Scheduling was a hot topic on Saturday as Maryland coach Mark Turgeon addressed the Terps’ future in the BB&T Classic. Maryland and George Washington have participated every year since it was established in 1995. The Terps’ agreement expires this year.
“I almost got through this, didn’t I?” Turgeon joked when asked about Maryland’s future involvement. “I’m gonna sit down with everyone concerned and decide if this is the best thing for us. A lot of it will determine what kind of crowd we have tomorrow.”
After 16,389 showed up for Maryland’s BB&T game with Villanova in 2009, attractive matchups with Temple (10,227) and Notre Dame (10,714) have drawn disappointing crowds. With the event annually held on Sunday, competing with the NFL in December has been difficult.
In addition, in order to attract quality teams, Maryland has had to agree to play the opponent on its home floor, an arrangement that Turgeon dislikes. This year, he refused a return game to Notre Dame, as GW took Maryland’s place with a game in South Bend on Nov. 21. Drawing a quality opponent without the promise of a return game is difficult.
“I want to dictate my games. That’s just me,” Turgeon said. “I gotta do what’s best for Maryland basketball in the end. If it takes a few bad articles to do that, I’ll do it.”
Turgeon said he would like to set up games like the Terps’ opener this year against Kentucky in the new Barclays Center which drew 17,732.
“I really enjoyed the game up in Brooklyn. Even though we lost, it was fun,” Turgeon said. “It was a great environment and if [the BB&T] isn’t going to give us that, and we can get it somewhere else, you hear what I’m saying. So we’ll see.”
Considering the challenging opponent, however, Turgeon is happy to be in the BB&T this year. We just wishes he had scheduled a few more such games.
“My thing is, we’ve won one game. We’re 1-1. We’ve beat some teams we should have beat at home. We haven’t done much yet,” Turgeon said.
The coach added that when he was setting up games last year, he didn’t know he would have players such as Dez Wells, Logan Aronhalt, and Charles Mitchell.
“I really like my job, so when we were scheduling last year, I was trying to keep it,” Turgeon said. “I had no idea we’d be this talented.”