It's over. Finally. The new head coach of the Maryland Terrapins' men's basketball team is officially Mark Turgeon, and that finally being settled lets us explore other questions. There are plenty of them - will their recruits stay on? what do local coaches think? - but the first one I'm going to tackle is figuring out who will be flanking Turgeon on the sidelines in College Park.
Maryland fans are semi-obsessed about retaining the services of current assistants Bino Ranson and Rob Ehsan. Ranson is the Terrapins' top recruiter; Ehsan is so beloved that a grassroots Twitter campaign named #EhsanForHC got trending in D.C. But any coach who's been in the game for more than ten years (Turgeon's in his 13th) has his own guys; he might end up retaining his current staff (if they'll come) or taking on some guys already here. Likely, it'll be a mixture of both.
People within Maryland's administration were supposedly pushing for Rob Ehsan to be retained, and presumably will continue to do so. If Ehsan left, Maryland's incoming recruits and current roster would be in some danger of defecting. Terrell Stoglin's high school coach notably once said that Stoglin might leave if a "certain assistant" - definitely Ehsan, his lead recruiter - wasn't retained. He relates well to the players and recruits, and he's a tireless worker on the recruiting trail.
The general thought was that Ehsan was a lock to stay and Bino was more up in the air. With Turgeon, though, it may be the other way around. Turgeon has reportedly tried to hire Bino in the past and will likely be happy to finally get him on his side. Retaining Ranson might be a key for continuity in local recruiting, as Turgeon has no local ties past landing DeMatha's Naji Hibbert a few years ago. In fact, he might be even more important than Ehsan.
Remember, too, that Bino is the lead recruiter for guys like Shaquille Cleare and the Harrison twins. Turgeon knows that, and because he was down in Texas he knows them, too. That may factor in to his choice.
Keith Booth is always a dark horse here, but he's never talked about as much as the other two. Ehsan is known for his coaching ability and how well he relates to the players. Bino's the recruiter. Keith is a great big man coach, but past that is more invisible. That's not a bad thing, per se, but it makes it tough to imagine him staying around.
Turgeon has his own guys, too. The big one is Scott Spinelli, who might be a guarantee to follow him. He's Turgeon's right-hand man and has been with him for five years now. He was responsible for landing Turgeon's first two four-stars, as well as Hibbert and Khris Middleton. He's well-respected and has been around the coaching blocks a few times. In fact, he's so well-respected that his name has come up a few times in the early replacement short lists. That, of course, presents a problem if Turgeon wants him to follow him to Maryland. It's doubtful he gets the job, but that he's being considered may tell him that he's in line for an upgrade. I get the feeling that Turgeon is definitely taking him if he wants to come.
His other two assistants aren't quite as stellar. Pooh Williamson is the resident funnily-named assistant, and he's been with Turgeon for six years now. He's kind of like the 40-year-old, Southwest version of Rob Ehsan - he's personable, he's "head coach material", and players like him. His recruiting results have been middling and I have no idea how good of a coach he is - he's a bit of an X factor in here.
The third assistant is Bill Walker, and I don't think he'll be making the switch. He's only been with Turgeon for a few years, as he was Texas A&M's "senior athletic assistant" - whatever that is - before making the switch into coaching. He was with Minnesota for a stretch before coming over to TAMU in an administrative role. He ended up switching over to being a coach (assuming they lost an assistant) a few years back. I'd be surprised if he switched over.
So, again, it's looking like a battle between four guys for three spots. Don't rule out the possibility for him to go outside and hire, either. Maybe get a guy with DC connections for the third spot.
My own choice is Spinelli, Bino, and Ehsan, and I feel like that's the one that most will agree with. Agree? Disagree? Now's the time to talk about it.