2013-14 ACC Basketball Season Grades: Maryland Only Average In Final ACC Season
The game Maryland fans will remember from this past ACC college basketball season was the Terrapins’ win over then-No. 5 Virginia at the Comcast Center in the regular-season finale. While it was a worthy victory against the ACC regular season and eventual tournament champions, it also showed just how frustrating the year had been for the Terrapins. On their way to the Big 10 after a 60-plus year run in the ACC, Maryland was at times very good, and at plenty of others, wholly frustrating. Errors on both sides of the ball led to the Terrapins finishing 9-9 in the ACC, 17-15 overall, missing the NCAA tournament once again under head coach Mark Turgeon.
It’s not a surprise then probably that when you Google “Mark Turgeon,” the second entry is “Mark Turgon hot seat.” Facing the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State next season won’t make life any easier in College Park. Here is an evaluation of the Terrapins on both sides of the ball and overall.
OFFENSE: Sometimes, when Seth Allen or Dez Wells were on their games, the Maryland offense wasn’t bad. At other times, it looked confused and not only unable to execute whatever plays were called, but seemingly unable to carry out the movement and passing necessary for it to be clear what the Terrapins were even trying to do. Maryland averaged almost 71 PPG, but were a woeful 244th in the nation in field-goal shooting at just 43 percent. Wells and Allen combined to score 28.3 PPG to lead the club, but Maryland never really found a consistent big body down low to replace Alex Len. In tough losses to Duke, Syracuse and Clemson late in the year, better offensive execution might have at least allowed Maryland to win two of those games and go 11-7 in the ACC, putting this season under a much different light. GRADE: C-.
DEFENSE: Maryland was in the top third in the nation in scoring defense at about 68 PPG, and given how inconsistent the offense was at times, it’s a testament to the defense (and perhaps the weakness present in the bottom half of the ACC) that Maryland won nine league games. Maryland only gave up 70 points or more in one of its last eight games, and that was in a 77-73 loss to Clemson that went to double overtime (it was just 54-54 after regulation). Maryland had a nice average of 10.6 blocks plus steals per game. The Terrapins will need to be extra tough defensively next year to survive life in the Big 10, where there are fewer true bottom feeders and just as much power at the top as in the ACC. GRADE: B.
OVERALL: Turgeon is 59-43 at Maryland, but never finished above .500 in the ACC in three tries. He’s yet to take Maryland to the NCAA T\tournament, and that task won’t get any easier in the Big 10. With a solid recruiting class, 2014-15 figures to be Turgeon’s make-or-break year, especially considering most observers would call this past season a bit of a disappointment. GRADE: C.
Twitter-Style, the 2013-14 Terrapins in 140 (or less): “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, get out! #ACCWithWarmGoodbyesToMaryland #FeelingIsProbablyMutual”