COLLEGE PARK -- Following one of the best wins of his career Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon got choked up speaking to the media, explaining how much Maryland’s 83-81 win over Duke meant to him.
“I know what this win means for our fan base, and I really wanted to beat Duke,” he said. “This means a lot to me.”
As the coach explained his passion for coaching, he began to get emotional. At last week’s 80-69 loss to Virginia, a home game for Maryland, the crowd voiced much displeasure with the Terps level of play.
“It has been a hard week,” Turgeon said, clearing his throat and excusing himself for a moment.
“It has been a hard week on my family, hard on my son last week. He had to leave the stands because the fans were so hard on his dad. This win was for my family and the fans.”
The victory over No. 1 Duke puts Maryland back in the conversation for an NCAA Tournament berth, and perhaps gives the Terps the signature win they need to counter a weak non-conference schedule.
“There’s a lot of pride in Maryland basketball,” Turgeon said. “I’m just really proud of my kids. I worked them really hard this week.”
The win puts Maryland at 18-7 on the season with a 6-6 record in ACC play. More importantly, it shows the young Terps can compete and beat the best teams in the country.
“It’s one thing to play Duke close, it’s another to beat them,” the second year Terps coach said. “We figured out how to beat them by two. It’s a great win.”
Turgeon did not want to discuss the NCAA Tournament, but said that if the team remains committed they can go on a run. That begins Tuesday night with a tricky game at Boston College.
“It’s time for us to step up and act like one of the big guys on the block,” Turgeon said. “We will see how we react from it. I am going to keep a foot on them. We have a lot of basketball ahead of us.”