Dec. 28, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Postgame quotes following Maryland's 83-72 win over Albany Wednesday night at Comcast Center.
Head Coach Mark Turgeon
"That was a really good win for us. I thought Albany was a heck of a team. I thought they played great and they shot the ball well. The difference was - and I haven't said it much this year - we had more depth then their team and they got tired. But there's a lot of fight in [Albany] and they never quit. We were up 10 and they cut it to three and kept making big shots. We held them to a 39 [percent shooting] and they were shooting 45 percent as a team, so that's good for us. That's two games in a row teams have been in the 30's [in field goal percentage].
"And then the rebounding numbers - it was really the first time where teams that we should dominate on the boards, that we'd done that and that's a good feeling. I know Alex [Len] had a lot to do with that. In the second half we were struggling. I thought James Padgett changed the game with the second-chance buckets. He missed two free throws on of them, but he still changed the game and that lineup was really good for us. Nineteen assists is a lot for us and Pe'Shon [Howard] had a lot to do with that. Sixteen turnovers is way too many. We're still young and inexperienced and it really shows at times."
On his team's offensive play:
On his starting lineup, specifically Alex Len:
"I thought it was awful. I was a nervous wreck because they ran a matchup and we ran all man stuff against it, but our guys just didn't feel comfortable. We just had guys make plays and we were just bigger and stronger than they were. We had a lot of guys make shots. Terrell [Stoglin] was fantastic tonight. He shared the ball and took a couple bad shots. He actually guarded really well and just made big shots for us and was really good on the break when we built the lead up. I never felt comfortable over there. I didn't feel like we ever got into a flow and then we didn't handle the double team very well. [Albany] doubled the post in the second half and we didn't handle that well and it's something we need to get better at. [The offense] flowed at times and didn't flow at other times and I thought [Albany] did a good job adjusting to what we were doing against their matchup zone."
"I kind of decided two weeks ago that I probably should [start Alex Len] because in the long run, he has the potential to be pretty good and be our best guy. I didn't know who I was going to start, but I knew I was going to start Alex. I had a feeling I was going to start Pe'Shon [Howard] if he didn't make me too mad in practice and I just think those were our best players that I started. With that said, we have a pretty nice bench now and you couldn't have said that 10 days ago. I think our starting lineup will change as the season goes on. I think we started two freshmen and two sophomores out there and that's a young team."
On the impact of Alex Len offensively:
"I think [our offense is helped by the inside presence of Alex [Len] if we are willing passers. I thought our point guards made some bad decisions when we drove inside and we turned it over, but I think we were trying to throw too many bounce passes to [Alex Len]. We should be throwing it up to the rim and he'll come down with it. But we're just a whole different team with him and Pe'Shon because we can actually pressure a little bit. We're not standing at the 3-point line. We're running on misses and that lead to a lot of transition points for us. We're just a totally different team. Really [Len] just gives us quality depth right now. I've got five guards that I feel comfortable with and I've got four posts that I feel comfortable with, so we just have quality depth. It's just pushing the right buttons and playing the right guys at the right time."
Sophomore Guard Terrell Stoglin
On the addition of Alex Len:
"We had a good feel for the game today because our whole team was back. Alex [Len] was very anxious, but he played well today. We got the win and that's what is important."
"It was very fun because we had more options. The pressure was taken off of me. We felt that we could go inside more. Pe'Shon [Howard] had eight assists. He is a good point guard; he was distributing the ball. We are going to be good this year."
On how the addition of Alex Len changed the team:
"It opened up the plays more. It gave us more opportunities to get into the game. We are a deeper team now with a good bench. We are looking more like a team now."
"It changes it because we have more height. Alex is an offensive threat. He is a great passer. If we get him the ball down low we can expect it to get back out to us. We can play inside-out more now."
On keeping confidence despite the close game:
"We knew it was going to be a battle. We are a different team now with Pe'Shon [Howard] back and Alex [Len] playing. We have a lot of confidence. Our confidence never wavered."
On Pe'Shon Howard:
"He was very settled. I think he was trying to get 14 assists today. He was dishing the ball out today. When we missed shots he was mad at us because he was trying to get assists. He helped us out a lot today."
On his outside game:
"We were playing inside out today. Alex [Len] is already a threat so when he was passing it back out to us we had chances. I was hitting my jumper today. I wanted to hit eight threes, which was my goal."
