Turgeon, Terps Break Down Sweet 16 Defeat

LOUISVILLE, Kent. -- Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and the Terps talk about the team's March 24 Sweet 16 loss to Kansas.

LOUISVILLE, Kent. -- Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and the Terps talk about the team's March 24 Sweet 16 loss to Kansas.

COACH TURGEON: I want to congratulate KU, Kansas. I thought they were terrific. Especially in the second half. They were aggressive. They made shots. Got to the foul line and made shots, and they were just -- they were good.

Then they were just great on defense. We're a good offensive team, we're hard to guard, and they really locked in on us. Big guys played well offensively. Their guards really guarded us. So give them credit. Perry Ellis was terrific. Had no answer for him.

With that said, I'm really proud of my team. It wasn't easy this year. We won 27 games, had great leadership, great seniors. We've only won 27 games five times. We haven't been to the Sweet 16 in 13 years. I'm proud of my group for what they did.

We fought till the end. We just couldn't get it going in the second half. So it was a fun team to coach. Enjoyed coaching these guys, and wish we were still playing. But lost to a great team.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

Q. Rasheed, what was the difference in the way they guarded you and Melo in the second half?
RASHEED SULAIMON: Just kind of like Coach said, they really locked in. Their team defense was really tremendous, and I still think the way we executed offensively, we still got a lot of the shots that we wanted to have. We just -- down the stretch we couldn't make shots, and they did.

Sometimes the ball just bounces that way. So all credit to them for making the adjustment at halftime. But like I said, one or two shots or a couple shots that we normally make just didn't fall for us tonight, and they closed out every possession with a rebound.

So it was tough, but all credit to them.

Q. What did they do a little bit differently there in locking in? They seemed to kind of smother you there on the offensive side. How much were they affecting the shots you were taking?
JAKE LAYMAN: They didn't really do anything that we haven't seen all year. We had a lot of open looks. Just didn't make them tonight. Give them a lot of credit. There was a four-minute span in the second half they were terrific. We couldn't come back from that. Give them a lot of credit.

Q. Obviously, Coach mentioned this is the first time the school's been here in 13 years. You win 27 games. You guys came into the season with all the expectations that you guys have had to talk about so much. How ultimately do you hope that this group is remembered?
RASHEED SULAIMON: Well, I think we have nothing to hold our heads down for. We had a tremendous season through the ups and downs. We bounced back, came together when it mattered the most. We did something that the school hasn't done in 13 years.

But, ultimately, I hope this group's legacy is it was a group that fought hard, that was entertaining, that were fun to watch, and that in the future this is a springboard to continue to lead in the future for great Maryland teams in the future under Coach Turgeon.

So hopefully this group is remembered as winners ultimately.

JAKE LAYMAN: Just like Sheed said. Just to be remembered as a group that never stopped fighting. These 14 guys have worked hard. It's not about just the season. It's about what happens before the season, workouts and lifting and sprints and all those things.

I'm so proud of these guys with how much we've overcome this year, all the doubters, everything like that. I couldn't be more proud of these guys.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you very much for your time. We'll go to questions for Coach.

Q. Mark, their defense, Kansas defense, did they just defend ball screens really well? Was it tenacity on the part of Mason and Graham? Combination of the two? Especially in the second half.
COACH TURGEON: I thought all three of their guards really guarded, including Selden. And those two little guards are quick. So I thought they were terrific with that.

I thought we got a few good looks to start the second half and we missed them, then we missed four free throws in a row. It was a six-point game at the time. Could have been a two-point game, 52-50. Instead, it was 52-46.

They got their offense going. We let our offense affect our defense tonight. We haven't done that lately.

With that said, Kansas was terrific in the second half. We missed a couple shots we might make, but they had a lot to do with it. We fumbled the ball out of bounds when Diamond could have got a layup. We just really struggled on some things.

But I don't know if they changed anything. They were just continuing to do what they do. They might have wore us down a little bit.

Q. Mark, anything in particular? Just Kansas, your old team, you guys had a great season yourself? Hurt a little bit more to lose to Kansas, or no?
COACH TURGEON: No. No, we lost to the best team in the country, 33-4 now, No. 1 seed in the tournament. They're playing really well. They've just crushed people lately. And in the end, it looks like they crushed us. I don't know if it was that bad, the score. I feel like we were right there. I thought halftime could have been tied.

So they're good. It doesn't hurt any more, no. Not at all.

Q. Mark, I know you follow Kansas and you watch them on tape. What is there about Perry Ellis that seems to have made him blossom? Every game he seems to be getting better.
COACH TURGEON: He's playing with a lot of confidence. I didn't think he forced things tonight. We knew he was driving right, and we still couldn't guard it. That ball screen action they run at the top, their four-up play is really hard to guard. You can walk through it. You can talk about it. You've got shooters in the corner where they shoot the ball. It's a really hard guard.

Bill's done a nice job of getting that to where Perry can make plays. He made a lot of them. Then he got his jump shot going a little bit in the second half too. It's a hard guard. He can shoot the three, he can do mid-range. He can get all the way to the glass and post up. He's a great kid. And I've followed his career, and I know there's been some ups and downs, but it's great that he's finishing the way he's finishing.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.


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