Turgeon, Wells, Trimble Discuss Terps Win

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 4 seed Maryland defeated No. 13 seed Valparaiso, 65-62, in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Nationwide Arena. After the game, Terps head coach Mark Turgeon, along with players Dez Wells and Melo Trimble, addressed the media

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 4 seed Maryland defeated No. 13 seed Valparaiso, 65-62, in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Nationwide Arena. After the game, Terps head coach Mark Turgeon, along with players Dez Wells and Melo Trimble, addressed the media. Here is what they had to say:

COACH TURGEON: I want to say that we lost a good booster today in Jim Clark. He's done a lot for our university and we dedicated this win to him and his family today. He's been tremendous to our university and our athletic program over the years. With that said. I was really proud of our team. I thought it was a terrific win. I thought we were great defensively.

I thought Valpo was terrific. They made a lot of shots. Shots when they shot them I thought were good shots for us. And they made them. The Peters kid is terrific. But we were really good defensively. And we were just good enough offense to get it done.

We were in foul trouble the whole game. Had to play some funny lineups. Had some young guys step up and play well for us. It's hard to win this time of year, and really proud of my group. Another great close win for us.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Melo, can you talk about the way the freshmen especially stepped up tonight, you and Dion hitting a shot and obviously Jared with the way he played in the first half?

MELO TRIMBLE: I think we had confidence from our upperclassmen going into this game, and basically we just played really loose and we didn't worry about, well we worried about the outcome but we didn't worry about anything else, just played basketball and that's what we did today.

Q. I know you've answered this question a gazillion times but here you are again it's a one-possession game, late in the game. Do you ever wonder like why does this keep happening, why are we always in these positions? What do you think when you're in that position yet again?

DEZ WELLS: I think it's just, I don't know, I can't really give you a definitive answer on why that happens. But, I don't know, I guess it's just the nature of our team. And when it gets down to like the grit part of the game, we just find ways to win. And that's how we are. That's how we've been throughout this year.

So I think that works in our favor, because we've, what, was it, like, 11 games we've won? 12 within six points. So like I said, we've been battle tested throughout the whole year. So experience, as this is experience for us. So that's something that we're ready for in any game.

But, I don't know, coaches and our poise and confidence regardless of what happens throughout the game, and the adjustments we make in the game.

Q. Melo, word in the locker room is that you have a lot of day-to-day battles with Varun. Could you describe what those are like and what kind of defender he is?

MELO TRIMBLE: Varun's a great defender. He always makes me better. When I'm on offense he presses the ball, and even on offense he does a great job on offense, makes me run around, makes me chase him, just makes me better, and he got in today and played defense, and that's what he does on me every day.

Q. Dez, when you picked up the second foul today, did you have flashbacks to last week at all in terms of the way the game started and getting the second foul?

DEZ WELLS: No, no, I just knew I had to stay ready, stay ready for whenever Coach called my number and keep encouraging my guys and be the person that I've been throughout the whole year, and keep my composure and make sure these guys are ready for whatever adjustments he makes throughout the game.

Q. I was talking to Coach Warren in the locker room. He said the first game in the NCAA Tournament is always the hardest, did you feel like that, that you got over a hump today?

MELO TRIMBLE: I was pretty nervous to start off the game. And this game right here just got the nervousness out of me. Now I'm just ready to keep playing basketball.

DEZ WELLS: I would say in the tournament, each game is going to be the toughest, but I'll say the first game is the way that it is for each and every team in the tournament because of the excitement surrounding it, you want to get all the butterflies out. But it's great to win our first game, to continue the success so far.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. What exactly did you say to Varun in that last timeout? Was it your instructions to foul or let him make that call?

COACH TURGEON: I probably wasn't great in the timeout because I changed my mind a couple times. Switched 1 through 5. Switch all screens, which we don't practice a lot to let's foul, let's don't foul. Those timeouts are forever. Gives me too much time to think. But if it was under 5 and they were still struggling, which they were, we were supposed to foul. And as long as they weren't in the shooting motion.

But we didn't which was fine. And the whole thing with Varun, with him you've got to dial him back because he loves to play defense so much. I thought us getting through screens and executing defensively was really good really the last 30 seconds of the game and throughout the game. We were supposed to foul if they were dribbling out towards half court. He probably didn't do it because he was on the side and in the end it worked out for us.

Q. You just ran through all the things you were thinking about defensively. But to put a guy in who had not played for 39 minutes, where does that sort of inspiration strike? What is it about him that lends itself to that situation?

COACH TURGEON: Well, a lot of things. One is we have a lot of confidence in him. Varun brings it every day. He's had to step in in a lot of situations this year. But we were just in unbelievable foul trouble. And what I had left to play, he was clearly one of our top five defenders to put in. And so it was really without hesitation to put him in.

I have confidence in him to do the right thing. He's been with me now three years. So it was pretty easy. If we weren't in as much foul trouble, probably wouldn't have done it but we already had some guys fouled out and things like that. So we did it.

Q. All season you've consistently played 10 guys stressed the importance of having a D team. You said before this tournament and the Big Ten tournament you were going to expand your rotation. Tonight you played 11 guys. How important is that mindset tonight, like tonight when you have the foul trouble you do and need to play as many guys as you do?

COACH TURGEON: The great thing is we played nine guys over 10 minutes, which is great. We've got to turn around play Sunday against a team that is going to press us the whole time. Got really good experience for a lot of guys to get out there, play in the NCAA Tournament.

We're our best when we're deep. And we have confidence in all of our players. And sometimes a guy like Dion, if our team wasn't 28-6, he might have played more minutes. But we had such a good year going. Every game was close. He didn't play as much. But we continued to practice those guys really hard. Make them do extra. And we knew their time was coming.

And Dion probably hit the biggest shot of the game when the score was tied, down 1 or whatever it was. We weren't playing very well. And he raised up and knocked it down. And when those two are on the floor we're pretty hard to guard out there. So it's good to see. Good to see Jared. We had no chance against the zone until Jared came in. He hit four for us. And it was good. I think everybody helped us in their own way tonight.

And just really happy for them. Different guys had to step up because we were a little off tonight with the foul trouble and everything.

Q. I was going to ask about Jared. He said that part of the reason he has so much confidence is because you guys have told him to pull the trigger whenever. What steps do you take to make sure they have confidence and how special is it that they have that much confidence?

COACH TURGEON: We've tried to have a lot of fun this week with the guys and be loose. And we were still a little bit nervous. But we stepped to the line, made 18 out of 24. I think everybody on the team and all the coaches expect Jared to make shots when we want him to make shots.

And I asked Dion at shootaround how many 3s have you got in you today? He said four. He got one, one big one. So we're always trying to give confidence to the young guys. And to the whole team.

Q. I think you guys are 12-1 in games that are decided by six points or less. Obviously it's a pretty terrific record in those situations, what has allowed you guys to have so much success in close situations like that?

COACH TURGEON: I think it's we defend and rebound when the game's on the line and then we make free throws. And we usually execute. We had a couple of bad possessions down the stretch today, playing in the NCAA Tournament. But we'll learn from that and hopefully be better.

But we have a lot of confidence in those games. And we never panicked today. We let the guys know that Valpo was a good game and they're going to make shots. In March those things happen, but stay where we are, stay poised, and we did that.

TerrapinTimes Top Stories