Maryland basketball preview!

#127 R.P.I. Virginia Tech #171 R.P.I. Maryland: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball returns from Gotham after getting o-2 robin’ed.

The Hokies went belly-up twice and disappointed a Crooklyn bit last week. This week they catch a respectable Maryland Terrapins club out on the made-for-Telly (ESPN2) road on hump-day nite at a quarter past seven post-meridian. The Terps check-in at a reasonable enough looking 5 up and 2 down on 2021-2o2o thus far. They have a couple of ballers too and the Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland is not known to be a soft-touch or very user-friendly. As this 282-mile Nor-by-Nor-East sojourn could prove tricky. @Maryland is not a gimmie-putt or a tap-in to mix my sporting metaphor. That all said, you wanna know who is gonna win and by how much, rights? So, read on… to find, out!

Maryland Head CoachMark Leo Turgeon: Age=56, 471–272 (.634) overall, and 221–113 (.662) @. Has a rep’ for Guarding. Seems to be a bit defensive as well.

Baller Turgeon played basketball at Hayden High School, helping the team post a 47-3 record and capture two consecutive Class AAAA or Quad-A state championships in 1982 and 1983. Turgeon earned All-State Tournament team honors in both of those years.

homecourt 1o1.

Although only 5 feet 10 inches out of high school, Turgeon earned a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Kansas under legendary and eventual H.O.F. coach Larry Brown. Turgeon played in four straight NC2A tournaments, becoming the first KU player to do so. He was a reserve point guard for the 1985–86 Jayhawk team that won the Big Eight Conference regular-season and tournament title and also advanced to the Final Four in the 1986 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. The team finished that season 35–4 overall. Turgeon was a team captain for both the 1986 and 1987 squads, was a member of the Big Eight All-Freshmen Team in 1984, and was also a Big Eight All-Academic Performer in 1986. Fans called him “The Surgeon” because, in addition to the phrase rhyming with his surname, he had the ability to “carve up defenses.”

After his freshman year, Brown told Turgeon that he would likely never play in the N.B.A. and should consider becoming a coach after college. Turgeon agreed, and Brown soon began asking his advice during games and practices, inquiring “What would you do here?” Turgeon remembers that he never got the answer right; Brown always sighed, rolled his eyes, and did something differently

After Turgeon earned a degree from the University of Kansas in 1987, he immediately took a position as an assistant to his former coach, Larry Brown. In his first year of coaching, he helped the team win a national championship in the 1988 NCAA Tournament. Guessing that National Title Bling don’t hurt a recruiting thang.

After that Coach Turg’ was the top @Oregon and likewise recruiting guru. Then on as a big-whistler for the Witcha State Shockers and aTm prior to Maryland itself. This includes a few Association assisting years as well. His teams get to the post-season often enough— and they tend to win at least one game when they do get there. File that one 2o22 bracketology away for future use. Seems to enjoy something of a builder vibe to his hardwood as well. Can recruit pretty well to boot. Tho’ his best work was for the Aggies (.76o) and everything else has been good; just not that great.

Has pocketed a few things… among ’em: MVC (2oo6) Big Ten (2o2o) championships and two whistling honors as well: MVC Coach of the Year (2oo6) and Big Ten Coach of the Year (2o15).

This is a good coach… maybe even good+++, only calculus is… is he great?

Family-man Mark Turgeon was born and raised as one of five children in Topeka, Kansas. After graduating from Hayden High School, Turgeon attended The University of Kansas,
where he earned a bachelor’s degree in personnel administration in 1987.

Poppa T is married to Ann Fowler, whom he met at KU,
and together they have three children

Maryland at a glance:

  • 41st most FTA’s per game! (They get to da rack).
  • 42nd in S.W.A.T. team work!
  • 53rd on the defensive glass.
  • 239th in FG-shooting.
  • 3o6th in 3-point percentage!
  • one injury listed (off-court, Coach God Bless).

Returning Starters=2 or 3… ‘pends…

Maryland Strengths:

