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Monday, March 21, 2016

Turgeon: KU bittersweet (16) foe

Maryland coach — and Kansas University alumnus — Mark Turgeon instructs his team during a 73-60 victory over Hawaii on Sunday in Spokane, Wash. The victory sent the Terps into the Sweet 16, where they’ll meet KU approximately 8:40 p.m. Thursday in Louisville, Ky.

Maryland coach — and Kansas University alumnus — Mark Turgeon instructs his team during a 73-60 victory over Hawaii on Sunday in Spokane, Wash. The victory sent the Terps into the Sweet 16, where they’ll meet KU approximately 8:40 p.m. Thursday in Louisville, Ky.

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Kansas University’s opponent in the 2016 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 is not Cinderella Hawaii, instead powerful Maryland, a 27-8 Big Ten team that slugged the Rainbow Warriors, 73-60, in a second-round South Regional contest on Sunday in Spokane, Wash.

The Terrapins, who were ranked as high as No. 2 in the AP rankings before dipping to 18 in the final poll, are coached by Topeka native Mark Turgeon, who played for KU from 1983 to ’87 and worked on the staffs of both Larry Brown and Roy Williams.

“I hate we have to play Kansas. I’m just glad we’re there,” Turgeon said after Sunday’s victory. “They’re the best team in the country. We’ve got to get a quick turnaround. We play Thursday night, but we’re just excited to be in the game.”

Tipoff for the game will be approximately 8:40 p.m. Thursday in KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. Winner advances to Saturday’s Elite Eight against Villanova or Miami.

“Maryland is without question one of the most talented teams in the country. They are very strong on the perimeter and play through both bigs,” KU coach Bill Self said Sunday.

Maryland boasts starters Diamond Stone (6-foot-11, 255-pound freshman), Damonte Dodd (6-11, 250, junior) and Robert Carter (6-9, 235, junior) with 6-9, 220 senior Jake Layman, a factor off the bench.

Stone scored 14 points, Dodd had five blocks, Carter nine rebounds and seven points and Layman 10 points and six boards against Hawaii on Sunday.

“They have been ranked nationally in the top-10 for the majority of the season. We know how talented they are, and certainly it will be a great test,” Self added.

As far as going against a familiar face in Turgeon, Self said: “Our fans will be very familiar with their coach because Mark (Turgeon) was one of the beloved Jayhawks during his time in Lawrence. I was a graduate-assistant coach at Kansas when ‘Turg’ was a junior. He has had a great coaching career and has really got that Maryland program on a very solid foundation.”

Tough terps: KU sophomore guard Devonté Graham sees Maryland as a tough foe.

“I mean, I know they are a good team. They’ve got good bigs, (and) you’ve got to guard Melo,” Graham added of 6-3 sophomore point Melo Trimble, who exploded for 24 points, eight rebounds and three assists against the Rainbow Warriors.

“Their guards, Rasheed (Sulaimon, 14 points) and those guys can shoot the ball well. They’re really big,” Graham added, repeating a theme.

Maryland, which opened the season 15-1 and 22-3, lost four of its last six regular-season games before beating Nebraska and losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten postseason tourney. The No. 5-seed Terps beat South Dakota State, 79-74, in the first-round of the NCAAs before slugging Hawaii by 13.

“We’ve got faith in our scouting report. We’ll listen to it, practice hard and be ready,” KU senior Jamari Traylor said.

‘It’s a good feeling’: Maryland’s Rasheed Sulaimon asked if the Terps would celebrate its trip to the Sweet 16.

“Coach is probably going to take our phones and probably start focusing on Kansas,” he said, adding, “so we’re definitely going to celebrate, probably play video games. I’ll probably beat Melo in FIFA (EA Sports) and talk trash. It’s a good feeling, and it’s definitely going to be an enjoyable night. But at the same time, we still have business to take care of, and we got a tough team coming up. So we’re not going to get too crazy.”

Trimble added: “I don’t know about the FIFA part, but everything else he said was pretty on point. We’re going to enjoy this win tonight and can’t really do too much. We got a flight tomorrow morning. We’re going to refocus and get ready for Kansas.

Turgeon on ups, downs: “It’s such a long season. I think we got to 22-3 and we hit a lull where we weren’t very good. We lost a couple games we probably shouldn’t have lost. And then our schedule got tough. It was hard to get our confidence back. But I thought we gained momentum in the Big Ten tournament. Played pretty well there. We played well here (Washington) defensively. At times we were really, really good offensively, sharing the ball. So we feel good about ourselves. We really do. Are we playing our best basketball? We’re getting closer to that. But the key is that we’re very confident and we know how we have to play now to be successful and the guys have bought into that and especially in tournament play to be successful.

