5 To-Do's For Mark Turgeon

5/9/2011 7:16:35 PM Mark Turgeon accepted Maryland's offer to become the new face of Terrapins Basketball tonight at 7:30 CT.   The union between Turgeon and the Terps has the makings of something great. 

I can't find anyone who doesn't think Turgeon is a great basketball mind with tons of enthusiasm for teaching.  His track record is strong and he has won everywhere he has been. 

On the flip side, he lacks mid-Atlantic roots and is a Kansas alum.  Of course that is a concern; but Bill Self is a contemporary of Turgeon's; so Terp fans don't need to worry about Self retiring. Turgeon is set up for a long and healthy run in College Park barring unforeseen circumstances.

The job starts tomorrow. The ink is barely dry on his $2.5MM annual contract, and Turgeon has a To-Do List.  Over the next week to 10 days, Turgeon needs to address the following:

1.  Talk to the current staff and retain Bino Ransom and Rob Ehsan.  Both men have demonstrated the ability to recruit in DC/MD and Ehsan in particular is loved by the current players.

2.  Get the returning players to remain in College Park.  It's doubtful, but if the Terps had made a bad hire; Terrell Stoglin and others could have bailed.  That's not likely to happen now, but Turgeon needs to get everyone's buy-in.

3.  Talk to Nick Faust, Sterling Gibbs, and Martin Bruenig and get them to honor their LOIs.  Gibbs in particular is vulnerable (Seton Hall) and Faust is too talented to not have options.  I believe all these kids will be won over once the more they learn about their new coach.

4.  Talk to Wally Judge and see if he's still interested.  Judge hasn't committed to Rutgers yet which means that he was waiting to see who Maryland hired.  Turgeon and Judge should know each other since they are both formerly of the Big 12.  Turgeon needs to move quickly lock Judge down now.

5.  Reach out to Justin Anderson Shaquille Cleare and show them the love.  Anderson will stay if Ehsan and Ransom remain on staff.  I believe that.  Cleare was supposedly ready to commit before Gary retired, but that went away the moment Gary exited stage left.  Perhaps the best part of the Turgeon hire is that he has been all over Cleare to attend Texas A&M, so they know each other.  Hopefully, for Cleare the decision is easy because his preferred school and a coach he already liked just joined forces.

The story of the last few days has yet to be written; but I think we will all look back and smile.  If you had told me a month ago that Gary Williams would leave on his own terms and in the aftermath, the Terps would be able to retain all their recruits and top targets while getting a coach who is a 20-years-younger version of Gary; I would have taken it without a batting an eye.  Now, not all of that has happened yet, but today's announcement is a giant step to making the above scenario a reality.
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