Quotes: Maryland 68, Wisconsin 63

Maryland Athletics
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Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon

Opening Statement:

“Obviously I’m proud of my team. We weren’t great at all times today but I think we figured it out at the end. I think that defensively we were really good the last five minutes of the game. I think that offensively we figured it out playing through Anthony [Cowan Jr.] and Kevin [Huerter].Those two were terrific getting to the rim and making shots. It wasn’t pretty all the time, but I give Wisconsin credit for playing well. [Ethan] Happ is a load, he’s tough to guard and I thought we figured it out. It was a good win. It’s hard to win when you haven’t been winning so the first one feels good.”  

On how hard it was to rally after losing the lead:

“I was just disappointed how we started the half. We were up 13 a week ago in this same building on a better team and the speech today was ‘Alright, come on we’ve been here before. Let’s know how to handle it.’ We were really bad to be quite honest with you. Shot selection, defense, concentration, everything. I was mad at them so I didn’t call a time-out. And so we got through it still up 5 at the media time-out, and I thought we were lucky to be there. When they tied it and Bruno had those two layups that wouldn’t go in, its hard. But I thought we were resilient. We have to be resilient. The thing is that when my top guys aren’t playing well, which they weren’t at the start, I don’t have a lot of guys to put in. So you just have to stick with them. Wisconsin played well, I thought they had a really good game plan and played terrific.”  

On Cowan Jr. and Huerter sharing the load at the end of the game:

“They just took turns a little bit. There’s a lot on their plate and not a lot of time to rest so they just took turns with it. Kevin had a match-up he really liked and he was able to get us into the bonus and onto the foul line. And then they subbed and put [Khalil] Iverson on him so we thought Anthony’s matchup was better. They just fed off of each other and called plays for one another. Kevin made some big time plays and Anthony’s three behind the ball-screen was huge. In the end it was our defense that was the difference. We’re still making a lot of silly mistakes like inbounds passes and turnovers to young guys so we have to get away from those. We’re not listening in timeouts quite as well we need to listen so we have to listen a bit better. We’ve got a long ways to go, but that being said I’m happy.”  

On Sean Obi’s performance:

“Sean was terrific. We couldn’t double Happ and when we double him he made us pay. Every mistake we made in the first half they made us pay. It was uncanny. We’re not supposed to help out in the corner and the kid hits a three in the corner. Sometimes they miss those, but today everytime we made a mistake they made us pay. So I turned to Sean and he was able to be active. During that stretch we were much better offensively and finished with a 17-2 run and I think that was the difference in the game.”  

On play calling at the end of the game:

“We let them do their thing. We’re playing a passing game and we’re just moving our bodies to make space for those guys. We haven’t set a lot of ball screens lately but today it really worked for us. From about the 12 minute mark onwards we just talked about setting more ball screens in our motion. Anthony and Kevin were terrific with it.”   Dion Wiley’s block at the end of the game: “I was happy for Dion. I thought Jared Nickens was terrific on defense too. At the five minute mark I said that #22 [Ethan Happ] couldn’t beat us. And we reenergized ourselves out of that time. I really thought that [Aleem] Ford was really playing well and Jared had him at the end of the game and did a really nice job. Something positive for Dion is great and I thought he made a couple bnice plays offensively. He was much more aggressive on offense which we need him to be. For something positive to happen to him is great and will help him the rest of the way.”  

On looking to go on a run to close the season:

“We’ll see. That was tough so we’ll see. But it should give our guys confidence. Our guys have been so resilient. What they’re doing is pretty amazing while we’re down three starters. Our 3, 4, and our 5. So we have guys starting that shouldn’t be starting and we have guys on the bench that shouldn’t be playing. But we keep battling and we haven’t embarrassed ourselves in a long time. Our practices have been great and I’m having a great time coaching them, and that’s what matters. For them I hope we have success down the stretch because they’ve been resilient and have continued to work.”

Graduate C Sean Obi

On if getting so many rebounds is something that he can do if given the opportunity:

“Absolutely, that’s why I’m making top plays and besides the rebounding just making wholesome plays and taking charges, diving out for loose balls. Whatever takes the win.”

On looking to bounce back with this win:

“Obviously this is a big win for us to move forward. We want to make sure that the month of February is a good month for us, winning wise. We just carry this over to Penn State.”

On how it feels to know that the fans are behind him when they were cheering his name:

“Our fans are a great part of the game, supporting us. Actually, they’re a great sixth man today and also helped us win this game today.”

Sophomore G Kevin Huerter

On how hard it is to almost have to win the game twice in certain situations:

“It felt like we had to win it a couple of times to be honest. We didn’t start the half right and they made a run and came back. It was back and forth for much of the second half and then we finally made it five and got a couple of plays, I don’t know they scored and then on the inbounds pass we threw it away. Those are things that I think Bruno will kind of learn. He’ll learn to just let the ball bounce and let someone else take it out and he’ll go down the court, or next time he’ll just take his time. That late in the game, when everything is going so fast and all of the energy in the building, he’ll learn as he gets older, you just have to take your time and slow the game down and make the right place and I think he’ll start to do that.”

On if there was something to not starting out the second half well again this game:

“A couple of us were talking about it. I think we talk about it a little too much, players wise, about how we’ve got to start the half right. First thing we say when we come into the half- Michigan State Jared hit the three, we come in up thirteen, today Anthony makes the steal we come in up ten and it’s a lot of energy going into it. All were saying is we have to start the half the right way. We start pushing things like that, taking bad shots, it seems like we’re doing, can’t get a stop to start the half and the last two home games teams have come back at the end of the game.”

On if the offensive balance between him and Sophomore G Anthony Cowan is what the team needs in order to when these close games:

“It is and I think guys on our team are looking more and more for us to make plays. Someone said, “Anthony and Kevin learned how to coexist,” and I don’t think it’s about coexisting, I think we should both be able to get ours and set each other up as much as we can. I think we do a good job of that. Today, I think it was a good balance of us. Anthony was attacking, he was trying to get to the rim, he obviously made all of his free-throws which were huge and I made the most of my opportunities when I got them. So like I said, for us who consider ourselves leaders on this team and other guys on our team that look to make plays, you have to make those if you want to win games.”

Sophomore G Anthony Cowan

On if he felt like “not this again” when the game got close at the end:

“Obviously we’ve been in a lot of close games, so it was important for us to pull this one out. When you go on a losing streak it is kind of hard to win your first game so I’m happy we pulled this one out.”

On how big it was for him to make those plays, along with Kevin, at the end of the game to get the win:

“I knew I had to make plays so my teammates gave me the ball in the right spots so I was just able to hit shots.”

On big it was to get the win here at home today:

“It was huge. We’re coming in the month of February with just a new mindset that it’s a new month. Obviously we didn’t have the best January so we’re trying to change everything in February. It’s still a long season, so we’re going to try to go on a run now.”

On what was working for him and Kevin down the stretch:

“We got the stops we needed, which was huge. Then we were able to convert on the other end, get in the lane and just make the right decisions. I think Obi really came in and really changed the game for us, how he was guarding and how he was diving on the floor and taking charges. He really came in and changed the game. It was a good team win.”