Turgeon said that he chided Len at practice last week about his matchup with Plumlee.
“I challenged Alex about being Mason Plumlee’s little brother. He treats you like a little brother,” Turgeon recalled. “I said, ‘I’m tired of being a little brother since I’ve been here, it’s time to step up and act like one of the big guys.’”
Len said Turgeon was on him in practice all week. The coach “wanted me to be tougher," Len said. "He was in my head all the time. He wanted me to respond and I think I did.”
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The second half of Turgeon’s last statement was an interesting one, perhaps a reference to fans who have recently taken to the message boards writing that the 48-year-old coach can’t hold Gary Williams’ whistle when it comes to getting the most out of his team. The same folks were calling for Williams to retire long before he did because he couldn’t recruit.
Coach K’s comments
I was pleasantly surprised last week when Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he was going to miss the Maryland-Duke rivalry after the Terps leave for the Big Ten in 2014. It seemed as if the legendary Coach K had moved away from his mantra a decade ago about how the Blue Devils were “rivals with everybody.”
Apparently, a two-point defeat to the Terps on Saturday night was enough for Krzyzewski to return to a statement that even former Blue Devil Jay Bilas said was not quite true.
“We don’t look at any rivalries; we look at each opponent the same,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve said that every time I’ve come here. I have a great deal of respect for Maryland. If it was such a rivalry, they’d still be in the ACC. Obviously they don’t think it’s that important or they wouldn’t be in the Big Ten. I respect their basketball program and the job their coaches and players have done over the years. We’ve had some great games with them, but we have great games against a lot of people. A lot of people want to beat us and they’re one of them.”
Can anyone say trap game? Given the big win Saturday night, Maryland’s trip to Boston College (11-14, 3-9 in the ACC) Tuesday is a big test for Turgeon’s young team that is now 18-7 overall, 6-6 in the ACC. The last time the Terps beat a Top 25 team, last month against North Carolina State, they came out flat on the road at North Carolina. The Eagles are certainly not in that class, but they have come close to beating teams a lot better than Maryland (losing by one to both Miami and Duke) on their homecourt this season.
“Our excitement has to be on the same level against teams that might not be as good as Duke. We’ve got to treat everyone like Duke,” Len said. “You’ve got to be ready to play your best every game, every night. It’s hard, but that’s what we’re trying to work on.”