Dec. 13, 2011
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Quotes from Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon in advance of Wednesday's game against FIU, which is scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m. from Comcast Center.
On the difference in having Pe'Shon Howard and Alex Len practicing:
"What we've done differently in practice is we've moved Alex over to practice with the so-called top guys. He goes back and forth. Earlier in the year we only had seven guys working with just the red team and the black team would be on defense the whole time. Now, we moved JT [Jonathan Thomas] back over to the black team, the so-called second team. John Auslander and Alex instead of just working with one team are working with both teams. When you have time in between games you do a lot more team stuff anyway which we have been able to do. It's been a good stretch for us."
On how productive this week was and what the priorities were:
"I think we've had a great week. Now whether we play well tomorrow remains to be seen because I can control practice. Our priorities have been defense. We went really hard Friday and Saturday, maybe a couple of our best practices of the year, all defense. Took Sunday off and had another good practice yesterday and today will be really focusing in on Florida International. So we went back to basics, and I think it's helped us. We'll see when we get tired if we can fight through it. This is a tough matchup for us. [FIU] can spread you and drive you. We've worked hard on a lot of things defensively and I think some things are starting to click for them."
On where the break downs are defensively:
On how encouraged he has been with forwards Ashton Pankey and James Padgett:
"It's a combination of things; its consistency, which is a lack of experience and maturity. A little bit is know-how, so that is why we went back to basics. Sometimes when you're new, and you have so much to put in, you move on when you really shouldn't move on. But with this team, there are a lot of things we can't put to bed and move on and we just have to keep going back to them. Consistency and know-how would be the two. I do think the effort has been there in practice and in the games."
"I'm really encouraged. James is really practicing hard for us. He's practiced hard the last three days, which I've been on him about and it's encouraging. He's putting up numbers offensively and playing with confidence, which I like. When Pankey's dialed in he's a good rebounder and defender for us and can get put backs and deep touches and he makes free throws, so hopefully he'll keep doing that."
On Pe'Shon Howard's injury:
"Where Pe'Shon is now, he's out of the boot, he's got an orthotic that's in his shoe. He's totally in tennis shoes now. He's doing shooting drills only with us. Nothing live yet. They're really taking it slow. He ran on the treadmill for 45 minutes on Sunday, he's pain free. We're just taking it slow."
On having one game in 16 days:
"We need this time, we really do. I actually don't like that we play on the 28th, 31st and the third [of January]. I wished we played on the 29th and the fourth so I could have a bunch of practices. Instead we are going to be preparing for Albany, Samford and Cornell instead of working on Maryland.
"This is a good time for us. Unfortunately our finals start Thursday and most of the countries are this past week, so it's really hard to schedule. I wish we would have played Saturday and I wish we would have played Wednesday and I wish we weren't playing on the 23rd to be honest with you. I can promise you; next year we won't have games on the 23rd and the 28th. We will have a big Christmas break."