Top Ten Reasons the 2013-14 Terps Men’s Basketball Team Are the Most Frustrating All Time

The Terps ACC run is now history as Florida State unceremoniously dunked them out of their final ACC tournament in the last second.  This game proved to be a microcosm of the entire season.  All of the ways in which Turgeon’s Terps inflicted pain on their fans throughout the season were highlighted in this win-or-go-home crushing defeat.  Sure the Terps can be praised as gritty — coming back from an 11 point deficit deep in the second half.  Sure they faced adversity with one of their starters not able to post due to back spasms and another knocked out in prime time with painful dislocated fingers.  But don’t fool yourself — the Terps problems were largely self-inflicted.  There would be no high level of frustration if the talent pool was still as empty as when Coach Williams jumped ship.  The reality is that Turgeon seems to be able to recruit (a valid criticism of the later years of Gary’s era) but he lacks the ability to get the most out of his talent in game situations — unquestionably a great strength of Gary’s.  The level of inconsistency is reflected in their overall final record of 17-16 — no way a team with this type of balanced talent should end up with 16 defeats.

Here are the Top 10 Reasons why they are the most frustrating of all time:

10)  Turnover, turnovers, turnovers.  The rock is precious.  Every possession should be treasured.  But the Terps played careless and sloppy — making lazy passes that the Florida State defenders could time out and deflect to take the other way for easy lay-ups.  We lost too many of the hustle plays for loose balls.  Maybe we just lack overall team quickness.

9)  Turgeon indecisiveness.  He never seems to settle on a lineup and establish roles for his players.  Every game is a roulette wheel as to who will be in the starting five.  This game he had some injury issues that led him to start his two big men — but after early fouls, he inserted Jake Layman before anybody had even worked up a sweat.  What gives?  Some players think they are one bad shot away from being pulled — somehow the coach needs to be able to build the confidence of his players in order to get them comfortable and get the most out of them.

8) Inconsistent three point shooting from players that should be contributing more.  There were times in the season when Layman went cold and when Faust seemed in another world.  Speaking of Faust — what a waste of great natural talent.  He just makes too many dumb plays that give the opposition tons of momentum.  Not sure what you can do about that problem.

7) Failure to close out the last 2 minutes of every first half with intensity and effectiveness.  Many of their losses came in the first half when they had good chances of creating a bigger cushion at half time but let things slip away.

6) Five Games lost in their final possession — when the pressure was greatest, they just were unable to execute.

5) Stumbling, bumbling, fumbling in the paint.  We have no true post players on the offensive end who can play with their back to the basket and make offensive moves to score consistently.  Mitchell was great at smiling big-time as he lumbered up and down the court — but he could never seem to clamp his mitts on the ball.  For every nice fluid move, there was the inevitable turnover that just made you groan.

4)  Failure to leverage the slashing and driving capabilities of their toughest and best finisher — Dez Wells — especially in the first half of games.  The officials in the tournament game were happy to call fouls in favor of the aggressor . . . but the Terps seem clueless on how to set up Wells for the right type of spacing to exploit his driving prowess.  Maybe he is too unselfish in the first half or maybe he feels he needs to pace himself.  Regardless, you cannot hope for second half miracle finishes to bail out inconsistent performances.

3) No natural point guard that can get you into your offense and facilitate execution of the plays that are called.  I like Seth Allen — he got off to a tough start coming off the injury but always competed and was willing to step up and take the tough shot.  He gets the credit for lifting the Terps to victory in the Overtime period against Virginia.  He made some huge threes and some nice drives to the bucket throughout the season.  But to be effective he needs to look first to score himself rather than run the offense.

2) Lack of interior toughness.  Maryland has plenty of size — at least in terms of bulk — but it does not have the quickness and toughness to compete to win the battle on the backboards when it matters.

1)  Low overall basketball IQ.  Turgeon seemed unable to get into their heads and get them to learn even the most basic concepts.  They came across as one of the most  undisciplined teams in Terps’ history.  Maybe Turgeon is just not very good at commanding their attention and delivering on the X’s and O’s in-game tutelage.