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Mark Turgeon

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I will begin by saying that I was more than ready for Gary Williams to retire, and I was excited by the arrival of Mark Turgeon. I also say that in all honesty, I appear to be to blame for the current state of the program. I told my wife I thought Mark Turgeon was wonderful last year during the first half of the home game against Florida State. We collapsed in the second half, lost, and it's been ugly since.

Over the past year, I've come to realize that I have problems with a lot of what Turgeon is doing.

Some examples:

- Player roles. I can't imagine how anyone on the team has any idea how much they're going to play/when they're going to play from game to game. Every game has a different starting lineup. I know Seth Allen's injury has hurt us, but we've started 3 different point guards in 9 games this year. Jonathan Graham doesn't see the light of day for the first four weeks of the season, then magically appears yesterday. I think Turgeon is forever looking for the hot hand, but no one ever gets to play their way through things. As a result, he'll play anyone at any time. Varun Ram is a nice story, but he should not be a starting point guard for an ACC team, regardless of who Turgeon is punishing.

- Our offense. While Turgeon appears to be pretty good at drawing up plays for one possession out of a time-out, our general offense appears to be nothing but a high pick and roll over and over again. We are also lost against zones. This is nothing new - Gary's teams always struggled against zones - but it doesn't make it less frustrating.

- The make-up of this team. I've mentioned this before, but we've got similar players in Faust and Wells (out of control wing guys), Layman and Smotrycz (stretch 3/stretch 4 outside shooters who struggle defensively), and Mitchell/Cleare (wide-bodied big men who play below the rim). We've also got 2 freshman in Peters and Dodd, plus transfers in Graham and Ram. The absence of Allen is huge, but he's not a pure point guard either. We're expecting an improvement from him that we haven't seen from most of the rest of the team, short of Layman. Turgeon is taking heat for the absence of a point guard, and that's legit, but we don't have any shot-blocking defensive presence either.

That's just a few things, but they're all major, and it's very frustrating. I'm even tired of Turgeon's candor about his team. At first I found it refreshing, but I've already heard him say they were outcoached or didn't come ready to play on five different occasions this year. At some point, this needs to stop happening, right?

I know he's supposedly got a very good recruiting class coming up next year, though Trimble is a combo guard just like Peters and Allen. If we make the NIT this year, should Turgeon be worried about his job, or does he get one more year with next year's freshmen to turn it around.

What are everyone's thoughts about Turgeon at this point?

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I thought Turgeon was both in trouble and perceptive when we signed Delonte Hill as an assistant. DC Assault is a wreck with the arrests and history of drug issues with alumni. At the same time UM needed to do more with the AAU circuit then Gary was doing.

After one year in the Big Ten if we are not dancing Turgeon's seat will be very hot.

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I think with his current contract he's not going anywhere for at least two years, but I agree with everything you wrote. My feelings have changed on him as I've seen a lack of development from the players and from what I've seen, way too often the Terps being out coached.

Turgeon is not able to get his team to pull off those upsets and his lack of ability to recruit a point guard and big body guys that are not one dimensional has been his downfall.

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Btw, I don't think getting the Harrison brothers would have done a bit of good. Watching them play for KY, they have no sense of team ball - they want to strictly play isolation 1 on 1. Maybe it'll pay off eventually in the NBA where everyone does the pick and roll - but not for most college teams. And arrogance seems to ooze from both of them. Andrew's got a chance to be good in the NBA - mainly because of his excellent size for the position and previously mentioned p&r potential - but it'll likely take several years. Aaron - he might not even make it - he's just a decent shooting guard prospect, imo.

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I think it's worth noting how special Gary was. It's really a shame he couldn't keep up with recruiting the way he did in the early 90s and early 2000s. I really think that his terrible relationship with Yow probably knocked a couple years off his useful coaching career, but at the end of the day it was probably time for him to go - he was clearly sick of the grind and it started to show in the recruiting. That said, it's really difficult to find people that are able to excel at both recruiting and game planning, but if you have to choose between one or the other, I think that you almost always go for the in-game coach. Harvard can't even offer athletic scholarships, and they've been a borderline top-25 team for 3 or 4 years now. I don't think the recruiting at Creighton or Davidson, short of a couple of blue chips that they probably got lucky on, is really amazing. At the very least, the effort spent on recruiting at those schools doesn't get you nearly as far as a program with an established rep like Maryland (even if it's a 2nd tier school, 2nd tier is still pretty attractive.)