  • One, #5, or Eric Ayala is a: 6′5″, 2o5 lb., final-year Lead-G from Deleware. Who is mo’ parts pure scorer and less parts pure-shooter by-the-bye. 15.1 ppg leads the Terrapin way with 4.7 rpg and 2.6 apg to back that up. As said, more of a taker than a maker, what with 37% from the floor, 31% behind the arc, and 64% from the charity stripe. As Eric is a pretty good baller. He is off to a chilly early 2021-2o22 start. With a 3% 3-point cut, a 7% overall dip, and a really orange-paint chipping 21% slide at the FT-Line this year compared to last. Mr. Ayala is better than this. As he was only listed as: the No. 22 overall player in the country by CBS Sports this pre-season; and he only made all-BIG-10 3rd-string in most places to boot. As Eric was only rated #68 nationally coming outta high school via Rivals. As he put up good though not great scholastic basketball digits down in Florida. His hero is his: mum (+1 fo’ dat); and he was an H.S. P/F and C outta height necessity. So, the backcourt or Pt.G. or scoring-G is at least a little bit new to him. Very streaky baller as well, can get you single-digits to low teens one nite and then detonate for mid-20’s the next nite. Does have a history of ding type of injuries… so that’s prolly some of that. Tho’ still, consistency is not his thang, although the better version of Ayala is quite da thing. As the better version is an export professional-caliber baller.
  • 5′1o″, 164 lb. Fatts Russell: is a grad’-year Pt.Guard by way of Philly inner-city ball per Rhode Island. Where he put up some pretty sharp-looking Ram numbers. Check it… 2019-20 Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference and 2019-20 Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team. He is only: 1st best in R.I.U. Career steals (213), 7th in 3-point and in FT-makes alike, and 13th in scoring all-time to boot. This year Fatts (grate name) is a: 12.9 ppg score who also finds his way to: 4.0 rpg, the team lead in 3.6 apg, and 1.0 spg for good measure. NOT a pure shooter, with 34% from the floor and 24% from deep for his career. That did not stop him from shooting however or penetrating to the rack where he did a lotta scoring damage for the Rams. Prior Fatts only won: the Philly City Championship and the PIAA 4A State Championship and the PIAA 4A State M.V.P.! So, he can ball, and did I mention he slashes his way to the rim yet? He has been called “Fatts” his whole life and the nickname was given to him by his mother because he was a chubby baby; so, there is that too.
  • Qudus Wahab is a: 6′11″, 25o lb., Jr. year P/F by way of: Lagos, Nigeria, by transferring way of: Georgetown prior to that. Qudus is a rebounding/defensive stopper of sorts; tho’ he was a pretty big transferring-get for Maryland to be sure. 10.7 ppg with the team lead at 7.1 rpg, and the team lead at 1.3 bpg is not half-bad in the G or backcourt-centric era. Wahab did lead Georgetown in rebounding last year at nearly 9 boards/game with 13 points/contest. He is a big ole space-eater down-low; and he had solid scholastic digits for several Va. Prep Schools. The 60.4% shooting tells you where Q’ shoots from, and if he can develop any more O or D, he is prolly a fringe overseas pro.

    Pretty-good G, is he a great one, tho’?
  • 6′8″, 235 lb. third-year Donta Scott, is a pretty springy looking P/F and he too is by way of inner-city Philly roundball. Just not real skillfully developed on the O end at the moment; although there are measurables/testables in play here. 10.3 ppg with a near team-leading 7.2 rpg and a team-tying 1.3 bpg is not the worst 4th-option on O look. 38% from the floor could use some refinement, however. Can play every position, something of a Baltic Ave. man’s Magic Johnson for it. Does play above the rim and has had a VERY circuitous life… God Bless! Check it: his childhood home in Philadelphia was destroyed by Hurricane Ida and nearly all of his family’s possessions were wiped out. $60,000 was raised by the Maryland and basketball communities to help the Scott family recover. In spite of it, Mister d.Scott then authored his first book, WIRED DIFFERENTLY: My School Journey, a short story that uses his own firsthand experience to encourage young people who learn differently to overcome the obstacles in front of them. Lemons into lemonade and here’s hoping this kid wins the Game of Life. (Which he seems rather precociously to get already!)

Maryland Weaknesses:

  • James Graham III: P/F, 6′8″, 2o5 lb., back-up frontcourter is: “suspended indefinitely” for: ‘disciplinary team violations’. Suspended as well are his 2.3 ppg and 1.9 rpg. Maybe not a huge-huge L, tho’ does not help post-depth either.
  • 2 starting G’s (a.Wiggins & d.Morsell) kicked 2020-2o21 rocks, left/transferred early, and made like a baby turtle and headed, out. They took with them 25 ppg and 12 rpg to boot.
  • i.e., retention has been an ongoing theme here.
  • Likewise, chemistry or mixing was a Lindy’s pre-season wonderment…

Terripans Bench: (depth=3 to 5’ish)

Hakim Hart is an oversized junior season 2-Guard at: 6′8″, 2o5 lbs. H2 may not be instant O, tho’ he is a substitute defensive stopper of sorts who gets you: 6.6 ppg, with 3.3 rpg, on 2.7 apg, and with a team pacing 2.0 spg. Won a lotta gritty looking Catholic School Pa. honors and one State bling for it. Was something of a Keystone State scholastic scorer of sorts as well.

