COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maryland players Dez Wells and Melo Trimble, along with head coach Mark Turgeon, addressed the media in Columbus March 19 before the Terps-Valparaiso NCAA tournament matchup March 20 at 4:40 p.m.
See what they had to say below:
Q. Dez and Melo, I know you both could answer
this question. You're finally here, what's it like to
look around this building you'll go out to practice
in a couple of minutes. What's it like to finally be in
Columbus, digging into the prep now?
DEZ WELLS: It's a lot of excitement surrounding this
tournament. Deservingly so. A lot of teams are here
that have earned spots here, and we're one of those
teams. So it's a lot of excitement around the program
and everybody is excited to take this further, try to
make a run. So everybody is excited. Man, this is the
best time of the year and the best tournament of the
year. So I'm just excited for my team to try to make a
MELO TRIMBLE: I'm just very excited and very
blessed to be here.
Q. Melo, you've talked a lot this year about how you
look up to Dez as sort of a big brother. What has
Dez taught you about the NCAA Tournament and
how have you leaned on him?
MELO TRIMBLE: I mean, it's a big tournament. And
just everything, it's still the same, you're still playing
basketball and people gotta stay focused because it's a
very important part of the year.
Q. Dez, as a freshman, you were in Ohio. You were
in the NCAA Tournament now it's come full circle.
Have you reflected on that at all?
DEZ WELLS: No, I do all my reflecting once my career
is over. As of now I'm ready to be a part of the legacy
of Maryland and getting Maryland back to the
tournament and us trying to make a run. So I'm just
excited about that.
Once everything is over with, I think
that's when I'll reflect and stuff. I don't want to reflect
too early. And I feel like you get complacent when you
start doing things like that. You always want to be on
your toes. I'll do my reflecting after everything is done
Q. Has the past four years gone fast?
DEZ WELLS: Yeah, it's gone very fast. I tell the young
guys all the time, make sure you guys work as hard as
you can for as long as you can and whenever you have
the opportunity, because this goes fast. And this is the
best time of your life, like everybody in here knows,
college is the best time of your life. You've got to keep
your priorities and everything in perspective. But it
goes extremely fast.
Q. Dez, you're one of a couple of people who have
been on the team who has been to this tournament
before. Is there anything you've shared with the
team, something about this tournament or how you
need to approach this tournament different than
the rest of the season per se?
DEZ WELLS: I tell the guys that the window of
opportunity shrinks. Shrinks tremendously for us to do
something really special in this tournament. So the
little things that we've been able to get by with or being
able to win while like not executing during the season
we can't do that now.
We have to have everything --
has to come like full circle at this point. We have to box
out and limit turnovers and things like that and loose
balls and all the little things matter a lot. We have to
continue to execute, but we have to just each and every
play means a lot. Play every possession like it's your
Q. Mark was saying yesterday how the preparation
might shift a little bit once you guys got here and
you might get more into Valpo. How has today
been different, I guess, and have you guys started
to delve more into Valpo?
MELO TRIMBLE: I don't think anything has changed. I
mean we did the same thing we did in practice. We go
over their plays and stuff like that and just basically
worry about ourselves and our offense and defense.
And that's pretty much what we've been doing all
DEZ WELLS: What was the question?
Q. Mark said that the focus might shift today and
tomorrow on Valpo. You guys worked on
yourselves all week. Have you seen that maybe the
last 24 hours?
DEZ WELLS: Yeah, Coach Turgeon, he stressed a lot
for us to be ready for the game when the game gets
here. You prepare and do all those things, you get all
those things out of the way, but you can't play the game
before the game gets there.
So we've been focusing
on ourselves and doing a lot of great things in practice.
But I think we'll all be ready once the game gets here.
Valpo, they're a really good team. We'll prepare for
them and be ready for them tomorrow.
Q. This Valparaiso team is a pretty big team. Do
you guys look at the tape or see what they do?
Does it compare at all to what you've seen during
the season with the Big Ten with some of these
MELO TRIMBLE: They are a pretty big team, shot
blockers. Basically they can stretch the floor and
shoot. All of them can shoot. [Indiscernible] We're
pretty much seeing that throughout the season different
teams have different matchups with us. They can
shoot or just power it in, so it's nothing new just. It's
different, we're in the tournament now, so it makes a
Q. I know you've talked a little bit about this, but
what do you guys remember of watching Maryland
in the NCAA Tournament when you guys were
DEZ WELLS: Do you even remember that?
MELO TRIMBLE: I just remember, I honestly don't
really remember anything. I just remember Juan Dixon
throwing the ball in the air and they winning the
DEZ WELLS: I'm a little older. I remember the fight,
the fighting and stuff they had to do to get there. It was
amazing seeing Juan and Steve Blake and Lonnie
Baxter and Chris Wilcox and seeing all the things that
they did, it was amazing.
