Posted on: November 2, 2011 5:17 pm
By Jeff Goodman
Maryland's Mark Turgeon won't have talented Ukrainian 7-footer Alex Len for the first 10 games.
That's the penalty imposed by the NCAA on Wednesday afternoon due to the amateurism rules. Len played on a pro club team overseas.
On the surface, it appears as though it's a crushing blow for Turgeon and the Terps.
But let's face it: Maryland is unlikely an NCAA tournament team this season - with or without Len for 10 contests.
This is a program that will take time to get back to national prominence - and Len, according to several who have seen him, could be a major factor in the resurgence.
“Alex has been working very hard to prepare himself for this opportunity,” Turgeon said in a statement. “We look forward to having him on the court and to see how he’ll fit into what we want to do offensively and defensively.”
The Terps, who will also be without guard Pe'Shon Howard for the first month or so of the season, are in need of talent on the frontline and while they will be thin for the first 10 games, the positive is that Len will be allowed to practice with the team.
Posted on: October 28, 2011 9:36 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 10:40 am
By Jeff Goodman
Mark Turgeon's version of Small Ball will be put on hold a while.
Following the news of Pe'Shon Howard's broken foot - which could sideline him anywhere from six weeks to three months (yes, that's a wide range) - Maryland's new head coach has had to re-assess.
"I really felt good about the eight guys we've got," Turgeon told CBSSports.com on Thursday afternoon.
That's four perimeter players and three up front.
Turgeon was set to play an undersized lineup for much of the time that had Howard, Terrell Stoglin, Sean Mosley and either freshman Nick Faust or sophomore Mychal Parker. In that scenario, the 6-foot-4 Mosley would likely be at the four spot.
"We can't do that now - at least not as much," Turgeon admitted. "Not with just four perimeter guys. That makes it tough."
Turgeon raved about Stoglin's ability to score the basketball (and his abiliity overall) and also said that Parker has been extremely coachable - an area that's been questioned in the past.
He also said he's optimistic that Howard could return sooner than the 2-3 months that doctors project.
"I'm going to pray," he said.
Turgeon will also be praying that the NCAA doesn't hit Ukrainian 7-footer Alex Len with a stiff penalty. He's only got three big guys - and all three are unproven.
James Padgett averaged just 8.7 minutes per game last season, skilled senior Berend Weijs averaged 5.2 minutes and Ashton Pankey, who will bring a defensive/rebounding presence, redshirted last year.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 12:36 pm
By Jeff Borzello and Jeff Goodman
It was already going to be a long season for new Maryland coach Mark Turgeon.
He inherited a mediocre team at best following Gary Williams' offseason retirement. The Terps are painfully thin up front after Jordan Williams' decision to leave early for the NBA. The strength was in the backcourt - but now that's taken a hit as well with the news that sophomore point guard Pe'Shon Howard will miss about 2-3 months with a broken foot.
"I did it one day in practice," Howard told Borzello by phone. "I thought it was a cut, it didn't really hurt that bad."
He said the doctors think it's a broken bone in his left foot, right under his big toe. Because he will miss up to three months, redshirting is a potential option for Howard.
"We're not sure," he said. "We'll see an MRI and decide. I'm taking it a day at time. I'll talk to the coaches and see what they think."
Howard averaged 5.4 points and 3.2 assists last season, and was expected to be one of the top guards on the team. During the summer, he worked to become more of a coach on the floor -- getting players in the right position, cutting down on his turnovers.
Turgeon still has senior Sean Mosley and sophomore Terrell Stoglin - as well as talented freshman Nick Faust - on the perimeter. But Howard was set to be a key component if the Terps were to make any sort of postseason appearances.
"If healthy, we have a great team," Howard said. "But that's with everyone perfect."
Turgeon is also awaiting word from the NCAA on 7-foot Ukrainian Alex Len. Howard said he has not heard any new information about Len.
While Howard is disappointed, he will spend his time on the mend focusing on the system and X's and O's so he will be ready to roll when he finally gets healthy.
"I was really excited, but it's not like it's life or death. It's still basketball," Howard said. "I'll just keep learning and getting better."
