Mark Turgeon met with the media again today, addressing some more practical issues than he touched on in his introductory press conference. Among them, the lack of scholarship players (remember, just nine) on next year's team, as well as a problem he's had with, um, a certain, unnameable recruit. Via Josh Barr, emphasis mine:
"Of course, we'd like to add a piece [for next season] but it's got to be the right piece," Turgeon said in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. "We're not going to add a stiff to add a stiff." ...
Turgeon said the one disappointment he has endured so far was not getting an opportunity to convince all of the team's recruits for next fall to stay with the Terrapins. "We lost a few recruits in this process," he said. "Probably the only bump [in the road] is people not giving me a chance to recruit them."
For the first point, well, duh. He made that clear before, and it makes sense given the prospects the staff has in 2012 and, even more importantly, 2013. He's not ruling it out (if Momo Jones wanted in I'd assume he'd take him, as guard-heavy as Maryland already is) but it's unlikely.
The second point is a little more interesting. I'd be a little surprised if he was talking about Sterling Gibbs, simply due to Seth Allen. Given how quickly he took Allen, I'm guessing he wasn't thrilled about Gibbs regardless. Martin Breunig is a possibility. So, too, is Justin Anderson, whose decommitment obviously came out of nowhere and was the fishiest of all of them. There's been some rumors that Turgeon visited Montrose Christian, but I've never seen it confirmed. Either way, based on how quickly he decommitted and how quickly the UVA rumors ramped up, I wouldn't be totally shocked if he was the one that didn't give Turge a shot. It's conjecture, so let's not take it too far, but it's worth a thought.
Jeff Barker has a good write-up of the meeting. It's both short and worth a read, but here are the highlights:
*Turgeon said Texas A&M's tempo doesn't mean Terps will be as slow. "Next year's team will be a lot of guards, so we'll have to play faster." [...]
*He said the Terps guards should be "fantastic." Asked how important it was to retain Nick Faust, the coach just laughed. "That was huge," he said. [...]
*He said F Ashton Pankey's leg is healed and he's ready to play. "He hasn't felt this good since his junior year of high school."
Good news on the tempo, which was a worry of some. Based on the fact that there's a strong possibility 6-5 Sean Mosley will be the starting 4 (please no) it's basically a guarantee they'll have to run-and-gun, and likely do a decent bit of pressing, too. Think Louisville last year, minus the big men.
And he's dead-on with the guards, too. They're easy to forget about with the big men being so...small, but the guard group is pretty loaded. Terrell Stoglin, for all his flaws and chucker-ish mentality, can take over games with the team on his back. Pe'Shon Howard could be a starting point guard. Nick Faust has tons of promise. Mychal Parker is still a physical specimen. It's not an elite group, but it's a good one.
Good - nay, great - news on Pankey. He's still a question mark in my book until he plays, but that answer is way better than, "Well, he's still working on conditioning, etc." If he can eat up 15 satisfactory minutes from day one, it's a victory. Any over that is gravy.
On another note, I'm getting very trigger-shy with Twitter stuff, but I felt this was worth a mention. Eric Bickel from The Junkies has a few tweets about Maryland's coaching search again. He says there was a surprise #1 candidate:
FWIW Jason just got permission from his deep throat to release that MD's first choice for basketball job was in fact Anthony Grant of Bama. ... It's our understanding that Grant was offered the job and indicated he would have taken if the tornadoes hadn't ripped thru that area.
Bickel, for the record, isn't someone I would normally trust, but he did nail the Turgeon deal about a day ahead of time, so he's worth listening to. Truthfully, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. Grant was high on my own list, but I always kind of knew he wouldn't leave Tuscaloosa in the shape it was in. Tough to hold it against him. Good coach, and apparently a good guy as well.