The Maryland men’s basketball program has had four players transfer since the end of the 2013-14 season, the most recent being sophomore guard Seth Allen, who was the team’s second-leading scorer. Junior guard Nick Faust, sophomore center Shaquille Cleare, and freshman point guard Roddy Peters each announced they would be departing from College Park, Md. in early-April.
Earlier this week, Turgeon was called out by former Terrapin Will Bowers, who played under Gary Williams, the legendary coach Turgeon replaced.
The seat is getting pretty warm for the former Texas A&M coach, who said he takes “total blame” for what has happened to his program over the last month.
Mark Turgeon on the departure of Seth Allen and 3 others. “You don’t lose four guys and say ‘oh it can’t be me. I have to take total blame.”
— Don Markus (@sportsprof56) May 3, 2014
In an interview with Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun, Turgeon said he’s disappointed by what has happened.
“I’ve got to take a look at everything, I’ve got to take a look at myself and everything on this deal,” he said. “I do think it’s part of the culture. … I’ve got to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future. With that said, I like the guys returning and I like the guys coming in.”
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas told Markus that this has less to do with Turgeon and more to do with the state of college basketball, though.
“If you don’t play in position, if you have to make a sacrifice, if you have the ball in your hands or don’t have the ball, now it’s more acceptable to transfer,” Bilas said. “You don’t want to overuse the word ‘culture’; even players in AAU jump from one team to another with no rhyme or reason.”
Bilas said he still believes Maryland can have a good season in 2014-15, the program’s first in the Big Ten.
“Sometimes, when guys leave that are not happy, it improves things,” Bilas said. “It improves the situation for the guy that leaves and it improves the situation for the environment he leaves behind.”
Maryland returns its top player in Dez Wells, along with forwards Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz, and center Charles Mitchell. Turgeon is also bringing in a top-10 recruiting class, led by McDonald’s All-American Romelo Trimble, who will likely start at point guard with the departure of Allen.