Turgeon frustrated after rough week

It was a rough stretch last week for Mark Turgeon and the Aggies and Turgeon showed some of his frustrations on Monday. What was his reaction to reporters and fans questioning his coaching ability? What is he doing to try to get the Aggies back on track? Aggie Websider reports live from Monday's media luncheon.

It's been a tough week for Texas A&M and head coach Mark Turgeon. They rolled into Lubbock on Wednesday night—which is never where you want to be if you're wearing maroon and white anyway—and had to deal with all the hype surrounding Bobby Knight going after win No. 900.

Then they faced a Kansas State squad that boasts two NBA lottery picks that had a week off to prepare while the Aggies were spending time on a charter airplane from College Station to Lubbock on Tuesday, from Lubbock to College Station late Wednesday night, then from College Station to Manhattan, KS on Friday.

"I think what you guys are seeing now is something I said before the season started, that we're a young basketball team and our youth is really showing up on the road," Turgeon said. "I like that we have a lot of wins, we got to 15-1, but we ran into two buzz saws. We ran into No. 900 and (Texas Tech's) biggest crowd of the year, and then we went to Kansas State, which was coming off a big win against OU and they had a week to prepare, and they were playing at a high level."

Things didn't get any easier for the Aggies' new head coach at Monday's media luncheon with Turgeon when one reporter suggested that Turgeon was the only new part of the equation this year.

Apparently losing two starters—including NBA lottery pick Acie Law—and the first guy off the bench don't count as "part of the equation."

"That's wrong. The only guy that played a lot was Sloan as a young guy. (Bryan Davis) didn't play a lot and DeAndre didn't play," Turgeon said. "I don't concern myself (with questions about my coaching), I concern myself with my players. I know what I have, I know what I'm doing. Have I gotten the most out of my team the last two games? No. Am I doing my job right now? Obviously not. But these guys have to step up too."

Turgeon also expressed frustrations about being compared to former head coach Billy Gillispie, who bolted for the blue grass of Kentucky after last year's Sweet 16 run. But Gillispie may have known that the Aggies were in for after losing Law and Co. this year.

"I know that no matter what I do, if we win, Gillispie gets the credit, if we lose, it's my fault," Turgeon said. "I'm in no-flipping-win situation this year and that puts me in a bad mood."

But unlike some reporters and fans, Turgeon isn't ready to give up on this season just yet. He knows there is a lot of basketball left to be played, and even though he wasn't here for the 2005-2006 season, he was aware of the Aggies' 3-6 start in Big 12 play that season before winning eight straight games to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Now he's taking measures to repeat that run.

"I don't have a huge ego, I have an ego, but you have to," Turgeon said, "I met with the seniors and I want to listen to them. They know this program better than I do, they know this league better than I do and they know their teammates better than I do. They've said some good things and I'll listen to a lot of it. I'm meeting individually with the young kids as well. I just want to give them some way to help us.

"We don't want to panic or act like that the season is coming to an end, but we do want a sense of urgency that we're going to get better. I think we'll learn a lot and I think we'll get better. I thought we got better between Texas Tech and Kansas State, even thought the score doesn't indicate that and I think we'll be better by Wednesday."

The Aggies will host Baylor on Wednesday at Reed Arena. The Bears are currently tied with Kansas for first place in the Big 12.


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