New Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon is holding a teleconference Tuesday afternoon, but he chatted with Ed Norris and Steve Davis of 105.7 The Fan on Tuesday morning about what he has been up to since he was introduced as Gary Williams’ replacement two weeks ago -- and it has been a lot.
Turgeon has filled out his coaching staff, including super recruiter Dalonte Hill, and has convinced Nick Faust, the top player in the Terps’ recruiting class, to stick to the commitment he made to Maryland. Those were the first steps Turgeon has taken to get the Terps back to where they were a decade ago.
“There’s a tradition here. There’s an expectation level. The bar has been set,” he said on “The Norris & Davis Show.” “I feel really great about the relationships in the area with AAU coaches and high school coaches for a guy that’s never lived here. … We’ve recruited this area and I feel like I’ve had great relationships."
Asked about Williams’ reluctance to kiss the rings of AAU coaches in order to maintain a clean program, Turgeon pointed out that recruiting AAU players doesn’t have to result in NCAA violations.
“I think Dalonte Hill will recruit more than AAU programs. He’ll recruit the area, recruit high school programs,” Turgeon said. “There’s a lot of people that recruit AAU programs and their programs are not in trouble. … [Dalonte] knows a lot people. Immediately, he gives us credibility within the programs.”
Their most pressing immediate challenge is finding a big man to replace Jordan Williams, who has entered the 2011 NBA draft, but Turgeon said he won't sign a “stiff” and burn a scholarship.
“It’s hard. When you get a job in the middle May, there’s not a lot left,” Turgeon told Norris and Davis. “We’re trying. We don’t want to add a stiff just to add a stiff. Now if we can add a player that can help us win some games next year, we’re going to do that. We’re trying to do some things, but it’s difficult.”
Turgeon will try to figure it out his way, though, instead of trying to follow in Gary Williams’ Hall-of-Fame footsteps.
“No matter how successful the [coach] before you was, you have to do things the way you do it and [get] everybody to buy in,” Turgeon said. “That’s the toughest challenge, but I don’t see that being a problem coming off a non-postseason year. I think guys should buy in pretty quickly.”
I don’t know about you, but I certainly have.