Maybe it's all this Irene talk, but I don't think this unearthed Steve Blake vs. Jon Gilchrist fight video is getting enough attention.
First off, we get to visit old friends. Back in the summer of 2002, the Terrapins were coming off a National Championship, with a talented crop of freshman coming in to College Park. We're talking about guys like Gilchrist, Chris McCray, Nik Caner-Medley (Portland, Maine, Stand-Up!) and Travis Garrison; those were the good old days of ACC Basketball!
We even catch of Drew Nicholas and the venerable Obinna Ekezie drop a cameo. It's fantastic stuff.
And despite no real punches being landed, the video confirmed to me my previous suspicions that Steve Blake was not someone you wanted to cross. One of those skinny guys whose LBs are usually followed by "soaking wet," Blake was and still is deceptively tough. Before transferring around to multiple high schools, Blake went Miami Killian High School, which is only 23 percent white, and 54 percent Hispanic. Not exactly a leafy part of town, so you know he had to develop thick skin at an early age.
In the above GIF, if you isolate the initial blow up between Blake and Gilchrist, Steve looks like a seasoned middleweight. He squares up his opponent and stays light on his feet, forcing Gilchrist to backtrack from the start. Until the scuffle is over, Blake's hands are up at all times - not only to protect his face, but also get into position to throw quick jabs.
No word from Max Kellerman on whether or not Blake could, in fact, hold his own in the ring, but it's clear to me Gary Williams had an uber-fearless point guard running the show back in the early aughts.