Lots of interesting tidbits from Mark Turgeon’s introductory press conference as Maryland’s new men’s basketball coach Wednesday at Comcast Center. Among them:
ON RECRUITING THE WASHINGTON AREA: While Turgeon said he didn’t want to talk specifically about the coaching staff he’ll assemble, he said that at least one would be from the Washington area, with good relationships with local coaches.
“I don’t know where I am with my staff, but I do know they’re going to have ties to this area,” Turgeon said. “I want to have great assistants who do everything they can to get the best players here and be great role models for the players that ARE here.”
ON A SERIES WITH THE HOYAS: Turgeon was savvy enough not to stake himself out on the record about the prospect of Maryland resuming a home-and-home series with crosstown rival Georgetown. But he hardly chafed at the notion, which has been discussed by the schools’ respective athletic directors, who are friends. Turgeon noted that he knew and respected Coach John Thompson III through various Nikes camps and added that he felt sure both schools would do what was in their best interests going forward regarding a potential resurrection of the series.
HOME-COURT CROWDS: Turgeon’s four seasons at Texas A&M were a resounding competitive success, with the Aggies winning at least 24 games and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament all four years.
But Turgeon, who spoke in the past about his wishes for more fan support at Texas A&M, is clearly delighted to take over at a basketball-centric school similar to Kansas, where he was a point guard and assistant coach under Larry Brown and Roy Williams.
“This is a school that loves basketball,” Turgeon said of Maryland. “They value their basketball. I was lucky enough to play at the University of Kansas, and they were the same way. And I’m glad to be a part of something like that. If you have tickets, keep ‘em. If you don’t, buy ‘em, because we’re going to do some great things here.
ON RELATIONSHIPS WITH PLAYERS: Turgeon said his passion for the game runs deep, though he may not be overly demonstrative on the sidelines. And while he described himself as demanding of his players, he says there are lines he won’t cross in getting his point across.
“I’m not going to say I don’t scream and yell; I do,” Turgeon said. “But I’m not going to curse them. I’m not going to disrespect them. I have kids of my own, and I don’t want a grown man yelling at my kids like that.”
EATING HIS WAY TO PLAYING TIME: Berend Weijs, the Terrapins’ returning 7-foot, 200-pound junior-college transfer, is working hard to add heft and muscle for next season, mindful that Maryland has a pressing need for a big man to replace 6-10, 260-pound center Jordan Williams.
Chief among Weijs’s assignments for the offseason: Consume at least 5,000 calories a day. And he was proud to say that he’d already eaten two meals Wednesday morning before stopping by Turgeon’s noon newsonference following his morning study hall.
“I’m working hard to fill in [Jordan Williams’s] role,” Weijs said. “I eat about 5,000 calories a day. I do it pretty easy sometime; I even go over it. My metabolism is really fast; so it’s really hard to gain weight. But my biggest goal is to get stronger and more explosive and get my footwork right.”
Some reaction from Maryland’s students about Turgeon.