So, to borrow from Charlotte, let's get a discussion going about Turgeon's coaching style (winning!) and player development so far this season. Reading through a bunch of other posts this morning got me thinking about what Turgeon has been doing with the team this season. I just got back to work from a week of paternity leave and can't focus on my work, so I figured that this would be a worthy use of my time. First, a disclaimer: I never played organized basketball. I'm 5' 7" and white. Hell, I never even liked basketball until I got to Maryland. So I'll leave any real analysis of the Xs and Os to others. But here are a few of my thoughts on the season to date. And I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks as well.
-Stoglin: He's just been a monster. I don't know how much of his scoring is coaching; probably not much. But I've seen Stoglin make marked improvement in his game over the season. He's not rushing his shot as much, he's been playing more in the flow of the offense (at least compared to early in the season), and he seems to be getting his teammates involved a bit more. Does he still try to do too much? Sure. But I like the fact that Turgeon seemingly acknowledges the need to unleash Stogmode at times. Going forward the rest of the season and into next, I want to see if Turgeon can mold Stoglin to improve his passing abilities and his vocal leadership for the team.
-Howard: To the naked eye, he seems to have regressed some. Obviously, there are mitigating factors for this: injury, limited time early in the season, teammates with stone hands. But I would like to see how Turgeon gets Pe' to improve his passing over the rest of the season. But Pe' seems to have bought in to what Turgeon wants and is very coachable. Turgeon was saying that he wanted Pe' to start shooting more, and we've been seeing that. He still puts up some questionable ones, but he's doing better.
-Len: He's just been on a roller coaster. But Turgeon (or Spin) seem to have located his issues and been working on them. The improvement the past couple of games has been really noticeable. Big question is, can they get it to continue the rest of the season?
-Faust: To me, this is arguably the best coaching job on the team. Teaching Nick to be a PG early in the season has been paying dividends in his performance now that he's no longer a main ball handler. His defense, ball handling, and passing have all improved. They got him away from the 3 point shot (mostly) and driving to the rim. At first, he wasn't completing those drives. Past several games, those layups have started to fall. Something is improving there. To me, Nick is the biggest example of a player on the team where the coaches said 'fix this' and the player responded with great results.
-Inspector Padgett: Just great improvement from the start of the season to now. His FTs have improved, he's added some new post moves, and he's getting great rebounds. The coaches building up his confidence has been huge.
-Mosley: Obviously, we all want more consistency out of him. Don't know if there's anything Turgeon can do to obtain that. But it's clear that Mosley has been putting it all on the line this season. He could've very easily mailed this season in (the whole team could've done that, for that matter), but he hasn't. Going forward, I want to see if Turgeon can mold the next leader for the Terps.
Pankey/Parker: I don't really have much to say here. I want more out of Parker. Pankey has been a pleasant surprise though. He's improving nicely. And he's probably the only person on the team that, for whatever reason, I feel confident in when he's at the FT line. But someone, please, teach them how to finish those monster dunks!
Weijs: Probably my only disappointment here. I want to see him get a bit more time. I thought that him and Len working together against UNC was pretty solid.
Wow, that was a lot to devote to just player development. Probably could've done that in like 1/4 of that. Oh well. Moving on.
Some things that I feel as though have been a mixed bag. This is stuff that is more Xs and Os, so someone with a bit more insight, please enlighten me.
-Clock management: At the start of the season, there were times that I felt as though Turgeon was a genius with his timeouts. Since we've hit the ACC schedule though, there have been some decisions that left me scratching my head a bit.
-Player substitutions: Sort of similar to clock management. I thought it was excellent at the beginning of the season, especially considering the lack of players we had! But lately, I've just been wondering things like 'why aren't there more bigs in?' I pretty much defer to Turgeon's wisdom on that, though.
-The move from the Flex: Obviously there would be kinks in players changing their system. What do you guys think about the way that the offense is being run? I like the fact that the past couple of games we've been able to look inside more often and looking to drive, rather than just settling for outside shots. I also liked what I saw with the press some. Wonder how much we'll see that moving forward?
Now, the only thing that I have a bit of a gripe with is the way that we've seemingly played to the level of our competition. That's great against the elite teams; nerve-wracking against the mid-majors. But if it means we're still beating the mid-majors and giving ourselves a shot against the superior (talent-wise) teams, I'll take it.
Wow, that's a lot. I missed a lot of stuff that I originally wanted to mention. Going on too little sleep and too much coffee. So, what do you guys think of Turgeon's player development, in game decisions, strategy, etc.?