Which takes us to in-game coaching. I don't think anyone will argue that Gary was one of the best at this. His body of #1 upsets speaks for itself. Add to the fact that most top-10 teams suffer at least one moderately bad loss every season. Having a coach that is better than everyone else at upsets is a huge, huge benefit that cannot be understated. On the other hand, with Turgeon, the recruiting got substantially better, but his inability to pull off the big "signature" win has really hurt him in the eyes of the pollsters. You usually have 5 or 6 chances at a signature win every season, especially with the caliber of the conferences we belong in. It's not really asking much for one of those to work. And yet, with Turgeon, I kind of feel resigned to the fact that against any highly-ranked team, we won't find a way to win. And that just won't play in the NCAA.

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I think it's worth noting how special Gary was. It's really a shame he couldn't keep up with recruiting the way he did in the early 90s and early 2000s. I really think that his terrible relationship with Yow probably knocked a couple years off his useful coaching career, but at the end of the day it was probably time for him to go - he was clearly sick of the grind and it started to show in the recruiting. That said, it's really difficult to find people that are able to excel at both recruiting and game planning, but if you have to choose between one or the other, I think that you almost always go for the in-game coach. Harvard can't even offer athletic scholarships, and they've been a borderline top-25 team for 3 or 4 years now. I don't think the recruiting at Creighton or Davidson, short of a couple of blue chips that they probably got lucky on, is really amazing. At the very least, the effort spent on recruiting at those schools doesn't get you nearly as far as a program with an established rep like Maryland (even if it's a 2nd tier school, 2nd tier is still pretty attractive.)

Which takes us to in-game coaching. I don't think anyone will argue that Gary was one of the best at this. His body of #1 upsets speaks for itself. Add to the fact that most top-10 teams suffer at least one moderately bad loss every season. Having a coach that is better than everyone else at upsets is a huge, huge benefit that cannot be understated. On the other hand, with Turgeon, the recruiting got substantially better, but his inability to pull off the big "signature" win has really hurt him in the eyes of the pollsters. You usually have 5 or 6 chances at a signature win every season, especially with the caliber of the conferences we belong in. It's not really asking much for one of those to work. And yet, with Turgeon, I kind of feel resigned to the fact that against any highly-ranked team, we won't find a way to win. And that just won't play in the NCAA.

Great summary of the situation. Even though I was vocal critic of Williams at the end of his time here, I never said anything about his in game coaching or preparing his team to play. He was a Hall of Fame worthy coach for a reason, even if it was time to go at the end.

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I think with his current contract he's not going anywhere for at least two years, but I agree with everything you wrote. My feelings have changed on him as I've seen a lack of development from the players and from what I've seen, way too often the Terps being out coached.

Turgeon is not able to get his team to pull off those upsets and his lack of ability to recruit a point guard and big body guys that are not one dimensional has been his downfall.

Last year the Terps beat Duke twice and beat a top 20 NC State team, I compare the current Terps situation with that of Indiana a couple of years ago. IU was absolutely horrible when Crean got there and look at them now, Turg is in his second year with "his guys" its going to take some time to get to where they need to.

I think the Allen injury hurt them big time, he was playing well in practice before the injury and Turg was quoted as saying he was the best player on the team during the off season with Layman. Going into the year Turg knew he would be thin down low without Len hence why the defense has been so bad to start out.

I still see a bright future with the Terps, the one key to sustaining long term success in CBB is building depth, thats what Turg is doing. Faust, Wells, Smo will definitely not leave after this year, while I could see Faust transferring I highly doubt he will. Layman, Allen, Cleare, Mitchell will be Juniors, thats 7 in your rotation already with experienced players, Roddy, Dodd, Trimble, Wiley, Reed, Nickens, thats 13 in a rotation for next year. Would you say the Terps currently have 13 guys Turg can throw onto the court and expect contributions from? I don't think so.

Don't start the Turg hot seat just yet, give it time, I love what Gary did for Maryland basketball but lets not kid ourselves, he didn't leave Turgeon with much to build from, I can only count two guys who played for Gary, Faust and Auslander, if you think you can build around those two guys you're crazy.

