The Maryland basketball team has committed to face George Washington in next season’s BB&T Classic, extending its partnership with the mid-winter event to a 19th year just one month after Coach Mark Turgeon expressed his trepidation over future participation.
Maryland athletics director Kevin Anderson confirmed the agreement via text message. The game will take place on Dec. 8, 2013.
Shortly before this season’s BB&T Classic, when the Terrapins beat George Mason 69-62, Coach Mark Turgeon expressed his concern over Maryland’s future in the event.
“I’ll sit down with everybody concerned, see if it’s the best thing for us,” Turgeon said then. “A lot of it will determine what kind of crowd we have tomorrow. I don’t want to return the game. It’s hard to get someone to come play us. I want to do what’s best for Maryland basketball.”
Part of the one-year deal, which has yet to be formally signed, is that the Terps will not have to return the game. Turgeon enjoys maintaining control of his non-conference scheduling, and mentioned in December that having to play a return BB&T Classic game gives him less flexibility.
Representatives from both Maryland and the BB&T Classic will discuss their future together at a later date, BB&T Classic organizer and Washington Post columnist John Feinstein said. The one-year deal allows more breathing room for both sides to consider future participation, rather than rushing into a long-term agreement.
George Washington and Maryland have played in the charity event every year since its inception in 1995. George Mason, which has played in five BB&T Classics since 2004, will face a to-be-determined opponent in the early game before the Terps and Colonials square off. Feinstein said the Patriots are searching for a “national opponent.”