Your Monday Reality Check-Turgeon Deserving Of Praise With Work To Do

March 12, 2012 | Glenn Clark


That’s the issue for the coach and the program moving forward. There will be little patience surrounding the program for Selection Sunday to be greeted with tumbleweeds on the Maryland campus. Turgeon will immediately see favor turn to expectations without there being any reason to necessarily assume a quick reversal of fortune.

Maryland will lose Mosley and F Berend Weijs to graduation this season, leaving seven scholarship players eligible to return. Stoglin has already hinted he could test the NBA Draft waters, but it is unlikely he’ll like what he finds in the progress. The undersized guard from Tucson is a tremendous set shooter but has not shown enough as a passer or defender to make him a legitimate prospect. The most probable scenario involves him eventually returning to school.

If Stoglin does return, his relationship with Turgeon will have to improve. The coach admitted that after his first interaction with Stoglin he feared he wouldn’t be able to coach the sharpshooter, and as recently as the team’s quarterfinal game in Atlanta spectators overheard Turgeon repeating his frustration for Stoglin’s unwillingness to be coached.

The return of Howard will be helpful, but the team’s only true point guard was far from flawless during the short stretch when he was actually on the floor. Howard regularly appeared more desirous to make a Derrick Rose-like dish that would end up on SportsCenter than the simple pass required to score points.

Faust made vast improvement from Game 1 to Game 32, showing himself to be one of the more exceptional defenders in the league and easing into the role of a capable scorer. Faust will need to continue development as an outside shooter to reach the level of a go-to scorer against conference competition.

The front court of the future is a great unknown for Maryland basketball. Incoming freshman C Shaquille Cleare is believed to be capable of contributing immediately, which could greatly alter the fate of the team in Turgeon’s second season. There are still high hopes for the seven foot Len moving forward, but rarely did he display any actual ability in his freshman campaign.

The greatest reason for hope in 2012-2013 is depth alone. Maryland’s front court also returns F James Padgett, who would be well served to have expectations lowered by a move to the bench. Incoming freshmen Charles Mitchell and Damonte Dodd could also provide help, and 6’8″ forward Jake Layman also joins the team-although he is believed to be more of a combo forward.

F Ashton Pankey also remains in the mix. His rocky relationship with Turgeon and lack of effort at times was evident down the stretch this season, but a transfer might not be in the plans as it would cost him a year of eligibility. (Pankey would have to give back his redshirt season after sitting out next year.)

The Terps also welcome incoming freshman PG Seth Allen to the program next season and bring back G Mychal Parker-who made minimal contributions this season. Turgeon appears interested in adding another guard to the recruiting class, the name Sam Cassell Jr. has been popular in recruiting circles. All told, the Terps are expected to have between 10 and 13 scholarship players next season, a vast improvement from the range of seven-nine they had available during Turgeon’s first year.

There’s reason to expect improvement, but there’s no guarantee this team can reach the lofty heights some fans will always have. That said, those expectations won’t go away. Future Selection Sundays will have to involve activity at Comcast Center for Turgeon to warrant further praise.

In the meantime, praise away. And go Loyola.

Carry on.


3 Comments For This Post

  1. joe of bel air Says:

    Glenn: I am one of the fans you refer to earlier as wanting to blame Gary Williams for the state of the Maryland basketball program. Who the hell else is there to blame for it. It’s hard to believe that only 10 years ago Maryland was cutting down the nets at the NCAA finals. In fact Gary would have been wis eto have retired after that game because he did very little in the way of recruiting the last 6-7 years he was at Maryland. The team failed to make the tournament in 4 of the last 7 years he was head coach. Then after Jordan Williams leaves he announces his retirement leaving Turgeon with no time to reccuit. Williams knew Maryland would be hard pressed to play 500 ball with the cast of characters he had left at Maryland and that is why he bailed on Maryland. It was obvious that Garyland lost his taste for being a head coach in this day and age with having to deal with AAU coaches and parents who think their kid is the next Magic Johnson, not to mention the recruits who have a what can you do for me mentality. By all means Glenn please feel free to explain more fully why Maryland has missed the NCAA tournament in 5 of the last 8 years if it wasn’t Gary’s fault.

    (Edit from GMC: Half the story. Had Gary not retired, Maryland would have had three more scholarship players this season-allowing for a greater possibility to reach the Tournament. Moreover, it ISN’T Gary’s fault that Jordan Williams decided to leave despite the fact that it was clearly too early for him to go. The other 7 years did include NCAA Tournament misses, but they also included an ACC Championship. So was that Gary Williams’ fault too?)

  2. joe of bel air Says:

    Glenn: You have always been an apologist for Gary Williams. I will give him credit for winning an ACC championship just as I will give him the blame for missing the tournament for 4 of the last 7 years he was at Maryland. I dare you to name one other college who won the NCAA tournament in the last 25 years who have had as abysmal record as Maryland has had in the decade since they won it. Truth be known Gary should have called it quits years ago instead of waiting until the cubbard was bare before walking away and leaving Mark Turgeon with nothing.

    (Edit from Glenn: Nolan Richardson. Jim Harrick. Tubby Smith. Should I keep going or do you just want to tuck your tail between your legs?)

  3. joe of bel air Says:

    Glenn, you just made my point. Gary Williams is on par with the gentlemen you just mentioned (Harrick,Richardson and Smith)none of whom, the last time I looked, were in the Hall of Fame and will not be anytime soon.Just admit it Glenn that Garyland did a poor job the last 7 years he was at Maryland, both as a coach and recruiter. Obviously his heart was no longer in it.

    (Edit from GMC: The guy won both an ACC Tournament and regular season title in that stretch. If you just want to keep ignoring that, be my guest. I unfortunately have to base my opinion in fact. Gary Williams’ recruiting is only half of the issue, as his style allowed him to coach up lesser talent. Giving Gary Williams kids to another coach allows for trouble.)

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