Jan. 24, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Quotes from head coach Mark Turgeon in advance of Maryland's matchup with Duke Wednesday at 9 p.m.
On whether Alex Len will be ready to play significant minutes against Duke after his ankle injury Saturday:
"I don't know yet. He did not practice yesterday. He is going to give it a shot today; he's still sore. We'll know more after practice today of where we are with Alex. Obviously we need him, we need his length and fouls for tomorrow night. I'm hoping, I'd hate for him to miss this game because every time our young kids can play in a big game, which every game is a big game, but an environment like tomorrow night helps us for the future."
On if he paid attention to the Maryland-Duke rivalry before he came here:
"I knew about it, I didn't watch the games. I knew how Gary got fired up for them and that was well-documented in the media. There were some great wins for Maryland and some heart-breaking losses for Maryland during that stretch. A rivalry is a rivalry. It's more important with the people that are involved. I've been in a lot of different rivalries and now for me this is the most important rivalry that there is because it means the most to our fans. I understand that. I was at Texas A&M and the only game that mattered, unfortunately all year was the Texas game. It shouldn't be that way, but that's the way it was. I don't think our fans think this is the only game that matters but it's obviously the most important game of the year."
On with this being his first season and with all the transition, if he's satisfied with a 12-6 record:
On Duke's Austin Rivers:
"I don't get into the record, I never have. I know you get hired and fired on your record, I understand that. Am I pleased with the way we're playing right now? Not really. I think we're leaving a lot out there. I think our shot selection's not great, I think our execution isn't very good. I think our turnovers are really hurting us. I do think we're making strides defensively and rebounding. But our offense has been so inefficient and poor. You say that, we went into Florida State and shot pretty well against a team that was leading the country in field-goal percentage defense. I just think there's a lot more in us and I'm just trying to get it out as quickly as I can. So we'll see. We had a great practice yesterday, they responded to our message and we got better yesterday. That's really what I'm concerned about."
"I think he has a great first step, he's fearless, he can shoot it and drive it. He can get to the foul line. Duke does a great job of spreading the floor and letting him be Austin Rivers. I know he's their leading scorer overall, I think he's second or third in [ACC games] on their team. They have a lot of good players, that helps too. When you have a lot of good players they can't gang up on you, so he's usually one-on-one and able to do his thing."
On Gary Williams having a low profile since his retirement and if he appreciates that:
"When I retire, hopefully it's after a long run here, yeah I'll get away. I'll retire for a reason. This is Gary's home; he went to college here, he's been here [coaching] for 22 years. I think my transition has been smooth because of the way he's handled it, and I appreciate that. We had a great dinner and dedication last night for him and I was so happy to be invited and be a part of it. He's a special guy and a hell of a coach. He's made it easier for me. I don't think there's any question he's on my side, and you always worry about that when you take a job. He's gone above and beyond to let people know, people that really matter to our program, that he thinks I'm the right guy for this job. And that's really helped."
On if James Padgett and Ashton Pankey have been hesitant to shoot:
"No I think they know what they're supposed to do when they catch it down there. James was 5 for 6 Saturday if I'm not mistaken. We need to get him the ball more and shoot more; he had a couple turnovers. He actually had 10 touches on the post Saturday. He's proven that he can score down there. Ashton hasn't really gotten into a flow lately, we need him to. He needs to give us more, he know that. Alex [Len] has been a reluctant shooter since the North Carolina State game. Like I said I don't know what's causing that, but hopefully he'll grow out of that as the season goes on."