Terps coach Mark Turgeon needs to lose hangdog look

March 07, 2013|By Kevin Cowherd | The Baltimore Sun

It's getting old. Really, really old.

Mark Turgeon's gloom-and-doom act after Maryland losses -- like the 79-68 pasting North Carolina put on the Terps last night at Comcast Center -- needs to go.

Look, I love Turgeon's candor and his sometimes-brutal assessments of his team. He's been great with the media since he arrived in College Park two years ago. But he's starting to turn into a one-note-Johnny with the hangdog looks and the whole woe-is-us atmosphere in his post-loss news conferences.

You can't blame Turgeon for being upset -- or maybe crushed is the better word -- after the Terps played flat and sloppy against North Carolina on Senior Night.

But all the sighing and head-shaking at the podium isn't helping this team. And it doesn't make Turgeon look like a leader, either.

The bottom line is the Terps aren't a good team now. Everything seems to be going wrong.

It starts with the awful guard play at times. And the terrible outside shooting (3-for-23 from three-point range against the Tar Heels).

Then there's Alex Len's disappearing acts. The big sophomore center scored eight points against North Carolina, earning this typically forthright assessment from Turgeon: "We didn't really have a low-post game."

And last night the Terps appeared to be so rattled by their offensive ineptness that they threw in one of their few clunkers on defense.

"Tonight we let our offense affect our defense," Turgeon said. "And we didn't guard well enough ... we gotta guard better than that."

 OK, fine, the Terps have their problems. Quite a few of them. But it doesn't help to see their coach looking so down and discouraged after losses.

It's up to Turgeon fix things. That's his job. That's why they pay him the big bucks -- literally. Moaning about everything that's wrong isn't productive.

Turgeon wouldn't tell reporters what he said to his team right after the game.

"That's between us," he said testily, signalling the news conference to a close.

But I hope he was more upbeat with them than he was at the podium. And I bet he was.

The Terps' NCAA tournament dreams are just that right now -- dreams. But they've got one more game, Sunday at Virginia, and then the ACC tournament. 

There's still time for some positive things to happen with this team. And that's what Mark Turgeon has to emphasize down the stretch.

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