Sophomore Guard Pe'Shon Howard
On the guard's defense:
"As soon as we saw the scouting report Coach told us they might have the best guard play we have seen this year. They had three very good guards that are averaging good points. They were a handful all night. We put in some defensive strategies to deal with them. We accepted the challenge which was our motto tonight. They made some tough shots. They are a tough team so we are happy with our performance."
On Alex Len:
"He was very impressive. When we were eating he seemed nervous. He said during Midnight Madness he was very nervous and shaky. In practice he was doing well but we weren't sure how he was going to handle the game. The first play was the alley-oop. He came out and played very well. I was happy for him because of everything he has been through. He has gone through all the practice without playing which is tough."
On getting Alex Len involved:
"That was one of my goals. I wanted to get everyone involved. Coach told us that adding another peace we were almost starting over. Last game I felt like I didn't do a very good job of getting everyone involved. Nick Faust and Terrell Stoglin didn't shoot very well last game and being the point guard I put some of that on myself. I tried to get them some early shots. I just wanted to get my teammates going."
Junior Forward James Padgett
On free throws:
"It is very important. I need to make more free throws. I made six of my nine which is okay. I am getting better. It is very important to the team because it puts points on the board and it helps the guards get into the flow of the game."
On Alex Len:
"At the beginning of the season I knew Alex was a good player. He has a lot more; he can shoot and rebound. He does a lot on the court."
On the offensive rebounds:
"The guys know that when they put shots up that myself, Alex [Len] and the other big's going to get the rebound if they miss. Being a good offensive rebounder helps me get more rebounds, keep the plays going and help out my team."
Albany Coach Will Brown
On the importance of Alex Len and Pe'Shon Howard's returns:
"We just picked the wrong time to play them, I guess. We should have played them on the 23rd instead of tonight. [Alex Len] makes a world of a difference for them. He altered shots, he blocked shots, he's a bail-out guy offensively. You just throw the ball up in the air and he'll go get it. He obviously makes them a whole lot bigger and more physical, and he's a better rebounder for the team as well. I think Pe'Shon Howard's a difference-maker as well because he lets [Terrell] Stoglin not have the responsibility to handle the bal,l and all Stoglin has to worry about is scoring. It seems like Howard's always in control, and I think now Howard can guard the better guards. I think now that they have their full team, I think they'll do well in the ACC. Outside of [North] Carolina and Duke, they'll be right there with everybody, especially if [Len] gets more acclimated."
On losing the game:
"We missed good looks at the wrong times, and they were our better shooters that were taking them. [Logan] Aronhalt couldn't buy a 3 in the second half, and he's a very good shooter. I always felt like we were one possession away from really imposing our will on them and we just couldn't get that basket to go in. A couple times it was 3s and we missed them, and with those 3s come long rebounds, and I thought they got out and transitioned a couple of those misses as well."
On keeping up with Maryland:
"We were resilient. I think against a BCS-level school, in their building, I think if you're not resilient, you're going to make SportsCenter for the wrong reasons and it's going to be a blowout. I'm sure we're going to make SportsCenter tonight with some of Len's dunks. But we think we have a chance to win our league, if we can stay healthy and have a little luck on our side. What we're trying to do is get better every game. When you play a team like Maryland, you have very little room for error."
On Alex Len:
"We knew nothing about Len. You can Google him and see all the nice things that Fran Fraschilla says about him. And then 20 minutes before the game, I guess Scott Spinelli tells my assistant that Larry Brown was at practice the other day and said the kid's going to be a lottery pick. That's the last thing you want to hear about the opposing team when you know nothing about him and you're about to take the court. He was like the great unknown for us, and we pride ourselves on our scout and we just didn't know anything about him. As soon as he took warmups, I saw right away he shot a 3,and I was like, `I hope this kid is just a finesse kid and will hang out on the perimeter.' And he's not. He's not strong right now, but he's long, he's agile and he's skilled. He's going to be a good one. I'd have him live with the strength coach, give that strength coach a raise, but that kid's going to be good. He might be a lottery pick one day with his frame and skill."
On Gerardo Suero:
"Suero's great. He got frustrated in the first half... Suero's great at initiating contact, and in our league at our level, he's going to get all those calls. The problem right now is the bodies are so big, and a lot of times you just bump off those bodies. I thought he got a little frustrated in the first half. Then once we told him at halftime, `You're not going to get a call, you've got to just suck it up and play,' he did a great job of that in the second half."