I started to respond to a comment that said we beat Duke last year solely because of matchups but as my comment equally applies to this year I decided to turn it into a fanpost instead. I agree that we matched up well against Duke but don't believe that was the reason we won. Duke was a good team last year and if we would have played Duke like we did UVA, or BC last year they would have destroyed us. I have both of those Duke games on my DVR and I recently watched parts of them. The reason we won is because every player on the team played with intensity and confidence. The crowd was awesome which allowed the team to ride a wave of emotion for the entire game. I think emotion and momentum play a bigger role in basketball than any other sport.
This teams biggest problem this year and last year is their psyche. When they have a home crowd backing them and making them feel like they are invincible, they play like it. When they are on the road or when momentum swings the other way they quickly lose confidence and fold. I think that's why Turgeon is struggling with this team, he is toeing this line of disciplining them without destroying their confidence. I have seen a lot of posters suggesting Turgeon "chew some butt" both publicly and privately, but I get the feeling that if he did that with this team many of them would just give up. Turgeon alluded to that last year when he said he had to find a different way to coach Jake because he did not respond to being yelled at. I don't know if this is a maturity issue, a personality issue, or a coaching issue and I am not absolving anyone from blame or placing blame on anybody with this post. It's meant just as an observation.
I have seen teams like this before, albeit at the high school level, and all it takes to turn them around is one player to step up and be a leader that the rest of the team has confidence in and draws confidence from. The problem is you can't force someone into that position and I believe if we currently had that player on the roster he would have already stepped up and assumed that role. Assuming this observation is accurate and that player doesn't exist on this roster, it may be a long year for us Terps fans. Hopefully someone can mature into that role for next year or it will be equally as bad.