Williams talks Terps identity, Whittington transfer
COLLEGE PARK--At this point, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon just doesn’t know. In the wake of his team’s 83-77 loss to Boston University on Saturday afternoon at Comcast Center, Turgeon was stuck behind a podium taking questions from the media to which he had no answers.
They were questions that spanned the spectrum, from questions about non-conference woes at home to questions about where the search for answers begins to why guard after guard after guard puts up big offensive numbers against this defense.
“We are what we are. We’re trying. We’re trying,” Turgeon said in response to a CSN question. “I can’t answer your question because I couldn’t answer Jeff’s [Barker, Baltimore Sun] and I couldn’t answer … Alex’s [Prewitt, Washington Post] question because I’m trying to figure it out and hopefully I can over the break.”
Players will now return home to their families as Maryland takes a holiday break. The team will return Dec. 26 to prepare for its Dec. 29 home game against Tulsa.
There’s plenty to point a finger at. Turgeon was constantly swapping players in and out to combat the team’s lack of depth. Maryland shot 57 percent from the free-throw line, missing 11 shots in a game that was decided by six points. The Terrapins turned the ball over 17 times.
But Turgeon had one answer for it all.
“I’ve been coaching a long time. The ball is not bouncing our way and you’ve got to create that,” he said, taking responsibility for the loss in the process. “We got to figure out a way to make the ball bounce our way. We just have to do it. I’ve never been through something like this.”
In its five losses this season, the Terrapins are averaging 74.4 points per game. That’s not allowing 74.4 points per game. Maryland has been putting up that many and still losing, including a 60-point performance vs. Ohio State that is pulling down the overall average.
Maryland has lost to Connecticut, Oregon State, George Washington, and Boston University after scoring at least 75 points in each of those games.
“I think it starts on the defensive end for us,” sophomore forward Jake Layman said after scoring 14 points in the loss to BU. “With our defense, we just got to be more alert and know where shooters are and know which guards can score off the dribble and which guards are shooters. It’s just something we got to work on.”
Once Maryland allows penetration into the paint, the departure of Alex Len to the NBA continues to leave a massive hole in the middle. There is no rim protector, save 6-10 athletic big man Damonte Dodd, who is not polished enough to get consistent minutes in the rotation.
BU guard D.J. Irving was the latest to torch Maryland’s defense, going for 25 points on 7-of-11 shooting on Saturday.
Irving, along with 13 points and seven assists from backcourt mate Maurice Watson Jr., helped the Terriers drop Maryland to 7-5 on the season with Christmas around the corner.
“The break might be coming at a good time,” Turgeon said. “Let the guys get home, start fresh when we come back on the 26th.”