Postgame Notes

Maryland Athletics
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March 21, 2013

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Head Coach Mark Turgeon 

Opening Statement:

“I thought Denver was great; you have to give them a lot of credit. Our kids battled; we didn’t want the season to end. I am really proud of them. Our big lineup couldn’t guard them, we went small, we went five guards, and made up an offense. I thought defensively the last eight minutes of the game we were tremendous... Offensively we played with poise; we went through Dez [Wells] and got to the foul line. I was nervous all day; I knew this was going to be a hard one for us. We are gassed, six games in 12 days. I keep having to play a small lineup, and we are gassed. Our guys had guts and didn’t want it to end. I am really proud of our group. That is a really good win for us for what we have been through—all the emotional things we have been through the last twelve days. I thought Denver was great, that guy [Joe Scott] is one heck of a coach. There was a reason they were the three seed, there is a reason they have won 20 out of 22 games coming in. In the end, my guys they wanted it and it was great to see.”

On the small lineup:

“I don’t know if the fourth foul on Alex [Len] did it; we were desperate, we couldn’t guard them. They had complete control of the game. We couldn’t score and our post guys couldn’t score against them. Let’s try to spread them out and get to the foul line. That’s why we did it. There is no tomorrow. Now there is but there wasn’t. You went with what your gut told you to do and we got it done. We couldn’t have done that six weeks ago, there is no way. We couldn’t have adjusted and done the things that we did. We made very few mistakes defensively down the stretch, that is hard to do and hard to guard. I am proud of our group.”

On Seth Allen and Dez Wells:

“I think Seth [Allen] kept us in the game in the first half because he played, and he was the only one playing. What we did is we played with poise, normally when I do that and give them that much freedom they go crazy on me. They have done that all year the last four weeks they haven’t done that since we have turned it. Give the guys credit they knew Dez [Wells] had the mismatch. Dez got fouled, he got a three-point play, he got to the rim, and then they had to double him, and it got Jake [Layman] the three. Dez was our best post-up player all night. Guys played smart. The last possession when we used the whole clock and then Seth got all the way, guys are getting it. They want to win and it is more important than individualism. That was fun. It was nerve-wracking until about the eight-minute mark, but it was fun at the end.”

Sophomore Guard Nick Faust

On playing five guards:

“It gave us a little step ahead of everyone else. We were quicker than them, bigger and stronger than them, so it really helped us with five guards.”

On the team’s maturity:

“Coach [Turgeon] definitely thinks we’ve gotten more mature. We’re doing little things now, doing what’s best for the team. Guys are just growing up. Guys like Seth [Allen] are making big plays. We’re just more mature, and guys are looking at the bigger picture.”

On the success of five guards:

“They couldn’t guard us really. They had a small lineup; it was hard for our big men in there, so we just made an adjustment.”


Freshman Guard Seth Allen

On the team’s mentality when down:

“[Turgeon] was just telling us, ‘Stay calm, stay poised, we’re still in it. Just believe and play as hard as you can.’ If we play with enthusiasm and energy and they still win, then we’re going to shake their hands.” 

On playing five guards:

“I was thinking, OK, he’s just going to let us play our game. When he trusted us it paid off. All we did was guard, get stops, and ran off.”

Sophomore Guard Dez Wells

On why the five guard lineup worked:

“We scored more than they did. That’s all that matters.” 

On Coach Turgeon’s game plan:

“I can’t tell you [what Turgeon drew up], but I can tell you that he’s a great coach, and he did what we had to do to win.”

On his play:

“I felt if I got the ball in a position to make plays, I was going to do that. Regardless of where I got the ball at, I was going to do something to help my team out, whether it was scoring, passing—even if it was drawing a foul or making a play for someone else—I was going to do whatever it took to help my team.”


Denver Head Coach Joe Scott   

Opening Statement:

“It was a very good college basketball game. Both teams played really hard. It’s two teams with very bright futures, and that’s what these things are about, getting that experience. It was a great experience for us—winning the first game, coming here and putting ourselves in a position to win. We just didn’t do enough when we needed to.”

On Maryland’s small lineup:

“Obviously they went smaller, but we matched it. Foul trouble on [Chris] Udofia was a key factor for us. He’s our best player and people across the country got to see how good this kid is. He’s been that way for two years. I think that was the most important thing; that he wasn’t in at that key time. They made that switch and it just happened to coincide with them [the referees] going to the monitor. The game swung. We just couldn’t do what we needed to do at that juncture.”

On what their success this season means:

“We did have a very good year, going 16-2 in the WAC, winning the league championship. To go one loss in January, to zero losses in February, to zero losses in March to finish the regular season says a lot about what our guys did. We only have one senior, so to get that type of experience and have that type of success and get an at-large into the NIT is huge for us. Everybody is disappointed about losing in their conference tournament, so to face that adversity and bounce back against a really good Ohio team is an experience that will hopefully be invaluable for us. The future is bright, and this type of experience is the thing that can get you going in the direction you want to go.”

Denver Junior Forward Chris Udofia

On how the team played in the first half:

“We came out pretty hot; we had a lead at halftime, so we were very happy with that given how poorly we shot from the foul line. It was kind of a damper on our day, but we stuck with them in the first half and in the second. We just fell apart in the last five or six minutes of the game.”

On creating mismatches against a big man like Alex Len:

“I mean it’s kind of nice; our coaches really focus on players being able to play all positions—being able to handle the ball no matter how tall you are, so playing the center on our team I have to work on my shooting a lot, because a lot of centers stay in the lane. Fortunately, it worked for me in the first half, but then they had the change of personnel that kind of messed with our group a little bit. They ended up working hard and getting better shots.”

On defending Maryland when they changed to a five guard lineup

“I mean we work on it in practice a lot, guarding your own man, which is what it pretty much came down to. But you have to give them credit where credit is due, they did well on executing. They got to the basket and made their free throws.”

On building on this game and season into next year:

“We’re definitely not hanging our heads or anything; we’re holding them high because we had a great season. It’s been good for the program, especially from going from not being able to win an NIT game to winning one; also making it a close one out here on the road after a day of travel. We’re keeping our heads up, we played for conference championships, and we won one so even though we lost, you can’t take it away from what we did this year.”