Testudo Times Staff Roundtable: Post-season thoughts and looking ahead to spring football

Every week the staff of Testudo Times debates the biggest stories around the program.

Q: The loss to Florida State in the ACC Tournament sealed Maryland's fate to miss any post-season tournaments, what was your level of surprise on missing out on the NIT?

Dave: I was somewhat surprised. I thought the win over Virginia basically gave them a spot in the NIT. I think having 13 automatic qualifiers really hurt their chances, too.

FlaTerp: Not very suprised. Maryland's resume had some nice points to it, but the Terps also had a crappy record and a lack of impressive wins. I'm more agitated that N.C. State got into the NCAA than I am upset about Maryland and the NIT.

Lee: At the time I was shocked. Although in retrospect, Maryland's resume looked very similar to teams that made the NIT. The NIT seemed to be in a position of having lots of automatic qualifiers, and many at large teams that all looked the same on paper.

Todd: I was certainly surprised. Although the Terps were weak early in the season, they had a marquee win against UVA and over the last month or so were literally baskets away from being a middle of the pack seed in the NCAAT. I guess this proves that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Andrew: On missing out on the NIT? Absolutely shocked. Looking at some of the teams that made it over Maryland, it's somewhat unconscionable they didn't make it. Obviously it doesn't really matter, but it shows the flaw in the selection process.

Q: It is way too early, but what is your minimum expectation for next year's basketball team?

Dave: Not knowing about any potential transfers or other changes to the roster, I'd expect them to not only be in the NCAA tournament, but be there as a non-bubble team. They need to be a solid 8 seed or better next season. That's the baseline, in my opinion.

FlaTerp: They need to be a good team that makes the tourney. As long as they play the way they played in the final third of this season -- only win some of those close games against highly ranked teams -- they'll be fine.

Lee: NCAA tournament bid is the minimum, and at least 2 wins against top 10 teams. I agree with Dave that a bid should not be in doubt on Selection Sunday.

Todd: How good is Maryland as a program right now? Anyone know how many times they've made the NCAAs since the National Championship year? Five. That's under fifty percent. Clearly the days of penciling Maryland in automatically are over. Right now, I want to see the team I saw over the last month of the season with one factor improved - learning how to finish games. If I see that early, the Terps should be in the Dance.

Andrew: I made my argument here. They need to be a good basketball team. It's pretty simple. Any consistantly good basketball team in a major conference will make the NCAA tournament. Plenty of mediocre ones will too. Just. Be. Good.

Q: How hot is Mark Turgeon's seat (1-10)?

Dave: Right this second, probably a four, mostly because he has five years left on his contract. They certainly failed to meet expectations this season, but the fact that he has an eight year contract really keeps his seat rather cool, in my opinion.

FlaTerp: I'm with Dave here. It's not hot at the moment, but if the Terps backfire out of the starting gate next season, the fanbase will turn on him in heartbeat.

Lee: In Kevin Anderson's view probably a 2. Personally, I am not happy with the current state of the program, and I don't see as much upside for next year as I did at the end of 2013. Turgeon's seat is a 6-7 in my opinion.

Todd: Not very hot. There's too much time on his contract and Maryland's still too shaky financially to throw much wood on that fire. Also, teams don't succeed by shuffling coaches. I'd say 2.5.

Andrew: Depends how you define "hot seat". Threat of being fired at this moment? 2. Threat of being fired if things don't improve quickly? 6. Heat from the fan base? 8.

Q: Who is the player you are looking forward to seeing most during Maryland football's spring practices?

Dave: Probably Wes Brown. I'll be very curious to see how he performs after having a year off and after slimming down during that time.

FlaTerp: I'll go with any of the veteran guys on the offensive line, just because that's the unit, with its influx of new talent, that is probably the most critical to Maryland's success heading into next season.

Lee: I would like to see C.J. Brown maturing and enjoying an injury free (knock on wood) offseason. Key points of emphasis are how he distributes the ball, progression in reading defenses, and passing accuracy. I think the 2014 team only goes as far as he can carry them.

Todd: They practice football in the spring? I'm too busy looking at the games that count (Lax, Baseball) to even think about practice. I mean,"we're talking about practice."

Andrew: I typed Stefon Diggs and then sighed and shrugged my shoulders when I realized he won't be out there until the summer. So I'll say Andre Monroe. He's going to be a terror next season and I imagine we'll hear rumors trickle out that's he's mauling dudes in practice.

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