Turgeon still searching for his first signature win at Maryland

The Baltimore Sun

When Miami beat Duke on Sunday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, it gave Jim Larranaga his first signature win as the Hurricanes' coach -- something Mark Turgeon is still seeking with Maryland.

It could have come last Saturday at Comcast Center, when the Terps built a 9-point lead over North Carolina before a late flurry of bad shots, sloppy ballhandling and defensive lapses led to the Tar Heels leaving with an 83-74 victory.

I asked Turgeon on today's ACC media teleconference whether he senses that his young team is panicking and trying to do too much to get that first big win.

"I don't think that's the case yet," Turgeon said. "I think we had a lot of close games early in the year, we won those games, but we were better than who we were playing. The game we were playing the other day ... just the mistakes that we made, things that you have to correct really good teams. Our shot selection at times is not great, our attention to detail on defense is not great, but it's so much better than it was. It's just not going to change overnight."

The Terps have perhaps their toughest week of the season ahead of them -- playing at Clemson on Tuesday night and at Duke on Saturday.

The game against the Tigers is certainly more winnable. Since beating Florida State by 20 at home last month, Clemson has lost three of five -- with the two wins coming at home against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest -- and is coming off close losses on the road at Virginia and Virginia Tech. Duke will be coming off Wednesday's showdown with North Carolina, so maybe the Terps can benefit from a little hangover for the Blue Devils.

I know that unlike the situation with the football team under first-year coach Randy Edsall, who had a nationally televised win against a depleted Miami team in his debut before things unraveled quickly, the expectations were not very high for Turgeon's team. Turgeon has said all the right things and the Terps have definitely improved.  But is there a point that the fans will get a little tired of the late-game mistakes as the losses pile up?

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