Said it a month ago…saying it again now…Turgeon’s not the guy at College Park

February 05, 2014 | Drew Forrester

I guess we now know why all of the Big 10 basketball programs are licking their chops at the prospect of having Maryland join the league next season.

With a few notable exceptions, the Terps will be everyone’s “homecoming night”, also known in the biz as – no pun intended here – a layup game.

I realize Maryland’s ’14-15 recruiting class is top notch and lots of people in College Park are pointing to the incoming group of newcomers and saying, “Just wait until those kids show up at the Comcast Center and turn things around…”

Not happening, guys and gals.

Not happening as long as the current coaching staff remains intact down there.

They could bring in Jordan, Bird and Magic — but they’d get nowhere being guided by these coaches.

Not a low blow…just a fact.

Honestly — Maryland looks more suited for the Sun Belt Conference than the ACC or Big Ten.

I wrote a month ago that Mark Turgeon is the luckiest man in the world, saved by a now unthinkably poor decision to ink the former Texas A&M coach to an 8-year deal three seasons ago.

If Maryland would have signed him to, say, a 5-year contract, he’d be out the door already.

Last night’s shellacking at North Carolina was another in the long line of turd performances Maryland has produced over the last couple of seasons.  They’ve run together so seamlessly under Turgeon’s tutelage that none of them stand out over the other.

Perhaps, as it usually is in these cases, the players simply aren’t good enough to compete at “this level”.  Maryland’s current group is “B talent” at best.  But Turgeon almost always seems unable to get the best out of them.  Great coaches figure out a way to get their group of players to perform at a level higher than their skill set should allow for…mediocre coaches figure out a way to get their group to perform at a level beneath their skill set.

Anyone want to argue that Maryland – under Turgeon – has performed beneath their collective skill sets?

I’m not a coach crusher, as everyone knows.  I love coaches.  I think they’re the best “people” in all of sports.

This guy, though, at Maryland, is simply in over his head when it comes to putting the game plan together and having his players execute it to his orders.

You are what your record says you are.

In this case, Maryland might even be worse than their record indicates.

And for that you can thank coaching.

13 Comments For This Post

  1. joe of bel air Says:

    Why in the hell does Kevin Anderson still have a job. He gives Turgeon an 8 year contract and Edsall a 6 year deal. Who does that kind of deal to two mediocre coaches, who were mediocre when they were hired. Anderson’s decision to hire these two slugs and give them lengthy contracts has set Maryland Athletics back 20 years. It may take Maryland another 5 years or more before their two largest revenue producing sports can recover and by then it will be too late to bring back the fans they already lost.

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    You being a coach yourself, I understand your not a coach crusher but you hit the nail on the head about Turgeon, he is a deplorable coach & should be fired !!!

  3. charlie Says:

    right, right, right you are, drew. this is a major fiasco — the terps should be sailing into the big ten with momentum, and instead, basketball and football are staggering into the new league. just goes to show you how hiring & firing mistakes can linger on and on. a real shame. . . and we’re supposed to just sit here and pretend that all is well? blah.

  4. justafan Says:

    You could compare the entire University of Maryland administration to the Bob Irsay era with the Baltimore Colts. One of the first things they did was to fire Ralph Friedgen, who happened to be the ACC Coach of the Year at the time of his dismisal. The team had promose of being a contender. So they bring in Randy Edsall, a coach with an entirely different coaching philosophy prompting many of their highest prospects to transfer elsewhere. Everything has been down hill since. While Irsay moved the Colts to the midwest, The present administration moved the Maryland “franchise” to the predominately Midwestern Big Ten. There are many similarities here don’t you think?

  5. justafan Says:

    I just hope they don’t mess with Brenda Frese.

  6. Phil Says:

    If I still cared about U of M and college sports in general I would be really upset. Truth is I am just tired of all the stuff going on- from ridiculous conference realignments, one-and-dones in hoops, scandals that are discovered but not truly punished, players wanting to be paid- threatening to unionize…on and on…it’s just not enjoyable anymore.

  7. unitastoberry Says:

    One thing for sure its a mess at University of DC. I wonder if Jimmy Patsos had been hired for 4 years how things would be down there in basketball with the guys they have now?

  8. chris Says:

    Maryland has never been good at football except for Friedgen’s 1st 2 years. after that their overall goal was always to win 6-7 games to have the honor of playing in a bowl game that 5 people watched.

    What Turgeon has done to Maryland Basketball is deplorable. I agree that his talent just ok, but i think most people now recognize how great a coach Gary Williams was. He may have hated recruiting and only been so so at it, but he ALWAYS had his players playing over their heads and was a great in game tactician. Hell look at the players who were integral in their National Championship season. Lonny Baxter was a fat kid who couldnt jump or shoot when he came as freshman. Juan Dixon was known in baltimore but not too many places Nationally, and Steve Blake wanted to go to UNC, but they didnt want him. Seeing Turgeon on the sideline truly makes me appreciate and feel honored at the fact that I was able to watch Gary Williams coach here. Turgeon is really bad. Dont worry though, I’m sure he’ll blame his players.

  9. John In Westminster Says:

    Think the Terps used up all their outside shooting against Va Tech this past weekend. This team cannot consistently shoot nor is athletic to play perimeter D against real teams. Talent is the issue and it really shouldn’t be. Sad to watch the Syracuse/Notre Dame game the other day with starters/stars coming from Baltimore. Really no other explanation for someone wanting to go to Syracuse, NY over College Park other than coaching. Maybe Juan Dixon can help curb the flow of hoops talent leaving the state. If so, Turgeon might linger for a good part of his contract.

  10. Chris, Bel Air Says:

    Totally agree Drew. Their 4 ACC road losses are by an average of 16 points. Throw in losses to BU, GW and a 16 point beat down at Ohio State. Their offense seems to lack any rhythm. They rush shot and rarely drive to the basket and dish. Players? Coaches? All of the above? They seem totally overmatched at times and are a mediocre team at best. Agree with the other comments here that it makes you appreciate Gary.

  11. lakerboy Says:

    The Maryland men’s basketball program is bad…but it’s not fair to disparage the Cuse because of Terp awfulness(is that a word???). Syracuse is a great school, and yes it does get snowy and cold in the winter, but sports are really a big deal in upstate NY. The Syracuse football team is mostly competetive every year, and the basketball team has been good since the days of Dave Bing and Jim Boeheim. And don’t forget about men’s lax! 15 National championships… and the Gait brothers:-) (DF: I didn’t disparage Syracuse…)

  12. lakerboy Says:

    Hey Drew…I know you didn’t hammer the Cuse. I was referring to another blogger.

  13. John in Westminster Says:

    No disparagement intended to the Orange. Rather a question of why Baltimore kids would want to go to the middle of upstate NY over College Park? Noted that Syracuse supports it’s sports more than MD. Watching recent Terp home football and hoops games on TV, one can’t help but notice all the empty seats.

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