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How does Maryland's team compare to past Mark Turgeon squads?

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We compare the 2014-15 team to past Turgeon teams and notice a trend for Turgeon coached squads that Maryland is starting to replicate this season.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

As Maryland's regular season approaches the home stretch, we can begin to step back and examine this year's version of the Terrapins and begin comparing them to other teams during the Mark Turgeon era. Alex did a fascinating piece last week examining how lucky Maryland has been this season, especially compared to how unlucky they were last season. Taking that luck variable into account, this year's Maryland team might not be all that different from last year's team, which seems somewhat shocking on the surface. Because of this, I thought it would be good to dive further into past Turgeon teams and compare them to this year's team, which appears on track to receive a three or four seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

For the purpose of this exercise, I'll be using stats from KenPom.com, unless otherwise noted, and looking at the time period of 2002-present, as KenPom's stats only go back to 2002. That span covers six years when Turgeon was at Wichita State (2002-07), four years at Texas A&M (2008-11) and his four years at Maryland (2012-present).

In looking at stats from Turgeon's teams during that stretch, one thing that jumps out is how often his teams rank high in free throw rate (FTRate), which is simply free throws attempted divided by field goals attempted. Since 2002, seven of Turgeon's teams have ranked in the top 25 of FTRate, including two of the teams he coached at Maryland; the 2012 team ranked 6th while this year's team ranks 22nd. There was a stretch from 2009-12 where Turgeon's teams ranked 4th, 10th, 15th and 6th in FTRate. But Maryland's 2013 and 2014 teams were both very inefficient at getting to the line, ranking 217th and 270th, respectively.

Another stat that appears common in Turgeon's coaching is the adjusted tempo (AdjT) of his teams. The AdjT measures the possessions per 40 minutes of a team facing an average opposing defense. Prior to his arrival at Maryland, the highest AdjT for a Turgeon team ranked 133rd nationally. From 2002-11, the average AdjT ranking nationally for a Turgeon coached team was just over 240th. Since arriving in College Park, his teams have averaged an AdjT that ranks just under 103 nationally, including last years team that checked in at 55th, by far the highest AdjT for a Turgeon coached team since 2002.

This year's team will definitely be viewed as Turgeon's most successful during his four years in College Park. Maryland is a lock to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since Turgeon took over for Gary Williams, putting the Terps back in the Big Dance for the first time since Greivis Vasquez's senior season. Furthermore, upon examining KenPom's advanced metrics, the Terps are currently on track to finish with their highest overall rating under Turgeon. But how does this year's team compare to Turgeon's past teams at Maryland?

2014-2015: Current KenPom ranking - 37th; Current record: 21-5, 9-4 B1G

What they do well

This year's team does a remarkable job of both getting to the free throw line and making those attempts. They currently rank 22nd nationally in FTRate and are making 74.3 percent of those attempts, which ranks 24th nationally according to KenPom. While the 2012 team did a remarkable job of getting to the line with an FTRate that ranked sixth nationally, they only made 66.4 percent of those attempts, a rate that ranked Maryland 266th nationally. The Terps' ability to get to the line and make free throws at a high rate has been extremely helpful in their success this season.

Where they struggle

Offensive rebounding and turnovers have both been issues that repeatedly impacted this year's team. Their offensive rebounding percentage of 28.8 percent ranks 234th nationally while their turnover rate of 17.5 percent ranks 277th.

2013-14: Final KenPom ranking - 40th; Record: 17-15, 9-9 ACC

What they did well

Last year's team was very good defensively, putting up an adjusted defensive efficiency rating that ranked 22nd nationally.

Where they struggled

As I mentioned previously, the 2013-14 team struggled to get to the free throw line. Their FTRate ranked 270th, which is by far the worst FTRate for a Turgeon team from 2002-present.  When they did get to the line, the 2013-14 team struggled to covert those opportunities into points, making just 67.9 percent of their attempts, which ranked 252nd nationally.

2012-13: Final KenPom ranking - 48th; Record: 25-13, 8-10 ACC, NIT Semi-finals

What they did well

The 2012-13 team was also a good defensive team, putting up an adjusted defensive efficiency rating that ranked 33rd nationally. They also held opponents to an effective field goal percentage that ranked 12th nationally. They were great on 2-point shot attempts and very good at offensive rebounding,

Where they struggled

The 2012-13 squad struggled with turning over the ball, not forcing turnovers when they were on defensive, and with getting to the line. Their turnover percentage ranked 292nd nationally while their FTRate ranked 217th.

2011-12: Final KenPom ranking - 129th; Record: 17-15, 6-10 ACC

What they did well

This team did a tremendous job of getting to the free throw line, ranking sixth best in FTRate. They did a lot of things okay, but didn't really do well in another major stat category that season.

Where they struggled

While they did a great job of getting to the line, they struggled to make those free throw attempts, converting just 66.4 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which ranked 266th nationally. Their effective field goal percentage was also subpar, ranking 233rd.

It's obvious that this year's team is starting to do the things that previous Turgeon coached teams have excelled in over the past 15 years, possibly a result of him having a roster full of players he has recruited to Maryland. Hopefully that trend continues and the Terps will be able to build on this season's success as they embark on Turgeon's fitfth year at the helm.