Rob Long: Mark Turgeon And The Terps
For months, Mark Turgeon has been under fire for the lack of success for his Maryland Terps. The Terps won 25 games last season while losing in the NIT Semi-finals and many, including me, thought this team would improve. That did not happen. Not only did the team’s 17-15 record and early exit in their final ACC Tournament reflect the lack of improvement, but individual performances reflected that as well.
There were several times when you looked at the Terps and questioned their basketball I.Q. They made, or did not make plays that Division 1 college basketball teams should or should not make. Naturally, you question coaching when team’s make boneheaded plays. That’s the position Turgeon is in now.
Mark Turgeon won 59% of his games at Wichita State and 71% of his games at Texas A&M. The man knows how to coach. His success doesn’t come out of basketball factories either. Yeah, Wichita State is very good now, but they don’t have a reputation for NBA Lottery picks. Texas A&M is a decent program but they aren’t among the Big 12’s elite programs like Kansas, Texas and say Oklahoma and Iowa State. Turgeon won games there. Turgeon had four straight NCAA Tournament bids with Texas A&M.
Mark Turgeon is in his third year. His basketball team was eliminated Thursday from their final ACC Tournament. That leads us to another topic. The Terps are headed to another conference, the Big 10. While the ACC is a spectacular conference, others would argue the Big 10 is another animal. Are the Terps built to contend right away in the Big 10? If not, can the fan base take another sub par season?
We saw a lot of empty seats at Comcast Center in ACC Conference games this season. I think that reflected a bit of apathy. If the team struggles early, will that carry over into next year or will the newness of going into a new conference with new opponents?
Either way, Mark Turgeon has his work cut out for him. Shaq Cleare has not been what he was suppose to be and if you could corner Turgeon, I’m sure he’d admit that. The team has been without a true point guard and Roddy Peters hasn’t been the answer. We’ve heard about Melo Trimble and Dion Wiley but we heard a lot about Cleare and Peters and they didn’t pan out.
I believe that Mark Turgeon has a plan. I believe he’s got a plan that can be successful. What I don’t know is whether or not he can execute that plan at Maryland. It remains to be seen.