Mark Turgeon knows all about historic basketball programs. He played in a Final Four at Kansas for Larry Brown and was an assistant coach for both Brown and Roy Williams as they took Jayhawks teams to the Final Four.
So when Maryland was looking for a coach to replace Gary Williams last spring, Turgeon left a stable, low-pressure situation at Texas A&M, where basketball takes a back seat to football, to build a program that may have the same type of potential for greatness. It will start with building on the success Williams enjoyed in his 22 seasons as coach at his alma mater.
Coincidence or not, Williams retired shortly after his All-ACC big man, Jordan Williams, announced his decision to enter the NBA draft. It left the cupboard without a dominant big man for Turgeon to build around. In fact, it left the Terrapins with only nine scholarship players, a number that would shrink to eight before the season got under way in November.
While Turgeon has lamented the fact that this is the worst of the four head coaching situations that he has inherited -- after stops at Jacksonville State, Wichita State and Texas A&M -- Maryland is still one of the "crown jewel" coaching jobs in college basketball.
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