Turgeon bans "Christmas" as Maryland preps for BU

Turgeon bans "Christmas" as Maryland preps for BU
December 20, 2013, 1:45 pm
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COLLEGE PARK--The order came directly from coach Mark Turgeon. There is to be no Christmas cheer for this Maryland basketball team until after Saturday’s 1 p.m. game against Boston University at Comcast Center.

“I can’t say the “C” word. I’m not allowed to say the “C” word by Coach Turgeon,” junior guard Dez Wells told the media on Friday, referring to the Dec. 25 holiday. “He’s being a Grinch right now. After tomorrow he’ll be better.”

The root of the concern is focus, Turgeon says, hoping that the whirl of finals week and upcoming Christmas break doesn’t take away from the task ahead, a game against a tough mid-major BU team.

“They’re packing their bags. They haven’t been home since August. They’re all excited,” Turgeon explained. “Today they can talk about Christmas break, pack their bags, get their rides lined up, all that kind of stuff. We wake up tomorrow, I cannot hear the word Christmas until the game is over...from anybody.

“It’ll be all about BU from the time we wake up.”

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Of course there’s a joking undertone to the entire charade, masking the more serious fact that Maryland has three more games to play until the bulk of the ACC schedule begins.

But things are looking up.

Freshman Roddy Peters is continuing to mature at the point guard position, even quicker than some others expected. Jake Layman, who is having a breakout year as a sophomore, would have liked to enjoy the kind of success Peters is having a year ago.

“I think he’s right where he needs to be right now. We expect a lot out of him ... His confidence is really high right now. You can just tell in practice,” Layman said. “Compared to me, I think he’s a little further along than I was at this point last year.”

Maryland will need a big game from Peters and the rest of the backcourt as the Terrapins face a strong duo of sophomore Maurice Watson and senior D.J. Irving in the Terriers backcourt.

Check back to CSNBaltimore.com for more on Boston University’s backcourt later in the day.