This is the second part of the Mark Turgeon post. To read part one, click here.
During his first offseason of recuriting, Turgeon did an admirable job in trying to transforming Maryland back into the ACC contender that it once was. The Terps had a trifecta of four-star recruits and a few underrated prospects. But that wasn’t when Turgeon officially announced his arrival onto the national recruiting scene.
Very soon after his arrival in College Park, Turgeon began his pursuit of Aaron and Andrew Harrison, a pair of guards from Texas that just so happened to have Baltimore ties. The Harrison twins were two of the top five best prospects in the entire country but Turgeon wasn’t afraid of the limelight. The boys’ father Andrew Harrison Sr., grew up with Terps assistant coach Bino Ranson, so Maryland had very right to be in the conversation. Not to mention that the Terps were an Under Armour school as was the Harrison twins’ AAU team, the Houston Defenders.
Maryland hosted the twins on campus on several occasions and Turgeon and his staff made several trips to Texas to meet with the boys and their family. When the Harrisons said that they were to announce their decision in late October of 2012, there was a huge level of optimism surrounding the chances that Maryland could actually land the dynamic duo. Turgeon had put the Terps on a short list of teams to land these talented prospects and would turn the program around a lot quicker than anyone could have ever imagined.
However, as every Maryland fan unfortunately found out, Aaron and Andrew Harrison spurned their hometown school and decided to play for John Calipari and his one-and-done NBA factory at Kentucky. As devastating of a loss as it seemed at the time, Maryland should hold their heads high that they were right there at the finish line for two of the most talented prospects in the nation. A few years prior, hometown players wouldn’t even consider playing in College Park due to Maryland’s lack of recruiting. Not to mention that only weeks later, Suitland guard Roddy Peters committed to Maryland after being somewhat under-appreciated during the recruitment of the Harrison twins. It must not have bothered Peters too much as he will now get his chance to play for his dream school.
Flash forward to the last six months, Turgeon has landed some of the area’s best local talent. Bishop O’Connell guard Romelo Trimble and Potomac guard Dion Wiley, both top 50 recruits, committed to stay home and play for the Terps after receiving high-profile offers to play elsewhere. To take it a step further, Gary Williams’ successor secured a commitment from Pennsylvania native and wing Jared Nickens this past weekend.
Turgeon has restored the faith to not only the University of Maryland and their fanbase but to recruits locally and all around the country. The Maryland Terrapins that dominated college basketball early in the 2000s are here to stay. Armed with a trio of plugged-in D.C. area assistants, Turgeon is bringing the Terps to the highest level of play in quite some time. Fresh off a 25-13 record with two wins over Duke in the 2012-2013 season, Turgeon and his Maryland squad have even more room to grow. All of the talented freshmen have a year of experience under their belts and the Terps have youngsters Roddy Peters and Damonte Dodd coming in to help further the progression. Many were skeptical when Turgeon was hired to replace Gary, but few still remain in that mindset. Mark Turgeon was the perfect coach to bring the University of Maryland back from the abyss.