COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon talked about UMD's loss to West Virginia March 22 at Nationwide Arena. Here's what he had to say:
COACH TURGEON: I think you gotta give West
Virginia a lot of credit tonight. They were terrific. The
press was good. We weren't ourselves. We weren't
very good tonight. I thought the first 18 minutes we
really played well. And we weren't ourselves. Give
them credit. And we didn't deserve to win. We didn't
play well enough to win. But with that said, I couldn't
be more proud of my team and what we accomplished
this year. And today was a tough matchup for us. This
tournament's about matchups. If you want to advance,
you've got to have the right matchups and it wasn't a
great one for us. But 28 wins, and we never stopped
playing today. As many times as we turned it over we
kept competing. I think we cut it to six there, maybe
five. And I was proud of my group.
Q. Dez, what was it like going against the press
tonight. It never seemed to stop. They played 12
guys. Looked like they kept fresh bodies on the
floor. What was it like from your vantage point?
DEZ WELLS: Their press, it was good. They kept
throwing a lot of bodies at us. And we turned the ball
over more than we usually do. And it worked in their
favor. And they capitalized on our mistakes. So my hat
goes off to Coach Huggins and his team. They did a
good job tonight.
Q. How much did Melo's constant going in and out
with the injury and whatnot kind of derail you guys
a little bit tonight?
COACH TURGEON: Obviously Melo is pretty important
to us. And lucky for us he's been healthy all year.
That's pretty amazing. We have one point guard in our
program, and a really good one in Melo. And it's the
first time all year really that he couldn't play. He took a
beating tonight. So would the outcome have been
different? We don't know. But obviously we weren't
the same without him out there. We were just trying to
figure it out. And put a lot more on Dez. And it was
tough for us.
Q. I apologize if you already went through it in your
opening statement. But it looked like Melo hit his
head a couple times. What was kind of the process
in terms of keeping him in the game the first time
and then taking him out after the second one?
COACH TURGEON: Yeah, the first time he hit his
head, he was fine. He bounced up, everything was
clear. No head, nothing. Evaluated by our physician,
said he could go back in. The second time he came
out, he didn't pass enough of the tests and his head
was hurting. And so first time he was fine. Second
time he got kicked in the head, I think. And they said
he can't come back.
Q. Did it look like watching -- it looked like
watching him on the bench looked like he was
pretty upset. Did you guys tell him -- was it the
doctor who told him he couldn't go in at that point,
or did you talk to him? I was curious how --
COACH TURGEON: The doctors decided. The
doctors decided that he didn't pass enough of the test
to come back in. So, yeah, sure he's upset. He was
Q. Did you get a look at the pick that knocked him
down the first time, or did you not see it clearly?
COACH TURGEON: No, I saw it. And the referees
looked at it and said it was clean. I don't know if it was
a clean screen. But they said it was. They said there
was no elbow.
Q. Did you think so?
COACH TURGEON: I saw it in real time. I don't get to
go over and look at the monitor. But they promised me
that it was a clean screen. So if it's not, they're going
to hear about it. And I told them that.
Q. Obviously the group was pretty emotional in
there just now. And talking a little bit about some
of the stuff you said to them after the game. I
guess to the extent you want to share, what did
you say to them during that long meeting, huddle
that you had?
COACH TURGEON: I just thanked them. I mean, we
were a team that was picked tenth. And from the first
time I worked with them in June until tonight, it was an
absolute blast coaching them. And they listened. They
tried to get better every day. And we did some
amazing things this year. 28 wins, 26 regular season
wins. 14 league wins. Second place finish.
And I just
thanked them. I just thanked them for just being who
they are. It's a special group. And I thanked the
seniors for setting a standard, getting us back to where
Maryland basketball should be. We haven't been here
for about five years. And I thanked the seniors for
doing that. It was just really a great group to be around
every day. I'm really going to miss -- it's going to be
hard, knowing I'm not going to coach some of these
guys again, it's really tough.
Q. Congratulations on your season. I apologize if
it's already been asked, but you talk a lot about
how college basketball kind of works on a cycle, on
a one-year cycle, what do you have to do to build
on this season rather than have it reset?
COACH TURGEON: Well, we've got a lot of
momentum right now. And we have some really good
young players. I have a senior coming back in Jake
Layman, who had a terrific year. I have a guy sitting
out named Robert Carter, he's pretty darned good.
And we're going to have two point guards on the roster
next year, which will help. We might add another one if
we can. We'll add some pieces. But the standard's
been set. We'll work hard.
Usually -- I haven't called
them freshmen all year -- but young guys from the end
of their freshmen year to the end of their sophomore
year is when they really improve the most. So we have
four guys that I think are going to really improve a lot
between now and a year from this time. And so, you
know, we've set a standard. And I think we have the
right pieces to keep this thing going.
Turgeon Talks More About WVU Defeat
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