I still think this team can make a run in ACC play, Peters getting some good minutesthis early won't hurt him, as well as Dodd. Wells playing his normal position will make a huge difference. If Faust realizes he helps the team most when he shoots less than five times a game and plays solid D that will help.

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GW had to deal with Yow as the AD and his entire coaching staff was budgeted for less $$$ than Dalonte Hill alone makes (made). His staff was paid less than the women's team staff. The assistant coaches do a lot of the recruiting for most teams and GW was an introvert by nature. He was most criticized for his refusal to deal with the AAU program, DC Assault in recruiting. Dalonte Hill was a big part of that family. Assault's leader, Curtis Malone, many times was publicly critical of GW's refusal to associate with his program. Malone is currently under indictment for dealing crack and DC Assault has been embarrassed enough to change it's name. I believe two of next years recruiting class were members of DC Assault. Both were recruited by Hill.

The next to last GW team was a last second desperation shot from beating Michigan State to advance to the sweet 16 and the path to a great 8 or even final four looked pretty easy due to some surprising upsets that year so his recruiting couldn't have been that awful. Had Jordan Williams not made such an awful decision to turn pro Gw's last year may have been OK as well.

As far as what was left for Turg, Justin Anderson says hello,and so does Sterling Gibbs( he plays point guard by the way for Seton Hall) and to my eyes-------he's a real point guard. Alex Len was also a GW recruit and Faust was as well.

GW tired of dealing with advisers and handlers that AAU ball has spawned. That and the Jordan Williams decision as well as being "interviewed" by the handlers and advisers for a recruit were the final straws. GW teams were almost always competitive and his program was beyond reproach. Turg's problems are on Turg and no-one else.

Edited by zweem

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Last year the Terps beat Duke twice and beat a top 20 NC State team, I compare the current Terps situation with that of Indiana a couple of years ago. IU was absolutely horrible when Crean got there and look at them now, Turg is in his second year with "his guys" its going to take some time to get to where they need to.

I think the Allen injury hurt them big time, he was playing well in practice before the injury and Turg was quoted as saying he was the best player on the team during the off season with Layman. Going into the year Turg knew he would be thin down low without Len hence why the defense has been so bad to start out.

I still see a bright future with the Terps, the one key to sustaining long term success in CBB is building depth, thats what Turg is doing. Faust, Wells, Smo will definitely not leave after this year, while I could see Faust transferring I highly doubt he will. Layman, Allen, Cleare, Mitchell will be Juniors, thats 7 in your rotation already with experienced players, Roddy, Dodd, Trimble, Wiley, Reed, Nickens, thats 13 in a rotation for next year. Would you say the Terps currently have 13 guys Turg can throw onto the court and expect contributions from? I don't think so.

Don't start the Turg hot seat just yet, give it time, I love what Gary did for Maryland basketball but lets not kid ourselves, he didn't leave Turgeon with much to build from, I can only count two guys who played for Gary, Faust and Auslander, if you think you can build around those two guys you're crazy.

I still think this team can make a run in ACC play, Peters getting some good minutesthis early won't hurt him, as well as Dodd. Wells playing his normal position will make a huge difference. If Faust realizes he helps the team most when he shoots less than five times a game and plays solid D that will help.

I am a bit worried that if you give Turgeon 13 people to rotate through, he'll never pick a set rotation and no one will ever have any idea what their role on the team is.

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GW had to deal with Yow as the AD and his entire coaching staff was budgeted for less $$$ than Dalonte Hill alone makes (made). His staff was paid less than the women's team staff. The assistant coaches do a lot of the recruiting for most teams and GW was an introvert by nature. He was most criticized for his refusal to deal with the AAU program, DC Assault in recruiting. Dalonte Hill was a big part of that family. Assault's leader, Curtis Malone, many times was publicly critical of GW's refusal to associate with his program. Malone is currently under indictment for dealing crack and DC Assault has been embarrassed enough to change it's name. I believe two of next years recruiting class were members of DC Assault. Both were recruited by Hill.

The next to last GW team was a last second desperation shot from beating Michigan State to advance to the sweet 16 and the path to a great 8 or even final four looked pretty easy due to some surprising upsets that year so his recruiting couldn't have been that awful. Had Jordan Williams not made such an awful decision to turn pro Gw's last year may have been OK as well.

