COLLEGE PARK--Following Maryland’s second-half collapse against an undermanned NC State team, by all accounts a crushing blow to a team that had just recently enjoyed an emotional uptick, head coach Mark Turgeon had a conversation with the one man who could help make the most sense out of the situation.
Larry Brown, now the head coach at Southern Methodist, coached and mentored Turgeon during his playing days at Kansas and helped to lay the foundation for his future in coaching.
“He watched the whole thing and he’s like, ‘You know, you might get more out of this game because you lost than if you had won and had a false sense of security, being 4-2 in the league,’” Turgeon recalled on Friday.
“Instead we’re 3-3 and we have a great Pitt team coming in.”
Selling the idea that a battle can ultimately strengthen a team isn’t all too hard, but at this point in the season, Maryland might take that “false sense of security” over a bad loss to a beatable team on the road.
“We have a lot of self-inflicted wounds in a lot of things that we do,” Turgeon said. “I just got to get our guys to do what I’m asking them to do. That’s my job and hopefully I’ll do it better as we go forward.”
It seems to be an issue of readjustments, like a sequence to begin the second half against NC State when Maryland turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes. That proved to be the beginning of the end for the Terrapins on Monday.
Turgeon admits that not every adjustment can come from him. There needs to be an understanding of self-adjustment and on-the-fly re-evaluation.
“Right now, I just don’t have enough timeouts in a game.”
Junior guard Dez Wells, tabbed as the team’s leader after an early season injury to starting point guard Seth Allen, more or less fell on the sword, taking blame for what happened on Monday night in Raleigh.
“We have to have better leadership and that’s on me,” he said. “That’s not on Coach. That’s on me.
“We let one go against NC State and we let one go against Pittsburgh,” he continued. “Those are two really good teams, so we have to come out with same energy in the first half that we did in the second half.”
Maryland faces a tough rematch on Saturday evening against Pittsburgh, a team that beat the Terrapins by 20 points less than three weeks ago.
“They’re absolutely just killing teams right now, playing with tremendous confidence, shooting the ball well, and really guarding,” Turgeon said. “So, we’ve got our hands full.”