Even though I felt like I was
there when I was watching and it was a great building
block to have like a foundation to have something like
that, and to have Juan on our staff and stuff. It was
amazing. I remember, man. It was an amazing feat
that they did. I can't put it in words.
Mark Turgeon Opening Statement
COACH TURGEON: Obviously we're thrilled to be
here. It's been a while for Maryland. And it's been a
fun year. Got a great group of guys that have been fun
to coach and won a lot of games and we're looking
forward to it. Happy to be in Columbus. Big Ten
country. And looking forward to playing Valpo.
Q. For those who haven't necessarily been in tuned
to your team all season, not as much was expected
from others as what you ended up getting out of
this team, some transition as far as players in
preseason. What came together to get you to
where you are at this point?
COACH TURGEON: Well, one, we have great
leadership. I think it starts there with our seniors. But
our personalities fit. Our pieces fit. Guys respect each
other. And I knew in June when we started doing our
individual work and we started doing some team stuff
that we had a chance to be pretty good.
We had good
pieces and the guys liked each other. And from there
it's kind of grown and we gained confidence. We
played a tough schedule. We handled the schedule
and did, I thought, an unbelievable job in the Big Ten to
be 14-4 this year. So personalities fit. Pieces fit.
Good players. Good guys. Just been a fun year at this
Q. When you hear about Valpo, they've had all
these injuries, they've had to consistently reinvent
themselves. How do you go about prepping for a
team then that's shown different lineups
throughout the course of the year?
COACH TURGEON: To be honest with you, I don't pay
attention to injuries because it's not going to be part of
our game. I just watched the last seven or eight games
with what they have. And they've done an amazing job.
Bryce has done an amazing job with this team.
remind me a lot of us. They defend well. Games are
close. They're good in the half court when they need
to be. Guys step up and make plays. They've got a
great player in Peters. Very confident, very physical
team. So I don't know what they were like when they
had those other players, but I do know what they're like
And they battled through the semis and the finals
with a kid being hurt, which was amazing in itself. So I
just watched them lately, I know what they are and
what we need to do to be successful against them.
This time of year no matter who you play is going to be
a heck of a team. We know Valpo is a heck of a team.
Q. You mentioned being in Big Ten country.
Obviously a first year for that. How was that
transition for you guys? Do you think it helped
COACH TURGEON: Well, I don't know if it helped us. I
had a good team. We beat Iowa State early in the
year. And we won at Oklahoma State. So we had a
good team. I think we're going to be good no matter
what league we're in. But everything worked out well,
considering you had to learn all these 13 new teams,
new coaches, new systems.
My assistant coaches did
an unbelievable job preparing us. And obviously
looking in now it looks like it was good for us. It's a
great basketball league, great coaches, great players.
We got the most teams, seven teams, I believe, in the
NCAA Tournament. Tied the Big 12. It's heck of a
league. It was good for us.
Q. What I was getting at, you mentioned it. You
had to prepare for each team like a new team and
that's what you've got to do for the tournament.
Does that help -- nothing is new when everything is
COACH TURGEON: No doubt. Great question.
Everything was new this year. So the one thing I like
about my team is we've been -- we've just been
focused in every game on that team and it's been an
amazing deal. Now, we didn't win all those games and
we didn't play well in a couple of them but for the most
part we were dialed in the scouting reports and did a
So there's no doubt in my mind that coming
into this tournament that we'll be dialed in to Valpo and
what we need to do to beat them. So maybe going
through what we went through really helped us prepare
for this tournament.
Q. You've got a few guys on this team who played
in this tournament before between Dez and Evan
and Richaud. What have you seen from those
guys, those seniors, as far as shedding some light
on what it's like to play in this tournament and how
do you have to prepare for it differently, per se?
COACH TURGEON: We had a meeting last night and
everybody that's been a part of the tournament just
talked about it. And obviously they shared some
moments. Just enjoyed it. Talked to the players about
enjoying it. Don't make it bigger than it is. It's a 40-
minute game. Could be longer with overtime.
rims, free-throw line is still the same. Three
referees, halftime is longer but besides that everything
is the same. But we're just preparing the way we need
to prepare. But no I think those guys have been helpful
and I think a lot of the coaches on our staff have been
not only in the NCAA Tournament but advanced in it
and I think all those stories helped our new guys.
Q. You talked a lot earlier in the year about how you
thought Dez's injury and Evan's injury would help
you down the road. Do you feel that's the case now
and how do you feel that guys like Dion and Jared
are prepared for a stage like this?
COACH TURGEON: They've played a lot of minutes.
Jared and Dion have played a lot of minutes. Jared
probably a little bit more. They're prepared for this.
They've played in all scenarios, tough road
environments, great home crowds, whatever it is.
played against all kinds of different styles. So they'll be
ready. Did the injuries help? Yeah, I think so. I think it
helped us develop our team a little bit. I think it helped
-- probably wasn't the best thing for Evan because he
had multiple injuries, but Dez has been good because
he's been fresher down the stretch and I think he's
been able to put us on his back here when we won
those eight straight games, because he was mentally
and physically fresh for us. And hopefully that will
continue in the tournament.
