We all heard Mark Turgeon explain how he entered the locker room at halftime of the Notre Dame game, after watching his team throw up bricks from beyond the three point arc, now trailing by nine. Rather than rip into them, he apologized for failing them and implored them to have fun.
As Shaq put it after the game, "And he was just like, ‘Guys, stop walking on eggshells. Just have fun. Just relax and play.’ We really took it in. We took it over to the second half."
The other night on his radio show Turgeon credited himself with "guessing right" on a strategy that he admitted only works if used sparingly. Forget for a moment that this comment seems to contradict what he said immediately after the game, when he said that the team's motto henceforth will be to just go out and have fun.
My real question is whether Turgeon really just pulled this strategy out of his ass out of desperation, or if he was in fact influenced by recent events to try it. Specifically, I wonder if he heard, and took to heart, what Jay Williams said on the broadcast of the Florida State debacle from the game prior. I could not help but notice that allowing his players to "just go have fun" seems to be exactly what Williams was calling for in his criticism of the coach. Here is a direct quote from Williams during the broadcast, in case you missed it:
"It seems like some players for Maryland play a little bit tight on the offensive end. And I don't know if that is them just being afraid to get outside of themselves or the coach just demands them to execute more, but if Maryland was a little bit looser offensively and played to their strength, right — which is driving and shooting 3s; being confident; Jake Layman driving down the lane, dunking on people and shooting 3s — I thought this team, if they played a little bit looser, they would be a better basketball team."
Do we have an ex-Dukie to thank for Turgeon's brainchild, or is it a coincidence?