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What Went Wrong for Mark Turgeon at Maryland

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Commentary: Assistant coach departures from Terrapins basketball and an over-demanding fanbase created a bad situation.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ed. note: Larry sent me this over the weekend—any old takes are my fault and not his. (Update: the first draft of this article mistakenly showed it as published by MNWildcat, not larry31. All opinions within are larry’s, subject only to slight editing for clarity and content by MNWildcat. Sorry about the confusion and error.)

Wow. Just wow. I promise you this post will be intriguing. Please keep reading.

In April, Turge inked a 3-year extension that would have kept him around through the 2025-26 season roughly starting at $3.3 million a year with an increase of $100K each successive year and a buyout of $5 million.

In the world of big time sports, this was not a ringing endorsement. Especially for a fanbase that is unsatisfied with making the NCAA tournament the last 5/6 years, but with only 1 Sweet 16 appearance in his 11-year tenure at Maryland. Hmm. Either the big donors were unwilling to pony up real money, or AD Damon Evans was not a fan of Turge.

Or both.

This spring also saw the departure of long-time assistant and kick-ass recruiter Bino Ranson to DePaul, literally, because Maryland was unwilling to match the offer DePaul made for Bino for a lateral ASSISTANT COACH position, not head coach. Likewise, DeAndre Payne, who coached under John Beilein at Michigan, also left for mo’ money and is now at Marquette.

Two of Turge’s top asistants move that seriously undercut Turge’s ability to succeed.

Flash forward to Wednesday night with Maryland playing poorly and eventually losing to Virginia Tech. Tons of missed defensive assignments. Horrible offense. I literally stopped watching because it was such painfully bad basketball. They have basically been ass all year. Maryland fans booed the team at halftime and at the end of the game. And there were literally “Fire Turge” chants.

So, two issues here, one entertaining, the other intriguing:

1) Dickheaded fanbases. There is no combination more potent than the lethal elixer of ignorance and arrogance to make other fanbases absolutely loathe a particular fanbase.

Duke basketball fans are not particularly ignorant, but their arrogance is off the charts and are universally disliked.

Penn State football fans are a mixed bag of ignorance and knowledgeable folks, but with a definite Thanksgiving-pie-for-dessert helping of arrogance. Wanna be entertained? Read some of the hot takes in the comments section after Penn State lost to Michigan State to finish 4th in the B1G East.

Maryland basketball fans are the same side of the coin with Penn State football fans. Read some of these comments about who Maryland should/could land as their new head coach. Delusional and stupid. Especially check out the comments from one long-time commenter whose sig line is “unnecessarily inflammatory,” so at least he has self-awareness, but still doesn’t care that he is a dick. Please, tell me if you think I’m being too harsh with this guy.

So, the fun part. Let’s do a poll of the most detestable, as defined by arrogance and ignorance, fanbase in college sports. I think Kentucky basketball fans and Alabama football fans are the worst. Both from the SEC a coincidence? Not a chance. Both fanbases are a bountiful cornucopia overflowing with ignorance and arrogance.

2) The AD. As presented above, Damon Evans’ actions (or lack thereof) have led directly to the current knee-deep stinking quagmire that Maryland basketball currently finds itself. Interim coach Danny Manning sucks, so this year is a wash. I truly feel for the kids who transferred into this mess.

One thing is certain, regardless of how this plays out. Damon Evans has put the bullseye on his own back.

The intriguing question: Is he a Machiavellian genius who orchestrated this mess to get rid of Turge? Or is he a clueless buffoon?

During the whole DJ Durkin fiasco, which was preceded by the tragic death of Jordan McNair, Damon Evans seemed to have strong support from the non-revs. Maryland has done pretty well in non-rev sports under the leadership of Damon Evans. Football has been okay, improving, but not really impressive.

I think he made deliberate steps to undercut Turge with the intent of getting rid of him. And I think Damon Evans has a few candidates already in mind, but won’t be able to hire one of these coaches until the season ends. Expect a quick hire after this season mercifully—if you’re a Maryland fan—comes to an end.

So next poll: Damon Evans - Machiavelli who has a thing for Georgia Bulldog-red panties, or comically incompetent buffoon? [No link to the red panties reference—do your own research.]

Poll

Damon Evans:

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Conniving AD who’s got a plan
    (35 votes)
  • 74%
    More comically incompetent than anything
    (101 votes)
136 votes total Vote Now

Corollary Poll: How long until Damon Evans is gone at MD?

Poll

How long until Evans is gone at Maryland?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Less than 3 years - He inexplicably tried to kick himself in the nuts, while in a port-a-potty, tripped while doing so and knocked it over while still inside.
    (65 votes)
  • 37%
    Less than 5 years - He’ll survive this fiasco, but MD basketball will still be in the same state it was under Turge. The mouse-on-a-treadmill option.
    (48 votes)
  • 11%
    6+ years - Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Dude is an all-pro baller about to break some B1G ankles.
    (15 votes)
128 votes total Vote Now