Posted on: August 3, 2011 4:10 pm
By Matt Norlander
Right about now, I think, Mark Turgeon's somewhere in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee -- wherever. In Las Vegas he told me at the start of August he would be making the three-day road trip, with his family and pets in tow, for the move from one College town to another: College Station, Texas, to College Park, Md. He wanted the full experience of moving like that. Being from the Midwest, and working their all of his professional life, he'd never had a cross-country drive to experience before.
Can we all picture, right now, Mark Turgeon screaming at his kids in the back seat to keep quiet -- because they just stopped to go to the bathroom 15 minutes ago? Yes, we can. And let's carry that vision in our heads for the remainder of this Wednesday.
Where was I? Oh, right, Maryland and Turgeon losing a player. Sorry, when a role player leaves a team, you tend to feel a need to beef up the posts with anecdotal fluff. So, anyway, Turgeon's down to eight scholarships since little-used forward Haukur "Hawk" Palsson, who was a to-be sophomore, decided to turn pro. Seriously! Palsson, who is from Iceland, averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in his freshman campaign.
When you've got nine scholarship guys, losing another one, no matter how little he contributed, hurts. Less than 40 percent of the Terps' offense from last season will be back in uniform for 2011-12.
Said Turegon in a statement: “Hawk informed us today that he intends on pursuing a professional basketball career in Europe. He wants to be closer to home and to be able to start providing for his family. We appreciate Hawk’s contributions to Maryland basketball and we will always wish him the best in his professional basketball career.”
Maryland's going to go small next season, often employing a four-guard look. That'll be fun and extremely experimental. Should be interesting to see how that plays in the ACC, which will also be relatively weak, I think. If there's ever a year to rebuild and take on just eight schollies, it's next season in the ACC. Just accept that Carolina will roll, Duke will be elite and everyone else gets tossed around in the vat.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:56 pm
By Matt Norlander
You want to know who works hardest in the college basketball world? It's assistant coaches. The young men put in years, decades into their lives in hopes of one day earning that coveted head-coaching job. There are dues to be paid, and then there is earning keep as an assistant, where personal relationships are sometimes tossed to the side if a guy can't recruit successfully.
Due to being at the Peach Jam, I'm a couple days late to this, but it's still relevant. The Baltimore Sun reported that Maryland all-star assistant coach Dalonte Hill (pictured at far left in 2010, while with Kansas State) is set to earn $300,000 per year. That's simply humongous money for an assistant to make in college basketball. Yet Hill's taking a dip in salary? Apparently.
Now Maryland, and Turgeon, are serious -- very serious -- about getting the best players in the ripe-as-hell greater D.C. area to come to College Park. Hill is from D.C., and he coached an AAU team in the area last decade. Maryland also has Bino Ranson and Scott Spinelli on staff now, two guys who are already getting after it very aggressively, from what I heard at the Peach Jam.
About five years ago college football really, fully got into this kind of money -- and more; a few assistants are millionaires -- but college hoops is just now entering the realm where there's a clique of high-ranking assistants that can demand this kind of money. Hill's still among the richest second-in-commands, but you can expect the number of betas earning big bucks in college basketball to boost in the coming years.
You can thank agents and coaches with deep ties for this kind of money, too. When coaches take to a new BCS job, there are many stipulations in the contract, of course, and now one of them increasing in popularity is having assistants on staff get paid, and get paid well. College sports is as much about clout as it is about winning. Programs that want to do well want people to know they're willing to hunt in the couch cushions and hand out a basket to pass around in order to get not only the best coach possible, but the best couple of colonels to flank the new general.
Hill is rightfully considered one of the best recruiters in the game. He has many a connection, and helped build K-State into what it is today. Now it's time to boost Mark Turgeon's reputation like he did with Frank Martin's. If Maryland's at the top of the ACC again by 2013, like it was from 2001 to 2004, then Hill will have been worth the paycheck. Maybe even a bargain, if things go really well.
He's that connected.
Posted on: May 14, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2011 3:15 pm
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