Before arriving at Maryland, Mark Turgeon’s Texas A&M teams had been known for defense. In his last season there, the Aggies ranked 19th in the nation in fewest points allowed and went 24-9.
"His values are pretty simple," mentor Larry Brown, now the coach at Southern Methodist, said after Turgeon was hired. "You play hard and you guard and you rebound like crazy and take good shots."
Given those values, it’s easy to say why Turgeon, now in his third Maryland season, was so frustrated after Sunday night’s 90-83 loss to Oregon State. The coach exhaled deeply as he approached the podium, as if he had come to the end of a long, taxing day. Which he had.
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“I thought Oregon State was terrific,” Turgeon said. “That’s all we talked about in the scouting report; those two kids and trying to guard those kids [Roberto Nelson and Devon Collier]. Obviously we didn’t do a very good job. Nelson kept getting to the rim and then Collier was just a beast. We had no answer for him. I know I’m going to watch the film and see we missed a lot of box outs. We weren’t very physical. The way we started the game and the second half, I think we gave Oregon State a lot of confidence. I’m just disappointed.”
Collier shot 11-for-17 from the field. Nelson was 9-for-17 and got to the foul line 14 times, making 12. The Beavers shot 59.6 percent.
“We didn’t defend well. We just didn’t do our job,” Maryland forward Evan Smotrycz said.
There were few Terps highlights. One was the loud, supportive crowd. Another was freshman point guard Roddy Peters, who penetrated into the lane and dished effectively. He scored 10 points and had six assists.
And there was the presence of president Obama behind Oregon State's bench, creating quite a buzz.
“Something I could say to my grandkids one day,” said Maryland’s Dez Wells. “I had an amazing opportunity to play in front of the president and first lady.”