Testudo Times Staff Roundtable: Prince predictions and the state of the basketball team

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Every week we have a roundtable discussion between the contributors of Testudo Times to discuss the biggest issues surrounding the program.

Q: The Terps get the much needed victory over Miami, what was your biggest takeaway from the game?

Dave: That they continued to show improvement after what we saw in the Pitt game. They displayed great ball movement, patience, and only turned the ball over 10 times. They really benefitted from the press they used most of the game and they did a great job attacking the Miami zone. And in Dez we trust.

Andrew: That Dez Wells is an absolute monster when he's on. It's so much fun to watch. It makes it all the more frustrating when he disappears for large stretches. That was a weird game, but damn it, I'll take a win.

FlaTerp: That the situation in the paint appears to officially be based purely on matchups, not on who's playing well or who played a lot of minutes the game before.

Pete: Not be a negative nancy (although it is kind of my job title), but my biggest takeaway is that perimeter defense is a huge problem. With a game coming up against a Virginia Tech team that does nothing well except shoot threes, that's an issue.

Brendan: The team hasn't given up. This is a double-edged sword though... On one hand, the team is clearly talented enough to get a lead and hold on, but it's also bordering on incompetent enough to give it away.  The team clearly believes in Turgeon, it just needs to execute.

Q: We saw Mark Turgeon flex some of his coaching muscles in the game  was this an encouraging sign moving forward or just an inferior opponent?

Dave: I've always thought Turgeon was a good coach. Not to say there haven't been times we've questioned some things he's done, but I loved the fouling at the end and going to the 1-3-1 zone defense was very effective. Also, they did a great job implement and executing the full court press on Miami all night.

Andrew: Y'all know how I feel about Turgeon. It's not a fluke he won at every other stop in his coaching career. In general, he has not done a very good job this year, but your best player pitching a perfect game will make a coach's job a lot  easier. It's amazing what good players playing well can do.

FlaTerp: Count me among the apologists! I always thought the guy could coach. Maryland has roster problems and rotation problems, but as far as coaching the game of basketball goes, the Terps have that covered. Sure, you can put those roster/rotation problems at Turgeon's feet, but that still doesn't mean he can't coach a game at a high level.

Pete: I think it's a combination of both, but I have to say I noticed the substitutions patterns were much improved.

Brendan: It's easy to pick out a couple of good things he did against an inferior opponent and say it's encouraging moving forward.  I have to agree with Pete though, the substitution patterns were great for most of the night. Should Allen or Faust have been taken out? Maybe.

Q: Your prediction for Saturday's game against Virginia Tech?

Dave: Hopefully it's not a let down game. We've seen them carry improvements over for two games, this is the next test in my book - can they do it on the road and take care of an inferior team? If they can, perhaps we can think about mentioning the "turning the corner" phrase. But they've got to become more consistent first and this is a good chance to display that on Saturday.

Andrew: Just win fellas. Please. For my health.

FlaTerp: Can I just take a pass on this one? No? OK then. Maryland sucks at consistency, so this game feels like a huge red flag. Hopefully I'm wrong about that, but if I'm right, hopefully the Terps are able to win ugly and move on.

Pete: I think it's much closer than Maryland fans would like. I'm not sure if Virginia Tech can score enough to pull off the upset, but the three-point shooting is scary.

Brendan: Maryland 71, Virginia Tech 69.

Q: Does Damian Prince sign with Maryland?

Dave: Yes. I think we get him.

Andrew: Yes. Staying close to home seems like a big deal to him. I don't like UF getting the last visit, though.

FlaTerp: Ummm ... yes?

Pete: Anything can happen, but my guess would be yes.

Brendan: I believe what Pete tells me, but I also know that the mind of a 17/18/19 year old kid is wildly inconsistent. I'll go with yes, but I will 100% find this on Wednesday and edit my answer to be right.

Q: Looking ahead to Signing Day (Feb. 5th) will it be a good or bad day for Maryland?

Dave: I think it will be a good day. I think Prince comes to Maryland and that is huge heading into the B1G. There are still some things that will hurt about this class and who the Terps missed out on, but I think they'll recover nicely.

Andrew: The only real drama is Prince, so since I think he's coming to College Park, that means I think it'll be a good day. Now watch Jesse Aniebonam flip to Towson.

FlaTerp: It's made or broken 100% by Prince's call. Heck, maybe the Terps will flip someone at the last second, too. Still seems like we badly need another cornerback or two.

Pete: I think it will be a good day if every verbal commit signs, and a great day if Prince does as well. Maryland has brought in a solid class that addresses a lot of needs while staying within the scholarship limitations for this haul.

Brendan: Again, I believe 100% of what Pete tells me. With that in mind, I think it will be a good day regardless of Prince's decision. Who knows, maybe Tabor is still in play?

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