Last week, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon discussed the decision to hold the 32nd annual Maryland Madness at Cole Field House with Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg on ESPNU’s college basketball podcast. As we all know, Turgeon elaborated by saying that Cole Field House is an important to Maryland basketball history.
Cole is the home of the most upsets against number-one teams (seven times), first all-black lineup in Texas Western and Kentucky, and the first-televised women’s basketball game. Maryland played their final game at Cole Field House against Virginia, beating the Cavaliers 112-92. While we all love Comcast Center, Cole will always have a special place in the heart of Terp fans everywhere.
Turgeon’s desire to play at Cole shows he appreciates Maryland’s history, as he should. The concept of playing a regular-season game at Cole Field House is a stretch as a lot of money and time in order to get the arena ready. Nonetheless, the stadium would be packed if this were to actually work. Despite holding 5,000 less than the Comcast Center, tickets would sell out in a matter of minutes.
An arena that was known for its intimidating atmosphere, this would be a smart marketing idea for Maryland. Recruiting-wise, this will help Maryland in a big way. By showing recruits Maryland’s history, a packed venue, and a deep and talented Maryland team, recruits will be even more eager to strongly consider attending school in College Park. The 2015 and 2016 classes possess many talented local kids, so Maryland will need to make sure these kids stay at home.
Again, this will take a lot of time, effort, and money to work. For an athletic department that faces serious financial problems, this will certainly be difficult, but they have shown in the past that they will do whatever necessary in order to boost Maryland’s prestige and buzz. I would bet on Turgeon pushing for this as much as possible, so this is certainly a storyline to keep monitoring. I certainly would not mind watching another Maryland win a significant game at Cole Field House.