Maryland men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon had just finished making an opening statement after his team's 59-53 victory over No. 5 Wisconsin and was about to take questions from reporters when an odd scene unfolded in the media room at Xfinity Center on Tuesday night.
Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan appeared at the podium.
Needless to say, it caught Turgeon a bit by surprise.
“I was just going to say, we have a flight to catch,” Ryan said. “We have practice tomorrow.”
Turgeon showed the respect he had for Ryan, who was recently nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, allowing Ryan proceed with his news conference (and not allowing what was an awkward scene get any more uncomfortable).
“OK, It’s all you, man, it’s all you,” Turgeon said before going back into the hallway outside his team’s locker room.
“They were supposed to get me and they didn’t get me,” Ryan said apologetically. “Thanks, Mark.”
As reporters laughed, Ryan realized what he had done.
“Right in the middle of his speech too,” he said. “We’ll make it quick.”
Ryan wouldn’t blame his team’s first defeat in 11 games on playing from behind most of the night, or not having enough depth at the end of the game. Wiconsin was without senior guard Traevon Jackson, who has been out six weeks with a broken foot but is expected back by the Big Ten tournament.
“Too many timeouts. It was like a country club over there,” Ryan said. “It seemed like we were sitting more than we were playing. I’d like to do that sometime, have a stopwatch. We used our timeouts, they used some because we made a couple of runs. There were a couple of media [timeouts] right in a row. We got some good rest.”
Ryan -- who was curt with reporters when asked about Maryland during a teleconference on Monday (“I don’t do scouting reports on the phone,” Ryan said at one point) -- was much more complimentary of Dez Wells and Melo Trimble after Tuesday's game. That pair combined for 44 points in leading the No. 14 Terps to the upset.
Asked about his team’s inability to stay in front of Wells (26 points) or Trimble (16 points), Ryan said, “We didn’t do a great job with that. Sometimes a guy’s quicker or a guy’s better. Wells and Trimble are better off the bounce [dribble] than we were trying to take that way. We know we’re going to give up some because of their ability. We’re not going to shut anybody out. If you’re not making shots at the other end, it’s hard.”
Ryan even made a joke – or tried to – about Maryland freshman center Michal Cekovsky, who did a great job during a 14-minute stint in the first half.
Asked what he knew about Cekovsky (pronounced CHECK-ov-skee), Ryan said, “At first I thought you were talking about a concert guy. Tchaikovsky? I remember him from music class. He’s a good player, he’s big. He moves pretty well.”
After a couple minutes, Turgeon returned to resume his postgame news conference.
“Hello again,” he said as the room broke up in laughter. “Do I have to say everything again? Do you guys have all of it? Let me add to that. Total team effort, played good defense, let me open it up to questions.”