Maryland Coaching Search: Meet Mark Turgeon, the Newest Rumor

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Head coach Mark Turgeon of the Texas A&M Aggies reacts in the first half of the game against the Florida State Seminoles during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Well, it looks like Mark Turgeon is the next Twitter rumor favorite. I have no idea if he's actually going to happen, and in fact it probably won't. But while we wait for actual news, let's try another coaching profile. Hopefully this one has a better result.

Current Gig: HC at Texas A&M
Past Gigs: HC at Witchita St., HC at Jacksonville State, assistant for Philadelphia 76ers, assistant at Oregon, assistant at Kansas
HC Record: 249-158
Age: 46

NCAA Tournament Appearances: Five; one at Witchita St., four in a row at Texas A&M
Sweet 16 Appearances: One, at Witchita St.
Elite 8 Appearances: None
Ties to the Area: None to speak of. Born in Kansas, played at Kansas, and has coached mostly in the Midwest or southwest. He rarely recruits in this area, though he did land Naji Hibbert from DeMatha.
Recruiting: Good, but not spectacular. There's ridiculous talent down in Texas, and he's yet to land any great talent. But in each of his four years at TAMU, he's ended up with at least one four-star commitment, including DeMatha's Hibbert. TAMU isn't a recruiting dream - no tradition, average facilities, a definite football school - which makes it tough to figure out how good of a job he's doing. He's no slouch here, but he's not a Miller, either.
Game Coaching: Hey, remember when Kevin Anderson said he wanted someone like Gary? Well, does this sound familiar?

Mark Turgeon coaches a man-on-man defensive style, with occasional zone, and a guard oriented offense.[20] Although he is known for his intense competitiveness and desire to win, Turgeon treats his players well, with some even saying they see him as a sort of father figure, as opposed to just a coach.

Yep, that's Gary. And this is Gary, too.

I'm presuming an AD would prefer to have a great recruiter over a great coach. If a coach is a great recruiter and fairly intelligent, he could hire guys to help with the X's and Os. Still, it's fun watching a guy like Mark Turgeon take a bunch of players, keep them together for a few years, build a cohesive team and watch them succeed.

Anyway, as for results: he got Witchita St. into the Sweet 16, which is impressive. And each year he's been at aTm - a school with almost no basketball pedigree - they've gone to the NCAA Tournament. He even had them ranked highly this year at times. And he tends to do well with under-the-radar guys like Khris Middleton, who was a three-star but became just a star at aTm.
Program Building: He inherited a terrible situation at Witchita St., and in six years had them in the Sweet 16. And though Gillespie left a nice base at Texas A&M, his success was far from solidified. He's done most of what he's done on his own.
Cleanliness: As a whistle. Turgeon tends to be straight-laced. He's not an amazing recruiter, and if he's cheating to get those guys we're in some serious trouble.
Other useful info: Just read this if you want to feel good (and simultaneously apathetic) about this hire. ... He's on Twitter!
Interest in Job: Presumably, really high. TAMU isn't a great place to work for a basketball coach, and Maryland is without a doubt better. He'd take the job if it was offered, almost certainly.
Is it Realistic? Yes.
Reaction to Hiring Would Be: Somewhere between apathy and happiness. Turgeon isn't taking Maryland to an elite level, or at least probably not. But he's a great coach, is a lot like Gary, and won't see Maryland regress much, if at all. Given the circumstances, things could be worse.

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