First and foremost we got a great x's and O's coach who works his heart out each and every day to make this team better. We got a coach who finally has recruited some of the top rated players in the area and has convinced them to play at the University of Maryland. Finally we have a coaching staff that has some of the top recruits in the country taking a long hard look at our program when for years that didn't happen.
We have a head coach that proved his salt every stop along the way and was willing to take over our program when others weren't interested and when there was very little to work with when he did take over. We have a coach that was forced to play multiple walk-ons in his first year and still produced a winning record while going 6-10 in the ACC with eight, that's right eight scholarship players.
There are some who think with the talent Maryland already has we should have made the tournament last year and definitely this year. Well, that thinking is entirely wrong. We are, in fact one injury away from playing walk-ons again. Already, this year before Seth Allen came back we were forced to play Varun Ram. Besides Seth Allen this team has only one other point guard a freshman Roddy Peters. We do not have a Center or power forward that can score and defend.The lack of overall talent on this team should be apparent to all knowledgeable basketball fans, and yet we still have some who blame our head coach for not securing more victories. By the way, I would expect most of our team to improve the longer they are coached by Mark Turgeon. Some already have shown that improvement.
Look, there are very few 5 star recruits in basketball. Those that are, normally have a most complete game while the 4 stars and below have a whole in their game. Those that are 5 stars will not be taking their game to Maryland until we prove to the world that we are a team to be reckoned with. That will take time, but they will come.
JJ Redick who any true terp fan despised had one of the greatest outside strokes in college basketball. In addition he was lights out from the foul line. His weakness was that he was a set shot shooter that could not create his own shot out of high school. When he got to college he worked on his handle and his drive to the basket along with a variety of shots. A coach can only do so much. He can tell his players what they need to work on but he can't do it for them. Anyone who thinks a head coach can make a player better by willing it doesn't understand a thing about athletics.
Some athletes just don't have it in them to get to the next level while some aren't willing to put in the work, but to blame a head coach when athletes don't progress is ludicrous. In Mark Turgeon's case, he is still working with an extremely short bench and it's extremely difficult to sit a player when his substitute is bound to perform worse.
Sometimes I wonder why I even respond to some of the posts here when it is clear that some of the posters, have no experience in coaching or playing sports at the college level. When you can stand in their shoes you have a much better perspective how difficult it is to get to the top level. You understand how difficult it is to put a team together to compete with the best in college basketball when you are dealt the hand that Mark was dealt.
As far as in game coaching is concerned, I would take Mark against anyone in College basketball. For as highly as coach K is held, he would have never been beaten by some of Maryland's more athletic teams if he had just gone zone. He never has and he never will, while Jim Boeheim has made a living at it at Syracuse. Coach K fields a team with McDonald All Americans at every position, while Maryland has had how many in total. Coach K's team should have won the National Championship every year; John Wooden's teams did. That makes Coach K a terrible coach now doesn't it? He underperformed. How many juniors and seniors are on Maryland's team? Did you know that the majority of great college teams are made up of junior and senior laden teams, with exceptions of course.
If you truly understand the game of college basketball, Maryland's lack of success has nothing to do with their head coach but everything to do with the fact that this is an extremely young and thin team in terms of quality players. You don't build depth from scratch and that is the task that Mark was given when he took over our program. We should thank our lucky stars that he was willing to take over our program. We are not and have not been a premier program except for the years before during and after our National Championship run and that was too long ago for any kid in High School player to remember.
Lefty Driesell started our program on the right track and then there was Len Bias. Gary Williams resurrected this program form the bottom, the right way, and took us to our first National Championship. Many wanted to run him out of town well before he accomplished that feat. Many wanted to run coach K out of town before he turned Duke into the power house they became. Some who are foolish would like to do the same thing with Mark Turgeon. Some here question his substitution pattern. One posters say we should develop Dodd and get rid of Cleare. Fortunately, we have a head coach that understands the game of basketball, how to help players develop their skills, example Alex Len, and how to get the most out the the talent and athletic ability that this team has. Help is on the way and I hope that those that have exhibited frustration with our lack of success on the court will realize that better days are coming with the coaching and recruiting ability of Mark Turgeon paving the way to our next National Championship and powerhouse program.