We’re heading into our fourth day of voting – for the fourth spot of five – on our All-Mark Turgeon Team. This is an offseason thought exercise, and it’s designed as a trip down memory lane through the first five years of Turgeon’s tenure as Maryland’s head men’s basketball coach. We are all about democracy here.
The team so far:
Point guard: Melo Trimble
Shooting guard: Dez Wells
Small forward: Jake Layman
No surprises at all, really. This is about right, and it’s heartening to see our democratic project reach such a defensible conclusion.
The frontcourt vote should be a bit more interesting, though I think I have a good idea how this first vote will go. Here’s a refresher on the rules:
The highest vote-getter will be automatically on the team, and the rest of the guards will go back into the voting pool for any future rounds in which they are positionally eligible.
If the players spent time under both Turgeon and Gary Williams, you should consider their entire careers, because this is really about the players, not the coaches.
To be eligible for inclusion, a player needs to have played 50 percent of Maryland’s total on-court minutes in one season, or 40 percent in two. (This will rule out Charles Mitchell, Damonte Dodd, Jon Graham and Shaquille Cleare.
Our candidates, for center and power forward.
James Padgett, 2009-13
Padgett gave Maryland a nice four-year career, the latter half of which came under Turgeon's staff. He was never a headliner for Maryland, but he was very often useful. The Terps, unfortunately, were bad during his four seasons.
Ashton Pankey, 2011-12
Pankey played three minutes for Maryland as a freshman, then became a solid contributor in Turgeon's second year. He was unremarkable in College Park, but he did go on to a nice career (and NCAA Tournament experience) with Manhattan after leaving. Maryland could have used to have had Pankey for a few more seasons.
Alex Len, 2011-13
Len's second year at Maryland, kind of low-key, was one of the best seasons by a Maryland big man in recent times. He averaged 12 and 8 as a sophomore and then became a top-five pick (maybe the best top-five pick) in a disappointing 2013 NBA Draft. His Maryland career wasn't particularly long, but it was certainly good.
Evan Smotrycz, 2012-15
Smotrycz didn't improve year-over-year, but he spent a full three years in Maryland's program after transferring in from Michigan in 2012. Smotrycz had to sit an eligibility year, and he turned out to be a good deal better as a redshirt junior at Maryland than as a senior, when he was injured and devoid of his shooting stroke.
Robert Carter Jr., 2014-16
Carter spent two years at Maryland but, like Smotrycz, had to sit an eligibility year after his transfer from Georgia Tech. He only spent 36 games on the court, but Carter definitely made them count. He was an elite scoring power forward for one season, giving Maryland top-notch offense. His defense wasn't nearly as good, though, and Carter left for the NBA Draft. He's now off to Europe.
Diamond Stone, 2015-16
Stone's Maryland career was short. It didn't live up to some of our lofty expectations when he committed as a five-star recruit in the class of 2015. Stone wasn't a good rebounder or passer, and his attempted head-mashing of Wisconsin's Vitto Brown in a February game was one of the ugliest Maryland basketball moments in a while. But numbers are numbers, and Stone definitely gave those to Maryland. The Clippers got him in the second round of June's draft.
So, let's get to it. Who's the first big on the All-Turgeon Team?