COLLEGE PARK — There was no formal introduction, no hoopla as the leading scorer in Maryland men's basketball history took a seat behind the bench for the first time in his new role.
Juan Dixon, dressed in a grey suit and trying hard to fade into a maze of coach Mark Turgeon's bench staff, barely was noticed during an 89-62 victory over Morgan State on Friday.
Dixon, hired as Turgeon's special assistant Wednesday, is officially back with at program he led to its lone national championship in 2002, and its first Final Four the previous year.
"It was different," Dixon said Friday before leaving Comcast Center. "It was good."
At least initially, Turgeon didn't seem to be in a mood to talk about Dixon during his postgame press conference when a reporter broached the subject.
The normally affable and always honest Turgeon acted as if he didn't want to answer the question about how comfortable Dixon felt in his new role. He was terse in his reply.
"You're talking about Juan Dixon? Shoot, I don't know," Turgeon said. "He's the least — ... I'm not worried about Juan. I'm worried about my team. He didn't do much."
A few minutes later, as the press conference was about to end, Turgeon offered an apology.
"To answer your question, I didn't mean to be such a jerk," Turgeon said. "I know Juan's an important person here. It's just good to have him around. It's good to have Juan around, and I know he's excited."
Turgeon then told a little story from pregame.
"I found out he's not very good at tieing a tie, so you can rip him little bit if you can. They were trying to figure that out right before the game," Turgeon said. "I think he was excited, and he really enjoyed it."