Postgame Quotes: Maryland vs. Gardner-Webb

Maryland Athletics
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Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon  

Opening Statement:
 “I was proud of my group. We were down a couple guys that… one starts and one finishes games for us. For us to be consistently pretty good today was good to see. I thought we got better during the game. There’s a lot of things that we’re working on. I thought our offense was terrific, sharing the ball, passing the ball. Ivan Bender was really good in the zone, had seven assists. We had a lot of guys play well. 21 assists I think on 30 baskets. And then defensively, I thought as the game went on, we got better. They’re really fast, they were hard to keep in front of you and I thought we got better at that as the game went on, which helped our rebounding – and we had two of our best rebounders not playing today. It was a little bit more of a struggle for us on the boards than normal. Good win. It’s hard to win in college basketball, and to win easily and play everybody is good. Happy for Josh Tomaic too. Get some minutes. I’ve got good players that just I can’t get on the floor, unless there is an injury or something, and Josh really played well.”

On turnovers:
“I think some of the turnovers were… one was an illegal screen, but we had some decisions that could’ve been made better. They were switching defenses too which makes it tough. They’ve just got to decide if they’re going to be better with the ball. I do think that we’re getting a little bit more comfortable in what we’re running, guys know where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to do. And all I can do is just keep trying to coach them as best I can. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”

On Bruno Fernando and Justin Jackson:
“Bruno’s better today than he was yesterday, and I’m sure he’ll be better tomorrow. Whether he plays Tuesday, I don’t know. We’ll see. We’re not going to rush him back for Tuesday night’s game if he’s not 100 percent. If there’s anything good about him getting hurt, it’s the timing. Because after Tuesday, we have eight days before our next game so he can get healthy and we can practice a little bit during that time. And Justin [Jackson], I assume Justin will be ready to go Tuesday. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go and practice on Monday.”

On the team’s 21 assists:
“I expected it. Because it starts with Anthony [Cowan Jr.], Anthony’s been so unselfish, he’s doing everything to make sure guys are passing it and I was pretty adamant about the guys trying to play the right way offensively. It’s good to see. It was good to see guys that haven’t had much of a chance, get more of a chance. Jared Nickens, Josh Tomaic, Ivan Bender – and Ivan was a big part of our success last year, it’s just been hard to get him in. I just liked the way we shared the ball, I liked how we got better defensively, and even though they were small, they stayed big and I didn’t worry about matchups and their speed and all that. I just let guys play through it today.”

On Darryl Morsell:
"Darryl is getting the ball to the rim and defending and rebounding. I haven’t had many like him. I think since the Purdue game, he’s really just tried to be Darryl. And it really helps. We didn’t have a lot going, we were a little bit flat offensively at the start, I thought Darryl just gave us a huge lift in there. I think he’s really good, I love coaching him and I think he’s just getting better. I love the way he’s shooting free throws too.”

On Ivan Bender and Michal Cekovsky: “Well they’re obviously best friends. I think Ivan thinks like a point guard. He’s a terrific passer, think he had one turnover in there against the zone, the other was a travel. He’s good in there and we’re comfortable with him in there. And I thought he made quick decisions, which you have to do against the zone. We got them spread. When you’ve got shooters like we have, you can really get them spread and Ivan just made all the right decisions.”

On Joshua Tomaic: “The thing I’m most proud about Josh is: where he was last year at this time and where he is today. And he’s our hardest worker. So there was two possessions in the game where the guy went in, I thought Kevin [Huerter] got fouled, they went and they missed the wide-open layup, and Josh just ran as hard as he could back on defense. Then we shot quick, and Josh ran back as hard as he could on defense, but they made the layup the next time. And those things don’t go unnoticed by me. Because transition defense is something that we need to get better at. The good thing is that Josh is just a freshman and he’s getting better and he is versatile and he’s going to help our program a lot in the future.”

On how they played well against Gardner-Webb’s multiple defenses: “Guys were locked in offensively, they executed better, they screened better, they played inside-out. We just did a lot of things right, offensively. There was a lot of possessions where we had missed shots but it was a real pretty possession. It’s always prettier when the guy makes the shot, but we did a lot of great things. We’re getting there. And we should against their team, we should be efficient against their team – whether we have two starters out or not – or two guys that play starter minutes. It was fun to watch and it got contiguous. And that should help us moving forward.”

Sophomore Guard Kevin Huerter

On turnovers: “Coach got on us after our game Thursday and said we have to get a lot better on this stretch coming up. He laid out a couple things for us in terms of turnovers. That was definitely one of those things we have to crack if we want to be the team we think we can. This was a step in the right direction.”

On today’s offense: “That seems to be key for us Thursday just to get the ball inside and we did that again today. Anytime you play inside it’s a lot easier on our guards. You play slower, so the turnovers don’t come as fast. The team as a whole tried to get a shot every time we come down the court. We try not to make the same stupid mistakes, not playing too fast on the brink. We ran a lot more plays tonight and went through a lot of our offensive plays. Defenses switched a lot, which helped us too. Ivan played really well for us. The offense definitely felt easier tonight.”