“So, I got really great kids and if you get to this point you usually do. You have great kids that are good players. And we never stop believing that we could be a good basketball team and we practiced hard every day and we have had fun. We try to have fun. So, I’m really happy for these guys, because this is a big step. I know it’s not the Final Four yet or National Championship, but to be a part of the Sweet 16 is a big step for us. For what we have went through late in the season, it’s, I’m happy for the players.”

Comments

Chris Shaw 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm just glad Kansas got the extra day of rest, got the extra day to scout, and got the extra day to regroup as a team. Would have loved to have seen an inside look on what the coaches were watching last night during the Maryland/Hawaii game.

Sorry Turg, I know you're being humble and respectful to your alma mater, but you already sound like a defeated coach.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

Not posting anymore, but putting this in high on the thread:

Vote Now for Perry. He's in second place. Last day to vote.

http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/mens_basketball_2015-16/

Please share and text to friends and fans. We might be able to push him over the top!

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

Perry Ellis appeared today on the Jim Rome Show. You can listen to the interview here:

http://takebox.stucknut.com/?id=1cc3

Joe Ross 6 years, 3 months ago

I say it all the time. If they're going to play a lot a bigs against you, especially heavy bigs, pick up the tempo and wear those guys out.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree. Hopefully we can get out and run against these guys. I want to see Ellis and Selden finishing on lots of lobs.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 3 months ago

Bingo!

We need to try to run these guys out of the gym. Because of that, Diallo and Bragg could play a huge role. I don't see anyway we can beat these guys in a half-court game.

We also need Mason to be on his game at full strength.

KJ Quartermaine 6 years, 3 months ago

They may very well look to get out and run. But don't kid yourself, KU holds the advantage in the half-court set against virtually any team in the tournament. They need to execute consistently, but regardless, their personnel cannot be matched and their depth cannot be matched. Those ingredients favor KU in the half-court set

Tom Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

"I don't see anyway we can beat these guys in a half-court game."

Completely disagree with this but totally agree that we should push tempo whenever possible. They love playing slow, so let's make them play fast.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree with KJ. I think that we could beat them in a half court game, but I think that we can beat them easily if we are able to score efficiently in transition.

Our team has been pretty good at shutting down the opposing team on the fast break. And the thing that I like the best about the UConn game was that we kept them to one shot consistently all night. No second chance points. If we can score in transition, stop the fast break, and own the defensive glass then we should waltz into the FF.

Benz Junque 6 years, 3 months ago

I 100% believe we can beat them in a half court game. They have size but they aren't good rebounders at all and they don't shoot well enough from deep so there will be a lot of rebounds out there to get.

Benz Junque 6 years, 3 months ago

Maryland's bigs aren't very good on the offensive boards. Maryland was 9th in the Big 10 in Offensive rebound percentage so KU should be able to control the boards and get out on the break. We have the depth to wear Stone and Carter down and Lucas should be able to hold his own down there battling at both ends.

With Maryland shooting a pathetic 24% from three in the tourney, I also think KU can minimize the impact of the Maryland perimeter players. If Mason can settle down and stop forcing bad turnovers, Graham can continue to be assertive and smart with the ball and Wayne can continue to attack at every opportunity, I think KU will march on to the the Elite Eight.

John Kelley 6 years, 3 months ago

Lets hope KU does not play like they did in the second half against UConn.

David Robinett 6 years, 3 months ago

And stop them from running. Their big spurt against Hawaii came on fast breaks.

Ron Sterling 6 years, 3 months ago

I honestly think KU is going to run Maryland out of the gym. Maryland is so up and down and they really don't play very hard. Trimble is a tough guy to guard, but if you make his life difficult, they don't really have anyone else who will step up and make plays. Diamond Stone is going to be a very tough test for Lucas because he's so strong and so skilled with this back to the basket, but as long as we come out swinging and play with intensity, this game won't be close.

Ryan Patti 6 years, 3 months ago

Anyone have any full games from this season? I've downloaded almost all of them from YouTube. Here are the ones I'm missing: Pittsburg State, Northern Colorado, Chaminade, Harvard, UC Irvine, TCU (both), Kansas State (both, regular season), @Oklahoma State, @Texas Tech, Austin Peay, and UConn. I feel like we'll cut the nets this year, so I'm trying to have the full season on my computer.

