Tonight on the Mark Turgeon Radio Show, the big story was Maryland's move to the Big Ten, which was officially announced Monday morning. Other topics on the show included analysis of Maryland's win over LIU Brooklyn, their upcoming matchup against Lafayette, and point guard Peshon Howard joined the show to talk about how he came back from his injury.
Turgeon spoke at length about Maryland's recent move to the Big Ten conference.
Turgeon says he was at first skeptical and thought, There's no way this is happening right? But he says he sat down with the Athletic Director, learned the specifics of the deal and he says, I feel at the time for our school and our athletic department we absolutely made the right decision.
Turgeon talked about the reasons for the move, We're hurting for money. It's going to help us in that way, but more importantly we're Maryland the University not just Maryland the Athletic Department, and this move will help our University and take us to another level academically.
With the changing landscape in college athletics, many experts and coaches have speculated on where the NCAA is headed, Turgeon added his prediction, The landscape is changing. I think the Big Ten will add more east coast teams. I think what's going to happen in college athletics is there will be five leagues of 16 teams, and those 90 teams will separate themselves from the rest of division 1.
He then added, We're in a great position that there are two major leagues that want us (Big Ten and ACC). The Big Ten wanted us because academically we're such a strong school and we fit in with their schools. Also our market helps and where we are located.
Turgeon also added, We're not changing the way we go about our job. Maryland basketball is special, it always has been special. That's not going to change. We're still going to recruit the best players and try to be the best team in the country, it's just going to change who we play.
Turgeon had good things to say about the Big Ten, It's an excellent league, we went from one great league to another great league. Right now in basketball it would be considered the number one league in the country, it has 3 of the top 5 teams and 5 of the top 20.
Athletic Director Kevin Anderson called in to the show to give his thoughts on the move. When you look at the landscape of college athletics there have been movements and changes everywhere. It's different than when we grew up. This was a great time to look at the landscape and move on to the Big Ten and join their conference.
Anderson added, We looked at this with concern for the full institution, we looked at the collaboration that they have and how they work to do things together. There's no question that the athletics is great for us, they have great programs top to bottom.
Anderson also commented on the financial impact of the move, The financial benefit will help us stabilize our financial situation Well be able to move on and have some financial security.
When it comes to bringing back some of the programs that Maryland has cut in the past few years, Anderson is hopeful. We're going to review the data and see how the finances work out, were going to do it smart. We're not committing to anything right now, but at the end of the day I know there will be some sports reinstated.
Turgeon also talked about Maryland's 91-74 victory over LIU-Brooklyn Friday night. That game scared me going in, they're very talented. We're obviously a better team than we were last year. Turgeon added, We didn't defend great. In the 2nd half they scored six straight baskets, that gave them confidence that they could play with us.
Turgeon complimented the play of Dez Wells, saying, Dez looked like the kid we hoped he would be. I think he was putting too much pressure on himself. I said 'let me handle the pressure you just do what you do and play.' I thought he did that and got in his comfort zone and played well.
Turgeon also had good things to say about freshmen Seth Allen, Seth scored the ball well for us, Shaquille Cleare, Shaq had a really good night, and Jake Layman. Jake gets better every time he gets on the floor.
The head coach spoke about the squad's depth and possible lineup changes, Our bench is good, We've stuck with a veteran starting lineup so far, we're waiting for a young person to step up and take a spot or two. I do think our starting lineup will change, our young guys need to grow up a little and become more reliable.
Turgeon says he already sees improvement after three games, We're starting to figure out the offense, we're passing better, getting the ball through Alex [Len]. We've got a tremendous weapon in Alex, he's going to score and create shots.
Maryland takes on Lafayette Tuesday night. Turgeon talks about Maryland's next opponent, They've got a lot of shooters. They run good stuff and they've got an excellent coach. We have to guard better than we did Friday night.
Point Guard Peshon Howard joined Turgeon on the show. Turgeon had only good things to say about Howard, Peshon's doing fantastic. He's practicing better than any time last year. He's been great, he's been a good leader and he's in a good place right now.
Howard, who is coming off an injury that left him sidelined for most of last season, says he put in a lot of time with the trainers to get back in shape, We worked really hard and stayed positive and it turned out really well. He added, It feels good to be back and I'm taking everything as an opportunity to get better. I'm happy to be around my teammates and to be back on the court.
Howard also talked about the chemistry that the current team has, It's more than any team I've been on. Coach is recruiting well, he's really focusing on finding players with good personality that fit in well with the team and not just players that have talent.
To this, Turgeon added, When you have good kids it's easy to recruit good kids. Peshon's been a part of that. Nick Faust has been a big part of that, they do a lot of recruiting for us.