Turgeon blamed himself for his team blowing more than half of that big lead (which had been as many as 19) because he subbed out his complete starting team for his second unit, something that he learned from Roy Williams and Larry Brown, who learned it from Dean Smith, who I’m sure learned it from Phog Allen, who might have learned it from James Naismith himself. (Turgeon, who played and coached under Brown, has pictures of all of them adorning a wall in his office.)
It was the second time Turgeon did it Tuesday night. He did it early in the game and the second unit – made up of freshmen forwards Charles Mitchell and Jake Layman, freshman center Shaquille Cleare, freshman guard Seth Allen and senior transfer Logan Aronhalt – went on a little mini-run before he subbed them out.
“I think that one substitution really hurt us. I learned a little bit about myself and how to coach this team as we go forward,” Turgeon said.
Shortly after subbing in Mitchell and Cleare for the first time, Maryland’s modern-day Bruise Brothers (for those too young to remember Jeff Ruland and Rick Mahorn of the old Bullets) had their shots blocked by smaller, quicker Leopards. Lafayette finished with five blocked shots to three for the Terps, which could be the first time a Patriot League team outblocked an ACC team.
Told of the five blocks, Turgeon said, “Did they?”
While it might not have impacted the Terps against Lafayette, it could be a factor against bigger, stronger competition such as the kind Maryland will face in the ACC.
“I think a couple of our guys who get their shots blocked aren’t explosive enough when they gather the ball,” Turgeon said. “It’s disappointing that we have these big strong guys and we’re not finishing [easy shots], but we finished a lot of those too and got fouled. Give them credit. Maybe they’re good shot blockers.”
The Leopards had blocked 11 shots coming in, though none against Kentucky.
Turgeon said on his radio show Monday night that he planned to give the team off on Thanksgiving, something he has never done in the past. Maryland (3-1) plays Georgia Southern (1-2), which beat a team called Webber International.