As we are rapidly running out of things to entertain you with on the basketball front, we are ever grateful to have Testudo Times' Dave Tucker offer his insights and expertise on all things Maryland in advance of Tuesday's titanic struggle between the Deacs and Terps. Let's do this:
1) Maryland is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Duke, in a game that could have gone either way. How is this team at handling adversity and do you think there will be a hangover?
The loss to Duke, likely their last time playing the Blue Devils (unless they meet in the ACC Tourney or somehow get scheduled in the ACC-B1G challenge next year), was such a typical ending to a game involving those schools. Maryland certainly had their chances, but everyone became even more upset when we discovered the refs gave the Blue Devils an extra possession on a jump ball that should have gone to Maryland. Duke scored two points as a result and ended up winning by two, so needless to say, people aren't happy about it. The ACC then released a statement acknowledging the error, which almost made it worse.
The team seems to be taking it all in stride. Mark Turgeon was so disappointed they lost and he said they knew how much it meant to Maryland fans, young and old. But he also said the team had a great practice following the loss and they're continuing to improve, even if it's not showing up in the win-loss column.
2) Mark Turgeon is a media favorite because of his passion and energy. How much rope does he have before his seat gets warm in College Park?
There is definitely a growing portion of Maryland fans who are becoming frustrated with Turgeon, mainly because he set out expectations that this year was an NCAA Tournament year for this team and they under performed in the first half of the season. People get frustrated because they can see the talent is there, but the same mistakes continue to be made. The return of Seth Allen has really helped Maryland find an identify and their offensive production has opened up as a result. They're now playing better and that's allowing them to overcome some of those mistakes. They're in a tough part of their schedule right now, when they had to travel to Virginia, to Duke and then get Syracuse at home next Tuesday. They played well against Duke and Virginia, but couldn't pull out the win, but I think people are seeing the improvement, which has somewhat quieted some of the Turgeon bashers.
Is Turgeon going anywhere after this season? No way. First off, Athletic Director Kevin Anderson signed Turgeon to an eight year contract. Eight years. I like Turgeon and think he'll do great at Maryland, but the eight year deal is still a head scratcher to most. But putting contract length aside, I don't think he's on the hot seat. He has a top-ten recruiting class coming on board next season, adding to a team who isn't expecting to lose anyone of significance after this season. Maryland should definitely be back in the dance next year and be extremely competitive in their first season of Big Ten play.
3) You guys owe the ACC like, zillions of dollars. Where the hell is our money?
Psh. You ain't getting nothing from us. Where is our $157 million? Seriously though, I think the ACC is going to have a hard time winning their suit against Maryland and they're not doing themselves any favors by withholding current revenue from the school. I really hope for Wake's sake that whatever happens doesn't impact the Grant of Rights agreement because that could really mean bad news bears for schools like Wake, a school I've always liked.
4) Seriously, is there trepidation over the impending move to the B1G? I think the Terps will be just fine in basketball, personally, now that the recruiting map has somewhat changed.
They should be fine in basketball, especially next season. And while it might sound shocking, Maryland should be pretty decent in football next season. Not Ohio State-Michigan good, but they'll be better than a lot of people expect. I think some are more worried about leaving the ACC behind, the only conference most people have known. Losing that familiarity is what will be really weird next season.
5) I miss Jake Layman's hair. Discuss.
Don't we all? Sunshine's hair is talked about more on Testudo Times than it probably should be. Oh well.