A coach can go a few different ways after his team has endured a wrenching loss – the sort that can hang with players and even come to define a season.
The coach can play psychologist and perform the equivalent of group therapy, or simply make the determination that it’s best to let it be.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon took the second route after the Terps’ 69-67 loss at Duke last Saturday night.
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“We never talked about Duke, we just moved on,” Turgeon said after Maryland’s 71-60 victory on Tuesday night over a Wake Forest team that has now lost six games in a row.
“At about the 12-minute timeout of the first half, we talked about being tougher," he said. "You may be a little tired or a little fatigued, but you’ve got to toughen up."
So the Terps survived a classic trap game, falling as it did between the season’s only encounter with Duke and next Monday night’s game against top-ranked, undefeated Syracuse.
The Terps guarded well in the second half and moved the ball efficiently against the Demon Deacons’ zone, and with Dez Wells and Seth Allen combining to shoot 4-for-18, Nick Faust picked a good time to score a career-high 20 points.
“He was really the only one knocking down shots for us,” forward Jake Layman said. “This is the game where we really needed him because no one was shooting well.”
Next week’s Syracuse game now becomes the game of the year for the Terps.
"They’re a great team," Faust said.
Duke may not be on this season's home schedule, but the game against the Orange will present the opportunity for Maryland fans to turn up the volume as if the Blue Devils were in town.