Maryland and Georgetown will square off in the Washington, D.C., area for the first time in 22 years when the two programs meet in the Gavitt Tipoff Games next November at the Xfinity Center. The Terps and Hoyas will then play a 2016-17 game at Georgetown.
UMD head coach Mark Turgeon discussed the upcoming matchup between the nearby "rivals," which have only met three times since 1980 (the Sweet 16 in 2001, the Old Spice Classic in 2008 and a neutral site matchup at the Capital Centre in 1993). Here's what Turgeon had to say:
Obviously it’s an exciting time. This is big time college basketball games this year and next year. I’m happy for the fans, happy for the players and happy for the coaches. Two really good programs, and we probably should have the best teams we’ve had in two or three years. So everything is a positive and it’ll be a great two-year series.
On Turgeon's relationship with John Thompson III and whether that played a role in the game coming to fruition
I have a good relationship with JT3. I have a ton of respect for him and he’s a really good guy. I really like his wife, Monica, too. [The matchup] was out of our hands, but none of us fought it. In the past we talked about starting a series, and with the Gavitt Games coming up, we knew it could happen, and neither of us fought it.
I want to give the credit to the Big Ten, Big East and the Gavitt games for putting this together. But neither one of us fought it.
On whether there was any hesitation that this matchup would ever get done given the seasons both teams just had (making the NCAA tournament)
No, we’re just happy it’s Georgetown. It’s going to be great. I really don’t get into all that other stuff. They just told me it would be Georgetown, and it’ll be a great series for everybody in the area.
On how non-conference schedule is shaping up and if there will be anymore marquee out-of-conference games in College Park coming up besides the ones already scheduled
I think the three games [next year] plus we’re going to play in the Cancun Classic, and depending who we get, it’ll be tough games. And as of right now we’re skipping a year with Oklahoma State State; we play them the following season.
On why they’re playing Georgetown-Maryland in College Park to start
We’re on the road for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, so that was really the whole reason – we were going to get a home game. It had nothing to do with who our opponent was -- we were going to get a home game. So next year it’ll flip flop. We’ll play at Georgetown [in two years] and we’ll be home for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge [in two years].
On whether Georgetown-Maryland is vital for the area and region
I don’t know it’s vital, but we’re excited. It’s great. Maryland-Georgetown home-and-home the next two years. It gives people something to talk about. We’re excited. It’s two great programs, both programs should have good teams. It’s going to be good for the area and good for college basketball.
On whether there have been talks to extend the series beyond two years
No, we haven’t yet. We’re just excited to be playing Georgetown the next two years.
On the history between Georgetown and Maryland
I don’t want to get into all that. When I first came here, JT3 and I talked about playing, and we both agreed he’d give me time to get my program up and running. But it was going to happen eventually, and we’re just excited to be able to play them the next two years.
Turgeon Talks Maryland-Georgetown Matchup
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