Margaret Schadler 6 years, 3 months ago

Itt'll be close. KU has let every team get close in the second half if they weren't already The last game was scary because they looked disorganized when Conn made their run. Fortunately, graham, Selden, and Ellis rather than Mason prevailed. Mason gets scary when he tries toakeover on an off night.

If these guys go against their history and play the entire game without inviting their opponents to catch up, they oils win it all. But we need both point guards to be on their game. And the bench. We have great parts: bigs, wings, points, bench. But from now on we need all he parts all the time.

College ball is so much fun because it is unpredictable.

Ron Sterling 6 years, 3 months ago

I've got to say, I've never seen a team look anything other than disorganized when their opponent's make a run. Kind of part and parcel. Still, I think KU has got this game. Terps have no one to stop Ellis.

Kristen Downing 6 years, 3 months ago

I hate KU playing Turg. Thanks committee.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 3 months ago

Maryland didn't look all that impressive in beating South Dakota State and played footsie with Hawaii for quite awhile before pulling away. These guys have underachieved. I believe Kansas will win by no less than 10 points and avenge that loss to the Terps in the 2002 Final Four.

Kyle Helmer 6 years, 3 months ago

This is basically the 2001 Sweet 16 game, KU vs. Illinois (coached by Self). KU was red hot and many people were picking them to win. They were ranked in the top 5 earlier in the year. Turns out the Illini were a much better team, just as this KU team is much better than Maryland.

Tom Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

I think you're confusing years. KU was 7-5 in the games leading up to the tourney. Far from red hot.

Maybe a few clowns were picking KU to win because they destroyed Syracuse in the second round, but...Illinois was one of the favorites (along with Dook, MSU and Stanford) to cut down the nets.

Who is picking Maryland in this game anyway? It has the biggest spread of any S16 game...

Vic Janeway 6 years, 3 months ago

OK, when I said ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK, That is not just a first half motivation, that's BOTH halves! You will have to now, these rounds are getting a lot tougher.

Joe Ross 6 years, 3 months ago

The chances are much better than 50/50 that every team Kansas faces from here on out will be a time that spent significant time rated in the top 10 in the nation. Especially with Villanova remaining in our bracket, Kansas has the toughest path to the NC. I still like our chances better than anyone else's as long as we dont have an off game.

Vic Janeway 6 years, 3 months ago

Off game yes, like in don't let them come back and win.

Zach Mitts 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned that Maryland went 1-18 from 3 against Hawaii. Even if you have some quality bigs like they do, I still think you better have a good shooting night if you want a chance to hang with KU. And you would think with all those big bodies that they would be a solid rebounding team, but they are averaging only 35.5 rebounds/game - good for 213th in the country.

Richard Duran 6 years, 3 months ago

If Maryland starts as poorly as they did against Hawa'ii we will run them out of the gym.

Joe Ross 6 years, 3 months ago

Not taking anything from your comment because I think youre right. I just think its more useful and productive to consider what happens if Maryland comes with their A game.

Benz Junque 6 years, 3 months ago

I think the KU defense can prevent that from happening. I am sure UConn planned on a lot of things happening right but they were unable to do it against our smothering defense.

Bill Kiekel 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm looking for Frank to have a terrific game against Maryland Thursday. He's overdue !!!

Barry Weiss 6 years, 3 months ago

No doubt they will want a half court grind it out type of game to keep the number of possessions low. That makes it a close game. Like everyone above has mentioned, we need to push the tempo. I hope coach goes with the full court press early, that has been successful in the past for us speeding up the tempo.

Colin Fernandes 6 years, 3 months ago

Anyone going to Louisville to Yum Center?

Edward Daub 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes. All us rehab-ed "Chicken Littles".

David McGee 6 years, 3 months ago

I wish there was a stat that tracked missed finger-rolls. I have no empirical evidence but it seems like sometimes our drivers (cough... Selden... cough) try to get too fancy with those and miss an easy layup when a dunk or going off the glass would be the better option.

Someone should keep track of this. Not it!

Switching tacks, Kansas can stretch the floor all the way out to the perimeter in a way few other teams can because they have 6 players (Ellis, Mason, Selden, Graham, Svi, Greene -- I didn't count Vick and Bragg due to low number of attempts) shooting over 40% from the arc. That's insane. That moves the entire defense when you throw the ball around the perimeter and creates open shot or driving opportunities. The threat of the deep ball will hopefully open up the lane enough for several dribble-drive layups (OFF THE GLASS!).

I hope Devonte can pull a reprise of his defensive performance on Buddy Hield down in Norman against Trimble. Combine that with a goal of getting Stone in foul trouble early and you have a solid recipe for dismantling Maryland. Hopefully.

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