Much has been made of the transformation of the Maryland men’s basketball roster through the transfer portal with the additions of point guard Fatts Russel and center Qudus Wahab, along with the depth young guys like Julian Reese and James Graham provide.
While some faces on the court may look different as the new pieces learn to mesh, the faces on the bench have changed too as head coach Mark Turgeon’s staff isn't the same as it has been in past years. Turgeon remains the head guy, as he signed a three-year contract extension last spring that will keep him in College Park through the 2025-26 season. His deal will pay him 17.5 million over the next five years.
Turgeon’s right-hand man and associate head coach Matt Brady also remains the guy with the first spot on the bench. Brady has been around college basketball for decades, joining Turgeon’s staff in 2017 as the director of player personnel. He quickly rose up the ranks, gaining Turgeon’s trust that earned him a higher role in 2018.
Brady is the offensive guru on the staff who is tasked with developing players offensive abilities, primarily their shooting stroke. Entering his fifth year in College Park, Brady and Turgeon have developed a trust where Turgeon can rely on Brady’s advice in critical times.
As for the coaches at the top of the bench, Turgeon and Brady are the only two who stuck around following last season. Bino Ransom, who had been with the program for 11 seasons and had a huge role in recruiting, left Maryland last spring for an assistant position at DePaul.
DeAndre Haynes, who was an assistant for two years at Maryland, also left the staff after last season to join head coach Shaka Smart’s staff at Marquette.
With two assistants who both had major rules in recruiting and connections to the DMV area gone, Turgeon had a difficult task finding guys who were capable replacements that could help Turgeon and the Terps get to the sweet 16 for the first time since 2016.
Naturally, Turgeon turned to his longtime friend and revered basketball figure, Danny Manning. Manning and Turgeon’s relationship started back in 1984 when they played three seasons together at Kansas.
“I’ve known him [Manning] since I was 18, so it’s good to have a guy you really trust around,” Turgeon said.
The two took different paths in their basketball journeys, with Turgeon becoming a graduate assistant before moving up the coaching ranks and Manning becoming the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Despite the different routes, the two stayed connected through the decades.
When his playing days were behind him, Manning went into coaching, first as an assistant at Kansas on head coach Bill Self’s staff, then as a head coach at Tulsa, before being hired to lead the Wake Forest program, where he was the head coach for six years. Last season, Manning was an analyst for ESPN before getting the call from Turgeon to come to College Park and join his staff.
“Guys respect him and he brings it everyday. That’s what’s important,” Turgeon said. “I always want my assistants... they got to bring it everyday and Danny brings it everyday.”
Bruce Shingler was the other assistant who filled the void on the Maryland staff. Shingler spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach at South Carolina but is from Prince George’s County, the same county where the Xfinity Center stands, which is a big reason he came to Maryland.
Shingler is well connected in the DMV area, which Maryland fans hope can help the Terps recruit local stars.
Greg Manning Jr., previously the programs video coordinator, was promoted to director of basketball operations this season after that role was also abandoned. During practice, Greg Manning can often be seen running drills and helping coach in intrasquad scrimmages.
Just like how players try to develop chemistry and a rapport on the court when new guys join the team, the coaches try to do the same throughout the offseason.
Brady, Manning, and Shingler spent time in the offseason and during preseason talking about recruiting, player development, what practices should look like and how they can do whatever they can to help this team reach the heights it is capable of.
“When you have guys like that trying to help the program get to the next level, it’s really easy to work with guys like this,” Brady said. “We’re a group of guys that really have very little ego, we’re just trying to promote coach Turgeon and our players.”
From game planning on a nightly basis to recruiting to strategizing and breaking down film, for Manning, the coaches don't really have a choice but to get along because they are spending all their time together. But in his brief time here, Manning feels welcomed and valued.
“Those two guys [Turgeon and Brady] have welcomed us with open arms,” Manning said. “It’s always nice to spend time with individuals that are in the profession that have the same dedication as you have, and our only goal is to help Maryland be as successful as possible and continue to follow the direction of Coach Turg.”