Staff Roundtable: Basketball back on track?

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Every week we discuss the biggest topics surrounding the Maryland program.

Q: What was your reaction to former Super Bowl champion Keenan McCardell being added to the Maryland staff as the new WR coach?

Alex: I don't know how it could be anything but a good thing. McCardell has excellent experience at every level of football, and he clearly knew a thing or two about playing the game. He'll help Stefon Diggs and company a great deal.

Andrew: It's kinda perfect. He has 17 years of NFL experience and wasn't some first round guy whose talent carried him all the way. As Randy said the press conference, the receivers on this team should be sponges to everything McCardell tells them. He doesn't have experience recruiting, but I'm sure two rings will look good in a kid's living room.

Pete: I also love this hire. McCardell had a good reputation when he was coaching at Washington, and he brings an incredible amount of pro experience with him to the team. Recruits will be positively jumping for the chance to learn from one of the greatest to play the position (he ranks in the top 20 all-time in a whole ton of categories), and there really shouldn't be any doubt about his ability to develop receivers at Maryland.

Brendan: I love it. I love it so much. There's no way adding a super bowl winner and pro-bowler can ever be a bad thing. If he can get some recruiting chops, we're looking at a slam dunk.


Q: Now that we officially know James Franklin is at Penn State, what is your concern level (1-10) about his future and his program?

Alex: Zero. Maryland's going to be playing in a really competitive conference. We already knew that, and Penn State getting an exciting young coach doesn't do anything to change it. That program was never going to stay down for long.

Andrew: I've made my thoughts on Franklin pretty clear, so I won't rehash them. My concern level is a 2, mostly because of recruiting. I think he's in the NFL in three or four years anyway.

Pete: Six? Let's go with six -- mildly worried, no fire and brimstone.

Brendan: Eight. I've said multiple times that I'm terrified of it, and I still am.

Q: What does the Terps win over Notre Dame mean -- is it something or nothing?

Alex: It's something mild. Notre Dame is depleted and generally not that good, but they're a formidable conference opponent. Those are the games you should win at home, and Maryland did.

Andrew: I think this: it means that this is an okay basketball team: not great, not awful. I'll take this time to remind everyone that the NCAA selection committee is specifically instructed to not look at margin of victory when deciding who makes the tournament. It's a flaw in the system that should change BUT it could benefit Maryland this season. What it means is that there are only two truly bad losses on Maryland's resume, Oregon State and Boston University. I don't think they end up in the tourny in the end, but they aren't in quite the hole we perceive they are.

Pete: It's definitely something to win any ACC game, and Notre Dame is a slightly better team than Georgia Tech and Boston College. More importantly, it's how Maryland won -- with improved defensive play, especially from Shaquille Cleare and Nick Faust.

Brendan: Winning a conference game is always good, like Pete pointed out, but is it something? We'll see. It'll be something if they can string together some impressive performances.

Q: We've heard concerns about Mark Turgeon recently -- including Jay Williams criticizing him during the broadcast against Florida State -- did the win over Notre Dame do anything to change your opinion of Mark Turgeon or his status with the program?

Alex: I don't think "signature wins" should be a huge factor in measuring a coach's body of work, especially in basketball, where there are so many games. This wasn't even that, so it doesn't change much about my thinking. Maryland still has problems, and it's up to Turgeon and his staff to work through them.

Andrew: I'm in a wait and see mode. Even if this season is a disappointment I want to see what he does with what should be a better constructed and, dare I say, veteran roster next year. When is the last time Maryland had a team of veterans mixed with a group of highly touted recruits?

Pete: Like Andrew said, I'm very much in a holding pattern re: Turgeon, so Williams's comments (or the win) didn't change my opinion.

Brendan: I'm not as concerned about him as I am Edsall, but I hate seeing him get called out on national TV. Absolutely hate it.

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