The season is over for the University of Maryland men’s basketball team and the Terps will not be a part of postseason play for the third time in the last four years, the second time in Mark Turgeon’s three year tenure as head coach.
The Terrapins (17-15, 9-9 ACC) lost to Florida State in the second round of the ACC Tournament Thursday, marking the end of both their season and their history as part of the ACC. Not at all surprisingly, Maryland was left out of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season Sunday night, marking the longest drought for the program since the beginning of former head coach Gary Williams’ tenure.
The Terps had been projected to be selected to the NIT field for a second straight season but were ultimately left out in part because of their lack of quality wins and in part because of the number of teams who received automatic bids (13) into the field of 32 after winning their conference’s regular season title but failing to claim an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by coming up short in their conference tournaments.
The school did not comment on the possibility of the team participating in either the College Basketball Insider (CBI) Tournament or CollegeInsider.com (CIT) Tournament; but in previous years the university made it clear they had no interest in participating in such events.
“We’re disappointed our season came to an end, considering we played some of our best basketball down the stretch” Turgeon told the Washington Post after being left out of the field. “I look forward to our coaching staff and players working hard to take the necessary steps to advance our program.”
Maryland’s early exit in their final trip to Greensboro came just four days after their best win of the season, an overtime victory over ACC regular season and ACC Tournament champion Virginia at Comcast Center. Maryland also claimed a victory over Big East Tournament champion Providence at the start of the season in the championship game of the Paradise Jam event in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The 2014-2015 season will be the fourth in Mark Turgeon’s original eight year contract and the first for the program as part of the Big Ten Conference. Despite growing unrest from the fanbase, Turgeon’s job status is not at all at risk, in large part because of that contract. Athletic Director Kevin Anderson recently told the Baltimore Sun “I have the utmost confidence in Mark and what he’s putting together as a program. We’ve got a great recruiting class coming in.”
Maryland’s incoming recruiting class is indeed considered Top 15 by many recruiting services including ESPN.com. All members of the four man class are considered Top 100 recruits. SG Dion Wiley (Potomac), PG Romelo “Melo” Trimble (Arlington, VA), C Trayvon Reed (Snellville, GA) and SF Jared Nickens (Norristown, PA) make up the most impressive incoming class of Turgeon’s tenure.
The Terps lose only little-used forward John Auslander to graduation this offseason. Forwards Dez Wells and Jake Layman have been considered NBA prospects at times but neither is considered likely to depart school early. Wells and G Nick Faust (City) will be seniors next year, as will forward Jonathan Graham (Calvert Hall) who transferred to College Park from Penn State before the season. The veteran-laiden team is also slated to include rising juniors Layman, forwards Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare and guard Seth Allen.
The only schools from the state of Maryland participating in postseason play are Mt. St. Mary’s (NCAA) and Towson (CIT).