COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland men’s basketball team opened practice Friday in preparation for the 2013-14 season, looking to build off a strong 28-13 campaign last season. Head coach Mark Turgeon was pleased with the team’s cohesion and energy, attributing many of the positives to the team’s summer international tour in the Bahamas.
“We’ve got a lot of things going for us and we are way ahead of the curve,” Turgeon said. “We have three freshmen with Damonte [Dodd], Roddy [Peters] and A.J. [Metz] and the tour really helped them because they’re much further along.”
With the addition of 6’9” junior transfer Evan Smotrycz, the Terrapins feature an eclectic mix of size and skill — a quality that Turgeon is excited to see develop as the preseason progresses.
“We’ve got some really unique pieces,” Turgeon said. “All of our players are quite different and Evan [Smotrycz] is a big part of what we’re going to try to accomplish this year. He really opens the floor for a lot of people.”
Turgeon has also been impressed with the defensive commitment of junior Dez Wells and junior Nick Faust on the perimeter. The pair combined for 69 starts and just under nine rebounds per game in 2012-13.
“For us to be good on defense, Dez [Wells] and Nick [Faust] need to be really good defensively,” Turgeon said. “Nick is taking more pride in his commitment to on-ball defense and Dez has really concentrated on becoming a better team defender.”
The 2013-14 side will make its first public appearance as it celebrates the opening of the season with Maryland Madness at historic Cole Field House on Friday, October 18 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for more information on Maryland Madness.
The Terps open the season with an exhibition against Catholic in Comcast Center on November 3 at 1:00 p.m., before beginning regular season play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Friday, November 8 against Connecticut at 6:30 p.m.