Change has swept through Maryland during the offseason, and the Terrapins will need to adapt in order to be successful in the ACC.
New head coach Mark Turgeon is ready to facilitate that transition.
Gary Williams, who led the team to a national championship in 2002 and an ACC Tournament title in 2004, retired in May after coaching the Terrapins for 22 years.
Replacing Williams as head coach is former Texas A&M head coach Turgeon — who inherits a team that went 7-9 in conference play last season and 19-14 overall.
On the court, senior guard Sean Mosley will likely lead the team and head up the frontcourt’s efforts to fill the void left by former Terrapin forward Jordan Williams.
Williams, who averaged 32 minutes and 16.9 points for the team last season, left Maryland early and was drafted in the second round of the NBA Draft.
Turgeon thinks that Mosley is ready to accept his new role.
“He’s got a chance to be one of the best I’ve been around,” he said. “He’s got great leadership skills. He’s a great kid. He’s a great role model. He’s been through it all since he’s been here, and I think he respects coaching.”
Sophomores Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard will likely join Mosley in the starting five.
Mosley is pleased with his teammates’ performance and particularly excited to see how the guards will play.
“Our guard play is great,” he said. “Having somebody like Terrell, he’s quick. He knows how to finish the basketball. And coach Turgeon is looking forward to him and seeing the great things that he can do.”
While the Terrapins have the guards to compete in the ACC, there are still questions at center.
Dutch senior Berend Weijs is relatively inexperienced, but he can use his 6-foot-10 frame to block shots and grab rebounds. Weijs is joined in the frontcourt by Ukrainian freshman Alex Len.
The 7-foot-1 shot-blocker started for the Ukrainian national team at the 2010 Under-18 European Championships, and has the ability to match up well against the likes of John Henson and Tyler Zeller.
The Terrapins will likely start three guards in their lineup, and the team will rely heavily on Weijs and Len to cover the interior and grab rebounds. How far Maryland goes this season will be determined by how quickly the frontcourt can adjust to ACC play.
Turgeon acknowledges that he has a difficult challenge ahead of him but believes that his team has the ability to improve.
“How quickly we can turn it around in such a great league? It’s going to be tough,” he said. “It’s a league that has a lot of young coaches that have a year or two head start on me … Hopefully in a short time we can be a top team in the league and in the country.”
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