Quotes: Maryland 77, Minnesota 66

Maryland Athletics
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Maryland Head Coach Mark Turgeon  

Opening Statement:

“Great win for us, we played well. Started a little slow. We were really good. I thought Ceko was terrific defensively. I thought our ball screen defense on [Nate] Mason was great all up until about the six-minute mark of the game. We did a lot of great things. We shared the ball. We’re getting better and we responded. We were mentally tough tonight, especially in the second half. Good win for us.”

On the difference in the second half:

“Our offense was really clicking in the second half. And we were able to build the lead because we were good defensively for about the first 10 minutes of the second half, but we were really good offensively. So we were able to get the lead up to whatever it was. 16, 17… I don’t know what it was. And then we were just good enough offensively to maintain. I think they cut it to nine once, maybe. But we were just really good offensively. We shared the ball, just did some really nice things.”

On if tonight’s performance was what he expects out of Kevin Huerter:

“Yeah, I think the thing is is like… I said, ‘Hey, I’ve got to get more help for these guys.’ And Ceko had 10 shots; Anthony [Cowan Jr.], seven; Kevin, eight; Darryl [Morsell], eight. We kind of shared it. Josh [Tomaic] was 2-for-3. I don’t think we were leaning on two guys to do all of our scoring tonight. I think that was the big difference. I think we were just out there playing basketball, running old school motion a little bit out there, and guys were reading the defense and letting the game come to them. I know it’s a lot more fun as a coach and as a team when you’re not just having to always get shots from people, especially your top two guys. I told Anthony at about the eight minute mark of the first half, I said, ‘I don’t know what your career high in assists is, but it’s going to be tonight.’ Because of the way they were guarding him. And he had 10, he probably should’ve had about 14 out there. Anthony was great.”

On Josh Tomaic and Michal Cekovsky’s chemistry:

“Yeah I mean he is playing, he is playing. He played 25 minutes, my gosh. That’s a lot of minutes out there. He was really good in the second half at Michigan and made some big time plays for us. I thought tonight he was better defensively. He has a great feel for what we’re doing. He’s got some guard skills to him. He’s getting confident. The whole thing is defensively, whether he can do it. Bruno [Fernando] in foul trouble all night, it was good that Josh came in and played well for us.”

On performance in the wake of Justin Jackson and Ivan Bender’s injuries:

“We also had some sickness and then Dion [Wiley] was missing games, so we were really down some players. We were down to seven guys at Ohio State and at Michigan. And I think tonight felt a lot better having nine. We’re getting better. The guys know this is our team, this is what we’ve got, and we’ve been practicing really well. We’re really determined to be good. And we’ve got to be a little bit better on the road for us to get where we want to be.”

On blocking out postseason chatter:

“I can’t force them to block it out. I tell them to stay off social media and they can’t. I’m old, so I’m able to do it. The only thing that matters to me is what I’m saying and what we’re doing. The great thing for us is we’ve got an unbelievably hard schedule, which means we’re playing good teams, which gives us an opportunity to beat teams that’ll be in the tournament. We’re just taking it one day at a time. This was a really big win for us tonight. We’ve got a day off tomorrow, which the guys have earned. We played them pretty hard. We’ve got two days to prep to go into Indiana. Hopefully we’re going to play well there on Monday.”

Center Michal Cekovsky

On the first half:

“It is easy to play when you have really good players around you. When you have really good players around you the other team focuses on them and it is easy to make shots.”

On starting off the second half strong:

“We talked about it in the locker room during halftime, to start well and I think we did a good job with that.”

On his defense tonight against Jordan Murphy:

“I think my size was bothering him. I watched a lot of extra film on him before the game. Everybody was helping me too. My teammates were digging. When I was trying to block the shots they got the rebounds. I think it was a team defensive effort.”

On becoming more consistent with his performances:

“We actually talk about that with Coach. He needs big guys to score and I think I did a good job with that tonight. I just have to be aggressive all the time. Not like the first half when I was missing those layups.”

Guard Anthony Cowan Jr.

On shooting 68% from the field in the second half:

“I think we were really moving the ball. I thought that we took better shots. I thought that we let the offense come to us. I thought that we really stayed aggressive.”

On the team’s second half play compared to the first half:

“I think that we played with a lot more energy. Like I said, I thought that on the offensive end we really moved the ball and had a lot of open shots. On the defensive end I thought that we had a couple good possessions that we just really locked in on defense and they couldn't really score.”

On needing this win tonight:

“It was hard after the Michigan game. I think we just sat in the locker room after for twenty minutes just in shock and irritated about it. Coach really made sure to tell us to leave the game behind and move on and lock in on the Minnesota game plan and we came out with the win.”

Guard Kevin Huerter

On the Terp’s 21-2 run in the second half:

“We weren’t happy with how we ended the first half. We talked all game not being content with whatever lead we built like getting up to eight or nine. We kept saying we wanted to push it up to 15 or 16. We didn't end the half the right way so we came and talked in the locker room. Josh Tomaic came in and played really well. He spaced the floor for us and made some really good plays.”

On lobbing the ball to Michal Cekovsky:

“It was something that we picked up once the game started. It is a play that is hard to guard but running it so many times we know that you make the guard on the weak side make a choice. He is either going to guard Ceko on the roll or guard the guy on the three-pointer line. We know that just from doing it in practice. So coming off the ball screens we kind of always let Ceko hold the rim and he is big and athletic enough that it makes it really easy for the guard to throw it up on the backboard and he will go catch it.”