Playing in the NIT is a great opportunity for the young Maryland basketball team to learn and bond. But coach Mark Turgeon doesn't want to make it an annual affair. As the coach at Wichita State, Turgeon went to the NIT three straight years (2003-05), going 2-3.
"The first year was exciting," Turgeon said. "The second year was, we got a home game, it was exciting. Third year was like, well, we wanted to be in the [NCAA] tournament."
Turgeon's first Wichita State team that went to the NIT rotated 10 players, including just one senior, which sounds a lot like his team this year.
At the ACC tournament last weekend, Turgeon saw his team play more freely and be more connected on offense. He also saw his players develop a will to win, which had been missing for much of the year. Playing in the NIT is another chance to hone that will.
"Play extra, play a tournament and you lose you're done, I think it's just great for our team." Turgeon said.
- Kevin Dunleavy