Blog Entry

Lefty Driesell pulls no punches with Mark Turgeon

Posted on: May 14, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 3:15 pm
We imagine this was Turgeon's reaction when he heard who Lefty Driesell recommeded for the Maryland job.

Posted by Eric Angevine

For those of us who write about college basketball, one of the excellent side effects of the coaching change at Maryland has been the resurgence in interest in Lefty Driesell, the endlessly quotable former coach of the Terps.

Recently, CBS affiliate 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore had Lefty on to talk about his coaching run-ins with Turgeon, which happened when Turgeon was starting his head coaching career at Jacksonville State and Driesell was winding down at Georgia State. Turgeon had admitted in his introductory press conference that he had long felt that Lefty hated him, because he never got more than a scowl and a brief handshake when they coached against one another. Driesell admitted that he never was much for fraternizing with the "enemy" and then launched in to several amusing anecdotes that yielded a record for soundbites per minute.

On Turgeon's first coaching gig: "Have you ever been to.. um.. uh... I don't know where that city is where Jacksonville State is!* It's out in the country, man. I don't know how he could ever get anybody to go to school there."

Recalling Turgeon's tactical aptitude: "I know one game we were down there playin' them and we were up 20 at the half. He ran his pick-and-roll play in the second half and he killed us. I put that play in the next year for us."

His role in Turgeon's hiring: "To tell you the truth, I was calling (Kevin Anderson) up to recommend John Lucas. Then I found out he'd already made a decision, so I just told him he made a great choice."

Listen to the entire chat with Lefty Driesell at the CBS Baltimore home page.

That's Lefty for you: gruff to his opponents, bracingly honest even with his friends, and always, always entertaining. Taken all together, however, Lefty's comments have been very complimentary. That's a pretty good start for Turgeon in College Park.

*By the way, Jacksonville State is in Jacksonville, Alabama, population 8,404 as of the 2000 census. The Gamecocks play in the Ohio Valley Conference. They should not be (but often are) confused with the Jackson State Tigers of the SWAC.

Photo: US Presswire

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: May 15, 2011 3:49 am

Lefty Driesell pulls no punches with Mark Turgeon

<span style="color: #000000;">I believe Maryland Basketball is in good hands not so sure about the football program. Regardless I will support both as I have for the past 17 years.   IMO everyone will know in the next 3 years if K A hired the right men for the job.  I have to admit that personally I had no problems with either Big Ralph and certainly not with Gary however it is exciting to have fresh blood in both programs. My only wish is for Maryland to be relevant again on a yearly basis in basketball and for any 4 year football player that trains his ass off to be able to play at least 1 time for the ACC Championship before graduation.

Since: Apr 24, 2009
Posted on: May 15, 2011 12:03 am

Lefty Driesell pulls no punches with Mark Turgeon

Look out Lefty - the K-State rumor mill is that Turg will meet with Delonte Hill this weekend and offer him the head assistant position at Maryland with a boost to his "highest paid assistant coach" coach salary. On an FYI - Delonte is the former coach of the DC Assault and the pipeline for K-State to Michael Beasley.  If he gets Delonte he gets the pipeline to all the high school and AAU coaches in the DC/Baltimore area and all the talent that Gary Williams wasn't really in play with. No comment on the integrity of that pipeline - but there is mucho significant talent in that area (Durant, Beasley, Selby, etc) and if Turg can land some of that talent, the Terps will be back in the thick of the ACC race chasing Coach K and Roy.

Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: May 14, 2011 11:41 pm

Lefty Driesell pulls no punches with Mark Turgeon

...there's a reason he's still at the "rookie" level after having joined in 2009...

I had honestly not heard of Coach Driesell before this article, but he sounds like a fun man.  And he's right...they made a great hire.  Turgeon is going to do good things there. 

Since: Dec 14, 2010
Posted on: May 14, 2011 9:14 pm

Lefty Driesell pulls no punches with Mark Turgeon

lefty complimented him. did you read the article or just the, misleading, headline?

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2011 7:31 pm

Lefty Driesell pulls no punches with Mark Turgeon

Just another of the hundred reasons that the Maryland job was turned down by everyone !!! Nice support !!! Good luck, Turtle! 

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