Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon said during Thursday’s Big Ten media day at Madison Square Garden that he’s looking to a return trip for the league’s post-season tournament and a week off before the NCAA tournament.
The tournament will be held a week earlier than normally scheduled in order to get into the Garden, which is booked for the Big East Tournament the following week. Maryland’s last appearance at the Garden came in his second year when the Terps lost to Iowa in the NIT semifinals.
“I love New York, I love this city, I have a lot of great memories as a player [at Kansas] and as a coach in this city, it’s good that we’re bringing the tournament to the Garden,” Turgeon said. “We got a great alumni base up here in New York.”
Turgeon also doesn’t mind the week off before the NCAA tournament as well as the possibility of the Big Ten tournament returning to Washington, where it was played last season.
“I experienced it when I was at Wichita State and it actually really helped us,” Turgeon said. “Going into the [NCAA] tournament, we were able to get fresh, put in a lot of new plays. Ask me in March if we’re lucky enough to be in the tournament, I might have a different answer.”
As for playing the Big Ten tournament on the East Coast, Turgeon said, “We loved it when [commissioner Jim] Delany decided to do it on the East Coast. We obviously wish we had performed a little better in D.C . last year. Having it at the Garden is terrific. Obviously it’s an area we recruit very hard. I think it’s terrific for us, terrific for the Big Ten."
Maryland will open the season not from here, playing Stony Brook at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island Nov. 10.