Maryland fans can critique Mark Turgeon for plenty, but not for shying from criticism or sidestepping blame.
The Terrapins took a blow to their assembly next season when the news came down on Friday: Starting point guard Seth Allen was transferring. Allen was set to be a cog for a team that had NCAA Tournament hopes for 2015. He averaged 13.4 points (second-most on the team) and 3.0 assists.
He was also the latest player to leave early from Turgeon's program. No major-conference team (not facing a coaching change) has lost as much on its roster to transfer like Maryland in the past six weeks. Nick Faust, Roddy Peters and Shaquille Cleare have also abandoned ship since the 2013-14 season concluded. The team also lost a walk-on to transfer -- and how often does that happen?
Turgeon is taking the blame. In three years with the program, he's had two 17-15 seasons sandwich a 25-13 run in 2012-13, which included an NIT semifinals appearance. Turgeon told the Baltimore Sun he can't possibly ignore what he's doing wrong, when you look at the number of players who are choosing to go elsewhere.
[Turgeon said] he has to “take total blame” for the departures.
“You don't lose four guys and say, ‘Oh, it can't be me,' ” Turgeon said. “This is new territory for me. This has never happened” during his career as a head coach.
Turgeon said he will reassess the way he runs his program to prevent future exoduses from the program.
“I've got to take a look at everything, I've got to take a look at myself and everything on this deal,” he said. “I do think it's part of the culture. … I've got to make sure this doesn't happen in the future. With that said, I like the guys returning and I like the guys coming in.”
It's the right move publicly for Turgeon. The team actually should be competitive next season, as the group he's got coming in should have ability. Romelo Trimble is a point guard who might end up becoming more productive by the end of the season than Allen would have/could have been.
And the guys still on the roster, at least one of them, is vocalizing support for Turgeon. Here's senior forward Evan Smotrycz.
We couldn't be more excited about the direction our program is going. We have a great group of guys who want to work and do...— Evan Smotrycz (@_es1) May 2, 2014
...something special here at Maryland. We are all behind Coach Turgeon. We are working hard to make sure Maryland is at the top of the...— Evan Smotrycz (@_es1) May 2, 2014
...Big Ten next year. Thanks to all the fans for sticking with us - we are most definitely on the right track!— Evan Smotrycz (@_es1) May 2, 2014