Q. When you're at Wichita State and you're playing
postseason and you're at Texas A&M and you're in
the tournament four consecutive years, when
you're here does it surprise you that it took four
years to get to the spot you're in?
COACH TURGEON: So I've got an ego, so, yeah,
maybe it did take longer than I anticipated, because I
think we're going to win every game and obviously we
haven't. But I'm really proud of what we've done at
Maryland, I really am.
Our first year to win 17 games I
thought was an amazing feat. Our second year we
came up just short and that's the year we could have
got in. We were probably one game short of the
tournament. Went to Final Four in the NIT, I was really,
really proud of that team. And what we've been able to
do this year. I think we've won 84, 85, 86 games in
four years but everything's based on whether you get in
this tournament or not.
So I think I've enjoyed this year
more because of what I've gone through to get to this
point. And luckily I'm a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a
little bit grayer, and I've learned to appreciate good
teams. And this team's been a lot of fun to coach. It's
made up for a lot of things we've been through to get to
Q. They're bigger than probably a fair amount of
mid-majors. Is that something that you can sort of
use to I guess maybe the best way to phrase it
would be, does that size make them a little different
from most mid-majors, and when you sort of point
out, hey, to your team, don't overlook this team,
they'll look you right in the eye, is that something
you can use and what about their size and how to
COACH TURGEON: Well, I think the thing that we look
at first is 28 wins and whether they were 6'10" or 5'11",
28 wins says a lot. I think it's probably an advantage
for us that they're bigger because that's what we're
used to. If they had a bunch of six-foot guards running
around, center at 6'5", shooting 3s, those are hard
teams to guard.
So I think it's a little bit of an
advantage for us that they're this big. And their size is
something that we see every day when we play. So
now just respect factor, one, we respect the heck out of
But the eye test, when you go out there, oh boy,
they're pretty big, yeah, probably is going to help, too.
But this time of year you're dialed in no matter what's
going on. But they do have a very, very big, tall, lanky
team for a so-called mid-major team.
Q. You've probably been asked this before but why
isn't Melo -- why does it seem like he's not quite in
that conversation with the sort of one-and-done
guys or top freshmen in the country?
COACH TURGEON: I know why. I probably just won't
say. But he's got great hair. That's why he should be
mentioned. At least he thinks he has great hair. I think
NBA looks for a certain style of player, certain type of
player. Length, speed. Above the rim, things like that.
And he's not that guy. He's not the six, seven wing
span, run and dunk 'em kind of kid, he's just a really
good basketball player. So he's close to that
And I think where he was a year ago to
where he is now. He wouldn't have even been
considered in that conversation but he shed 20 pounds.
He's worked his tail off. Another year or so, maybe the
conversation will be different. But I'm just glad we got
him. He's a heck of a player.
Q. To that point about size, this Valparaiso team it's
only been outrebounded I think five times in the
season. When you know that that's going to be
their strength, that's going to be what they want to
do, do you guys spend any extra effort battling
them on the boards or do you say we'll rotate and
get back and we'll worry about it afterwards?
COACH TURGEON: No, we're going to do what we do.
We have not been a great rebounding team all year for
one of my teams. If you look at the history of my teams
we've always been good rebounding teams. This team
for whatever reason we're not. We got outrebounded
both games in the Big Ten. But we were close, one
was one, and the other was three. We're competing
better on the boards than we have as the year's gone
on we've competed better.
So we look at it as a
challenge tomorrow. They're plus-7 on the boards.
They've outrebounded a lot of opponents. It will be a
challenge for us, but we're not going to back away or
any of that stuff. We're going to try to compete.
Turgeon, Trimble, Wells Discuss Valpo
TerrapinTimes Top Stories
Watch: No. 2 Va. OT manhandles opponentsTyran Hunt shows why he is a top target for schools such as Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech in his senior midseason highlights.
Scout FootballYesterday at 12:43 PM
Media Day Discourse: Michal CekovskyCOLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland junior forward Michal Cekovsky addressed the media Oct. 25.
TerrapinTimesYesterday at 10:09 AM
Behind Enemy Lines: IndianaMaryland takes on Indiana Oct. 29 in Bloomington, Ind., and to gain more insight into the Hoosiers we spoke to Peegs.com analyst Matt Weaver.
TerrapinTimesYesterday at 9:09 AM
Media Day Discourse: Justin JacksonCOLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland freshman forward Justin Jackson addressed the media Oct. 25.
TerrapinTimesYesterday at 6:00 AM
OC Bell Encouraged By Progress, FreshmenCOLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland offensive coordinator Walt Bell addressed the media Oct. 26 ahead of the Terps' Oct. 29 game at Indiana.
TerrapinTimesWednesday at 11:03 PM