6′9″, 235 lb., rookie or nugget year Julian Reese F, is your lead pine-squad frontcourt sub’ for Maryland. Mr. Reese nets you 7.9 ppg on 4.4 rpg in relief. The book here says that Julian was a very big (pun intended) recruiting get. As Rivals #44th best High School baller for all of America last year. Had good B’more area hoops H.S. digits and his kid-sis’:  named Angel, is currently a member of the Maryland women’s basketball team and was the No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2o2o. So, there has gotta be some keen hardwood D.N.A. in play here. And he does lead Maryland in free-throwing at 84% so 15′ set-shot far. A lot is expected of this kid— will make an interesting ask back on he and sister alike come 2o24.

Pavlo Dziuba, is a Kyiv, Ukraine F, who stands 6′8″, and tips the Toledo’s at 235 sophomoric year lbs. Pavlo is an Arizona State transfer who was a consensus four-star recruit that impressed at the FIBA U16 Division B European Championships in 2019, averaging 13.8 points (.545 FG), 9.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Good skill-set all-around reliever, who now is working his 3 ppg and 2 rpg way in. This one is supposed to be talented, maybe just needs a little mo’ time?

Winning the A.c.c./BIG-10 thingy @Maryland is all about, what(s)?

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Terps who could shell out @Tech=3.5, maybe 4?

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… methinks this to be, one pretty good hoops squad (Virginia Tech) @ one kinda good hoops club (Maryland). 

…this could and prolly will make for one pretty to kinda good roudball game.

Ergo, therefore, to whit… one could dare to opine that someone has to pry the other one open, here?

That attempt at coaching (or hiring) the verb satire aside… who is really the A-side here?

As in all candor, these may be two post-season B-listers and one of these two B-listers could be closer to being a Ceti-lister than the other.

Tho’ there Eye go again, putting the cart before the horse in a sport that favors
games of: “P”, “I”, “G”.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for an Atlantic Coast ask-back once we enter in-league head-to-head competition.

7:15 PM kickoff!

The annualized year-to-date vitals say that… VeeTee is up close to +9% in shooting percentage margin (per a little more on O than D, both good tho’); with dear ole V.P.I. up a staggering +24% in 3-point percentage margin (nearly equal O/D O&M favorable split, and Terps ain’t a great shooting-team), although Maryland is up nearly +6 in rebounding margin year to date as caroms go (VeeTee is positive marginally here, Maryland is just mo’ positive on the fiberglass).

The most recent 5-game metrics say that… the Gobblers are now up +6% in shooting percentage margin (pretty close to equally O/D split); with the Hokies now up +2o% in 3-point percentage margin (same drill, nearly equally O/D split) and yet the Terps are now only up +1 Windex Wide in a narrowing rebounding margin of late!

Armchair Pt.Guard’s:

PERFECT WHEN: The Terrapins are 5-o when they shoot at least 65.2 percent from the foul line and 0-2 when they fall shy of that mark. The Hokies are 5-o when the team blocks at least two shots and 0-2 when they fall short of that total.

VeeTee is up +3% at the charity stripe for the year.
Maryland is a .8oo host; whereas VeeTee is 1.oo (early-on)  as a guest.
Maryland played mo’ recently, tho is up +2 in R&R in the last fortnight of runs.

The Call...

 no.1o4 Net Ranking Virginia Tech @ No.155 Net Ranking Maryland:

Since Maryland abandoned the Atlantic Coast Conference for the allure and money of the Big Ten, the annual basketball series between the leagues has been an awkward exercise for the Terps.

As the Big 1o vs. A.c.c. Challenge also has been mostly fruitless, as Maryland is a shellacked looking 1-6 in the event since changing its stripes.

So, there is that… and there is this…



These two teams enter on similar Naismith turf. Both are left smarting a bit after immediate recent Tourney L’s to quality teams. As Maryland fell in the title game of the Bahamas Championship, 63-55 to hoops factory Louisville. And Vah.Tech dropped a pair of L’s up in the N.i.t. Tip-Off in Brooklyn, N.Y.

This after beating up on five small-conference school little-guys; per winning each game by at least 2o O&M points.

Meaning… someone is due to mini-me slump-bust and go dorsal-fin here.


And frankly, I’d feel mucho better about this one being contested in our very own New River Valley backyard. I’d pick us in defense of our own Cassell for sure on that. As Nahiem Alleyne seemed to warm to the Big Apple spotlight… tho’ the rest of our backcourt went Ag.School and got cowed a bit. (And k.Aluma does not yet have his distancing sea-legs under him, yet).

As they need to learn to wear in-their-shirt defensive pressure, better!

The closer...

As methinks us to be the better and more skillful squad with the better D overall. Out on the Big-Ten road however and that does bring Maryland to within contact of us.

Or, maybe even closer than that if they pop-clean @home here on O?

I kinda lean we have a bit mo’ overall Talent,
…just not sure how far Eye lean on that?

As here’s hoping -tho’ NOT betting- that this one tilts our way just enough…
…as this one was a touchy or tough one to visiting ‘cap.


(56% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=64, Maryland=59

please support the VT F.C.A.!




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