As far as what was left for Turg, Justin Anderson says hello,and so does Sterling Gibbs( he plays point guard by the way for Seton Hall) and to my eyes-------he's a real point guard. Alex Len was also a GW recruit and Faust was as well.

GW tired of dealing with advisers and handlers that AAU ball has spawned. That and the Jordan Williams decision as well as being "interviewed" by the handlers and advisers for a recruit were the final straws. GW teams were almost always competitive and his program was beyond reproach. Turg's problems are on Turg and no-one else.

I agree with you 100% on the challenges Williams faced with a terrible AD, and I have no doubt that it took its toll on him as a coach. At the end of the day, though, whether due to Yow or due to old age, by the time he announced his retirement, he was mostly cooked.

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GW had to deal with Yow as the AD and his entire coaching staff was budgeted for less $$$ than Dalonte Hill alone makes (made). His staff was paid less than the women's team staff. The assistant coaches do a lot of the recruiting for most teams and GW was an introvert by nature. He was most criticized for his refusal to deal with the AAU program, DC Assault in recruiting. Dalonte Hill was a big part of that family. Assault's leader, Curtis Malone, many times was publicly critical of GW's refusal to associate with his program. Malone is currently under indictment for dealing crack and DC Assault has been embarrassed enough to change it's name. I believe two of next years recruiting class were members of DC Assault. Both were recruited by Hill.

The next to last GW team was a last second desperation shot from beating Michigan State to advance to the sweet 16 and the path to a great 8 or even final four looked pretty easy due to some surprising upsets that year so his recruiting couldn't have been that awful. Had Jordan Williams not made such an awful decision to turn pro Gw's last year may have been OK as well.

As far as what was left for Turg, Justin Anderson says hello,and so does Sterling Gibbs( he plays point guard by the way for Seton Hall) and to my eyes-------he's a real point guard. Alex Len was also a GW recruit and Faust was as well.

GW tired of dealing with advisers and handlers that AAU ball has spawned. That and the Jordan Williams decision as well as being "interviewed" by the handlers and advisers for a recruit were the final straws. GW teams were almost always competitive and his program was beyond reproach. Turg's problems are on Turg and no-one else.

I think you are forgetting that 3 out of the last 4 Williams teams did not make the dance. He left the program with little talent and hadn't been to the Sweet 16 since 2003. Regardless of what Turgeon has or hasn't done, he did not come into a great situation. Glossing over that doesn't seem fair.

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As far as what was left for Turg, Justin Anderson says hello,and so does Sterling Gibbs( he plays point guard by the way for Seton Hall) and to my eyes-------he's a real point guard. Alex Len was also a GW recruit and Faust was as well.

When GW retired Anderson and Gibbs decided to go to Virginia and Texas. So, technically they were not left for Turgeon. As far as I know, they never gave Turgeon a chance to recruit them.

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While Gibbs may have been someone to hold on to, he was leaning towards de-committing when Gary was still coaching. Len didn't commit til after Gary was let go and Turgeon took over. Anderson decommitting allowed us to get Layman, who has a brighter future than Anderson does. Anderson isn't starting on Virginia and rumors are swirling that he doesn't like Bennett's slow pace offense and will transfer after this year.

Turgeon's in game coaching leaves a lot to be desired but he's doing it with a YOUNG team. I'm not judging Turg this soon into his contract, and the recruits he's bringing in the '14 class and possible blue chippers in the '15 class is something Williams in the later stage of his career, wouldn't even touch.

Turg has had 3 seniors in his 3 years of being at UMD. Mosley and Padgett were the only ones to stay all 4 years at UMD and Turg only got contributions from Mosley one year, Padgett 2. Aronhalt was a transfer grad student and not a true leader on the team. Turg is essentially building the program from the bottom up. This team was picked to be a NCAA Tourney team, however they haven't played that way so far this season. There is still time for them to make a run. Other than Syracuse and Duke there is a significant drop off in talent in the ACC. When Allen comes back thats when I start to judge Turg in game coaching. Allen and Peters will roatate at PG and Ram can go back to the bench.

Tonight will be a good test. Boston College has been more disappointing this year than UMD with the talent they have. Olivier Hanlan and Ryan Anderson are very good players that UMD will have to keep under control. Last year, Hanlan single handedly beat the Terps which solidified him as the ACC Freshman of the Year.

For the Terps to get on the right track, a victory tonight in the first ACC game of the year on the road would be a good start.

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