Dec. 4, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Quotes from head coach Mark Turgeon in advance of Maryland's game vs. Maryland Eastern Shore Wednesday at 7 p.m.
On whether he has a philosophy of forcing bad shots or forcing turnovers:
"We are about being solid. I am disappointed because I think we have about 18 steals, so it is not where it needs to be. We have a lot of guys that can create steals, whether it is Nick or Dez or Seth. They all have good anticipation. I thought at this point we would have more steals than we actually have. We are getting more deflections than we have in the past.
"We are about guarding their system the right way, and getting to shooters and containing the drivers. We also play good post defense. Obviously Alex Len helps our defense by protecting the rim. The first stat I look at is field goal percentage defense, that's really what is important to me. Next would be rebounding and then turnovers, which hasn't been much fun to look at. We try to put in a game plan every game, and it is mostly about getting stops and having good positioning to rebound."
On happiness of overall direction of the defense:
"I'm happy with our defense. We are really guarding. I think teams are shooting around 37 percent against us, and we should be around that number with some of the teams that we have played. We are really guarding well, so I am happy with where it is going."
On progress of the younger players:
"Well, for me as a coach, I like to feel comfortable when guys are in the game. When they are playing defense, I have to feel comfortable that they know what the heck they are doing. They need to know how to guard screens the right way, who they are guarding, and many other things on top of that. I felt like Sunday even though a lot of them didn't play well offensively, and unfortunately that's the way a lot of people look to see if a kid plays well or not, I felt that all the young kids were very comfortable with who they were guarding.
had jump shots that hit over him, but he was right there guarding the player perfectly and Jake Laymen guarded his kid really well also. So that is a step in the right direction and I am very comfortable with all of the young kids and how they play defensively. I haven't felt that way so far this year until now. We have been practicing on double screens, and they picked that up immediately, which I was really surprised about because we haven't practiced them much. It gave me a lot of confidence in all of our young players."
On where the young player maturation comes from:
"It comes from drill work, talking about it and watching film. I think the young guys were able to sit and watch the veterans plus Dez really go hard. You can learn a lot by just watching guys. One of the younger players came out of the game the other day and asked me `Why did I come out?' I said `because those five guys can really go hard [defensively], and this is a close game.' We had the lead and we had to protect it. I think that was a message to that player about the difference in experience at this level of play. With that said, the young players are really doing great and working hard. For only being [seven] games into our season, they are really coming along at a pretty fast pace."
On what he's doing to address the turnover problem:
"I don't know how I look to you guys but I haven't slept very well since the game ended Sunday. I can't figure it out. It's just really trying to move too fast and decision making on the court, and I cant control when guys just dribble off of their feet or fumble the ball out of bounds when they have a layup. Lack of concentration and not valuing each position the way we should are two big things. I was begging them the whole game just to get into our secondary break if our primary break wasn't there. We got into it two times in the second half and scored both times, and they broke it off seven times, so that is part of the problem. Part of it is also trying to make a spectacular play instead of just the easy one. In hockey, they give an assist to the guy that passes to the guy who gets the actual assist, and in our game I wish they did that. Our guys always want to make the pass, especially to the basket, instead of the pass that leads to the pass. If they would think that way and still feel good about that pass, that would really help our team."
On the upcoming schedule:
"We have to get better offensively, we have to give confidence to our young guys and we have to be more efficient. That is the way we are going to approach it. I love what we have over the next month as far as practice time and games. I cant promise you we are always going to play well on game nights, but I imagine we are going to get better in practice every day. That is going to be our approach to it, because I don't think we are a very good team yet. Everyone is talking about how good we are, and we really haven't done anything yet to be quite honest with you.
"We are getting better, and we are defending and rebounding pretty well, but we have a long way to go if we are going to compete in the ACC. It is a big month for us. We have time to work and practice. We play so many games that sometimes we spend more time on the other team than our own team. Northwestern was two full days of just working on them to get used to their style of play, and we were not working on us at all."