and the first since Rob Wooster in 1992. A 6-foot-7 junior, Diggs, who saw limited time as a sophomore and developed his game over the summer, is a near complete player. Not only does he score and rebound, but he plays intimidating defense averaging more than two blocks and nearly two steals a game. "Boo is one element away from being a total player and should play big-time college basketball," said Annapolis coach John Brady of his Division I prospect, who has drawn interest from Georgetown, Maryland and James Madison. "He needs to improve his perimeter shooting and he will be there. He's extremely coachable and is one of the most clever players I've had; he can handle a lot of things on the floor." Annapolis (21-6) had a tough road to Cole Field House this season, having to win four games in the region for the first time due to the new open tournament. The Panthers defeated Glen Burnie (78-71), Northern-Calvert (60-48), Calvert (63-60) and Old Mill (72-68). While double and triple-teamed, Diggs averaged 13 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 3.6 steals in five playoff games. In the four region victories, Diggs averaged 13.5 points and 11.3 rebounds despite a foul-plagued scoreless game against Northern. Among his top regular-season games, Diggs had career highs of 34 points and 21 rebounds to go with three blocks and three steals in an 82-68 overtime loss at North County; 27 points in a 75-58 romp over 2A semifinalist Southern; and 12 points and 12 rebounds in the Panthers' first victory over four-time state champion Dunbar of Baltimore, 60-58 early in the season.

Coach of the Year

Tom Albright, Southern: Lyndon Johnson was President of the United States, the Bullets were in Baltimore with Paul Seymour as coach and Bud Millikan was Maryland's basketball coach. The year was 1965 and Southern principal Mark Wingate talked a math teacher into coaching the school's lowly boys basketball team. Some 31 years, four state titles, 453 wins and more than 700 games later (all county records), Tom Albright is a Southern of Harwood institution. Coming off only the sixth losing season (7-16) in his tenure, Albright led this year's Dawgs to a 16-9 record and the 2A state semis. Albright (453-260, .635), the winningest coach in county basketball history, called this year's team his "favorite, a really special group." The veteran coach who won state titles in 1973, 1981, 1983 and 1986 made his 11th appearance at the state playoffs last week. "Their work ethic is what every coach hopes for. This is the hardest working group I've ever had," he said. Albright has been a father figure to scores of young men at Southern and has always referred to the school, community and its basketball team as his "family." With 6-foot-5 Matt Thomas the tallest starter on a team that averaged about 6-foot per man, the Dawgs more than held their own in the county's new two-division set-up that placed Southern among the county's top teams in the South Division. Class 3A Broadneck won the South with a 13-3 league record followed by 4A schools Annapolis and Arundel at 12-4 each, and 2A Southern at 10-6, despite having to play each of the powers twice. Southern's season ended in the state semis with Albright's Dawgs pushing heavily favored and eventual state champion Central (24-3) of Prince George's County to the limit before bowing, 57-50. The Southern effort against possibly the top team in the Washington area was typical of his team's play this season.

The first team

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