Mark Turgeon: 'I've never felt better about my program'

Mark Turgeon: 'I've never felt better about my program'
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July 3, 2014, 12:15 pm
(Associated Press)

Mark Turgeon’s sit-down interview with Daniel Martin will begin following a brief advertisement in the video player above.

COLLEGE PARK -- Attribute it to the eternal optimist in Mark Turgeon. Or say it has something to do with the top-10 recruiting class scheduled to take the floor in the fall at Comcast Center. Or maybe it’s something else.

But Turgeon’s tune is as upbeat as you could expect from a coach who in the offseason has lost five players to transfer and seen one of his good friends, assistant coach Scott Spinelli, move to take the same position on staff at Boston College.

“I’ve never felt better about my program than I do right now,” Turgeon said during a sit-down interview with Comcast SportsNet last week.

“I’m very comfortable with what’s transpired and where we are, so things are going great and I really like my guys.”

All of the players who have transferred out have found new homes. Maryland has brought in two transfers -- Richaud Pack from North Carolina A&T, who will be eligible immediately, and Robert Carter, Jr., from Georgia Tech, who will be eligible in 2015-16 -- and five freshmen.

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Seven-footer Trayvon Reed will be out until at least August while he recovers from a broken ankle he suffered in high school. They still have one scholarship to fill.

Because of that, there’s still a recognition of the circumstances within which he operates.

“It’s been an uphill battle to this point ... going through it’s no fun,” Turgeon said, adding that he rarely keeps tabs on media reports about the moves within his program. “I’m the big boy. I’m the one that gets to take all the heat, which is fine … I didn’t hear it, but I felt it this year out there.”

He now has a roster with two distinct sides. One is the luxury of four seniors on a team that had zero in the regular rotation last season.

But it also features freshmen in major contributing roles, including guard Melo Trimble, who will likely be handed the keys to the offense as the starting point guard.

“We haven’t had a lot of luck, but we have 12 really good scholarship players,” Turgeon said. “We’ve hired some good coaches …  New league, fresh start, so it’s really good timing for all of it.”