Mark Turgeon spoke with reporters in Chicago at Big Ten Media Day on Thursday. Here's a transcript of his comments, provided by the conference:
MARK TURGEON: Happy to be here. Obviously with a season you're always excited, but when you're joining a new league, it even makes it a little bit more exciting. I guess it's the unknown, not sure what you're getting into. I've followed a lot of these coaches for a long time, followed the program, so I know they're all excellent coaches, great programs, and, arguably, it's been the best league in the country the last four or five years. So with that said, there's a lot of anticipation going into it, and we're looking forward to it.
It's a great league, and we're excited about being in the Big Ten.
Question: What do you see in the contrast? Is there a contrast in styles? Obviously, you haven't played in the Big Ten yet, but any film review or anything revealed that this might be a different style of play for you and your program?
MARK TURGEON: No, I don't think so. We're going to play a little bit differently this year ourselves, but when you get into leagues like this now, you have 14 teams, ACC had a lot of teams. I think we had 15 last year. You're going to have all kinds of styles. Instead of playing Virginia, you might be playing Wisconsin, instead of playing Clemson, you might be playing Purdue, and I can go on and on. There's teams we played in last year's league that play the same way as teams in the Big Ten. There's going to be finesse teams, there's going to be real physical teams, there's going to be fast teams, there's going to be slow teams, you've just got to figure out who they are and adjust and play against those teams.
Question: In contrasting styles, but also you have so much institutional memory of the ACC, how difficult is that to try to replicate that to go into a new league where you're playing 13 teams, maybe only one you played in the previous year?
MARK TURGEON: Oh, you know, it is what it is. Fortunately for me or unfortunately for me, I've moved around. I've been in quite a few leagues now. I didn't anticipate this one, but here we are, so I'm used to it.
We put a lot of film study in here in the fall to the teams. My assistant coaches, film guy will do a lot of that work, putting things together for me to study.
It is what it is. You know, obviously right now we probably don't have a rival, but five years from now we might not be their first rival, but we'll have a rival in this league, and there will be big games for us in this league and ones that our fans get excited about. The Big Ten did a great job for us giving us a great home schedule this year. We have a lot of big names, powerful programs coming into Maryland this year that will have our fans pretty excited.
Question: I wondered in the leagues that you've coached in what your experience has been with the different scheduling formats for conference play, and I guess there's eight one-plays in the Big Ten this year. I'm wondering if the regular season is becoming devalued because of the loss of the round-robin schedule.
MARK TURGEON: I don't know if it's being devalued because there's still 18 games and 18 tough ones. Obviously everybody plays a different schedule. It's almost impossible with so many teams to put the schedule together. I think the Big Ten did a nice job with the three-year cycle that they're going to have. It is what it is. You look at your 18 games, you do the best you can, and some year you might get lucky and have a little bit easier schedule, and some years you might have a tougher schedule. But you won't know until you play the game. Sometimes it looks on paper like it's going to be tough, and it might not be, and sometimes on paper what looks like it's not going to be tough, it's tougher than you think.
It is what it is. It's college basketball today. I think every league can almost say that. It's not a natural round-robin type thing, but it's the nature of our sport today.