On Joshua Tomaic “I am really happy for Josh. Josh never says a word. One of Kyle's [Tarp] favorite guys because he works so hard in the weight room. He has a great attitude and really made the most of his opportunity. And he was ready to play today.”

On Darryl Morsell: “Darryl’s been playing really well. He’s had his games. Darryl is still strong when he goes to the basket. It seems like he rarely gets a shot blocked. He’s so strong holding the ball and can go up and finish. We like when Darryl’s attacking, we know he can make shots. He’s so hard to stay in front of, he’s so strong and he is so athletic.”

Redshirt Freshman Forward Joshua Tomaic

On how it felt to play an extended role today: “It feels good. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I focus on helping the team with whatever I can. I’m going to be ready whenever coach [Turgeon] calls my name. I just try to do the right thing and help the team.”

On how Joshua has been working extra hard after practice or games:  “It some personal stuff I’m doing. I consider myself a hard worker. My schedule is just like everyone else’s, but I just like to put the extra work in. If I have to stay after the game or after practice I will do it.”

On where Josh’s extreme work ethic has come from: “I always have to work for something whether it was at home or at the Canarjas Academy. At the academy there was a lot of competition. There was always a lot of really skilled people or people older than me. Most of the academy is playing pro overseas or in the NBA. I was able to learn from them. What I learned most was they always worked hard before practice and after practice. It led to results so you can really see how they developed because they did extra. That really is my motto. My high school always told me I need to live in the gym if I want to get somewhere.”

On if being a role model for the Canary Islands is a motivator: “I am just thankful to be able to represent where I am from. A lot of people are cheering for me and it is something I am happy and proud of. I always tell people back home, just because many people don’t know about the Canary Islands you shouldn’t stop working.”

On how tough last year was and if it was beneficial: “When I came in I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. When I redshirted it wasn’t a surprise, but I just kept working hard with Kyle. I am thankful for it actually because I have had a large opportunity to learn the game. Right now everything is starting to slow down. In practice I know what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Everything is just better.”

On how playing with the scout team has impacted his game: “This is a family. It doesn’t matter if you play or don’t play. Everybody gets together. That’s the special thing about us. It doesn’t matter who you are. We all stick together through it all. At this level of basketball being on the scout team really helps you understand the team and learn the importance of scouting the other team. It helps you be prepared for the game and you can also help the other players to be ready.”

Freshman Darryl Morsell

On how Darryl has adjusted his game effectively: “I always stay true to myself, which is driving and getting downhill to the rim. In this game I saw a lot of opportunities to do that so I didn’t really settle for jumpers. I try to get to the rim and make plays for my team.

On if confidence really grows a lot when shots start going in:  “Seeing the ball go through the net builds confidence for everybody so when we start making shots we get a lot more confident about the next one we take. Practicing will build my confidence over time and I will stay true to myself regardless of what happens. I’ll try to make plays for my teammates to help the team win.”

On if the Purdue game was a learning experience: “I’m a freshman so Coach Turgeon really talks and tries to help me and Bruno [Fernando] through this process. The other guys, Anthony, Kevin and Justin were here last year and experienced some bumps in the road so they’ve been helping me through that process. It was a learning experience for me. We went out there played hard and lost a tough game. We know we have to practice harder and compete every game so we can be prepared when Big Ten play comes around.”

Gardner-Webb Head Coach Tim Craft  

On how his team performed today:
“I thought we did some good things and defended fairly well at times. We did a better job rebounding the ball. I thought we ran pretty good offense, we just struggled to finish plays. We struggled to shoot the ball well from the perimeter. You are not going to beat many good teams when you shoot the ball that poorly, especially on the road against a team like Maryland. I think that that really hurt us and our ability to make jump shots tonight.”

On junior F DJ Laster’s performance:
“I thought he did some nice things. He was able to score around the basket some. He had three turnovers, which he has to continue to get better at. I felt he held the ball too long on some plays that led to turnovers. But he had some great, aggressive attacks at the rim and some really nice post ups and that’s great. We need him to play well and hopefully he’s developing some confidence.”

On the challenge to prepare for a young player like Freshman G Darryl Morsell with little film to study:
“He’s an athletic driver that really attacks the paint. I think when he really hurt us more we were playing zone and he was roaming around in the high post area and was really effective there- catching it, ripping it, and driving it to the rim. Then he got a few rip drives in the second half when we had a bad match up for him, but good player. Good, young player.”

On preparing to play in an environment like Maryland on the road:
“Every road game is tough. Playing on the road is always hard. This is the sixth on the road. We’ve played at Florida, we’ve played at Miami and Auburn, and this one is similar to those. This is a great environment and great arena. Awesome program, I think Coach Turgeon does a great job and has a great program here and should have a great year.”