Turgeon Talks More About WVU Defeat

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon talked about UMD's loss to West Virginia March 22 at Nationwide Arena.

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 playing well.

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.

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