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May 13, 2011

Mark Turgeon making friends in Baltimore

bino-jack-young-turgeon.jpg With players to meet, a coaching staff to assemble and a recruiting class to save, Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon has plenty to do during his first week on the job.

On Friday morning, College Park’s busiest man took some time out of his hectic schedule and made an impromptu drive up I-95 for a meet and greet with Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Baltimore’s city council president.

“[Maryland assistant] coach Bino [Ranson], he texted me and said the new coach wants to come in and meet you and talk to you. He wanted to meet all the leadership of Baltimore,” Young said Friday. “He came here today, spent about 45 minutes in my office. I had somewhere to go and I’m quite sure he had other people to meet. We just talked about basketball, expectations of kids who come from Baltimore [and then go to] Maryland. I found him to be a very likeable person, a straight shooter. I like people who are straight shooters. I look forward to working with him and helping him be successful here in Maryland.”

A diehard basketball fan and champion of the city’s Recreation and Parks department, Young said his first impression of Turgeon “was just amazing.” There was plenty of talk about basketball players staying in school and earning their degrees. And there was some good-natured chiding from Young, a Ravens fan, related to Turgeon’s Kansas City Chiefs.

Young said they didn’t discuss specific high school players from Baltimore – which would include City shooting guard Nick Faust, whose signing Young attended and who the city council president considers a “surrogate” nephew. But Young did share his feelings with Turgeon about where he’d like to see Charm City’s top talent end up in college.

“I told him how Baltimore is a hotbed of talent and we prefer our kids to really stay in the state of Maryland,” Young said. “I shared with him [information] on the Towsons, the Coppins, the Morgans, Loyola and Maryland. We would prefer if our kids stay here locally to build up our own programs to be nationally ranked.”

Young said Turgeon hopes to meet with other Baltimore leaders, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The new Terps coach already has one prominent ally in the city’s political circle.

“What can you say about a man who wants to reach out to the leadership in Baltimore? That says a lot about the coach,” Young said. “He said some things that made me know that he’s going to be a great coach at Maryland. We just have to make sure the talent from Baltimore looks at Maryland.”

Handout photo of Bino Ranson, Jack Young and Mark Turgeon.

Posted by Matt Bracken at 4:15 PM | | Comments (26)


WOW.................this is a new beginning. Great stuff from Coach T. I guess this means that Bino is staying, which is also great news. Makes my day!

Turgeon is unbelievable! Wonder where he learned that trick? Watch Faust resign now!

We hit a home run with this hire. Great start to the Turgeon era.

That's how you start a monster in waiting program like Maryland.
This Coach isn't lazy and recruits the hotbed talent rich Baltimore City.
Welcome to Bmore Coach. You're in the early stages of awakening a sleeping giant, can't wait to see the fruits of your labor.

Turgeon has probably logged more cell phone minutes and more miles on his car in this one week than Gary did in 22 years. I'm loving this guy so far.

Welcome to Maryland Coach! Get some rest, you've had a crazy last 4 days...keep up the great work so far!

Off to a great start, Coach Turgeon! Welcome to Baltimore!

Wow, if you thought this was a so-so hire. Think again, this guy is going to turn the terps into a national powerhouse it needs to be,

I am not surprised in the least! This coach puts a priority on building relationships... with those within basketball, and leaders of the local community. He's going to be felt in Maryland.

This is the difference 20 years makes. Gary was the greatest coach in Maryland history and took the program to the top. But it was time. Coach T brings hunger and energy and I'm excited for what lies ahead. Time for the next Carmelo's and Rudy Gay's to wear red and white.

Bino is still with the program. Who are the other two assistant coaches?

Credit where credit due - thanks Bino for savvy advice

Wow!!! I was disappointed about Miller but was OK with Coach T's hire. Now I'm loving this guy more everyday. The right choice was made for the Terps. Welcome coach, keep up the GREAT work!

the diff between young and energetic and old(er), set in your ways

new energy, new enthusiam ... maybe gary did us a favor afterall

oh, thanks to kevin anderson too ... spot on

swift, smart and genuine.
yeah, very nice. and credit both turgeon and bino. i don't know too many coaches that even start off like that. wow.

Baltimore is a blue collar city where we bust our butts to make things happen... its like you're already a part of us Coach....welcome

Very, very smart move by our new coach. Brilliant, in fact.


Turgeon's staff is still up in the air. He has two long-time assistants who everyone assumed were coming to UMD. Scott Spinelli and Pooh Williams. But then Turgeon told Scott Van Pelt that he was leaving most of his staff behind. If he means he's just taking one, then Spinelli would be on his UMD staff.

Andy Katz is reporting that Turgeon is interviewing a KSU assistant with local ties...

"New Maryland coach Mark Turgeon spent part of Friday interviewing Kansas State assistant coach Dalonte Hill. KSU coach Frank Martin isn't sure whether Hill will take the gig if offered but admits it would be tough for him to turn down going home to the Beltway area.

Hill is the reason Michael Beasley went to Kansas State. He's also the reason the pipeline continued with Wally Judge (who later transferred to Rutgers), Jamar Samuels and Rodney McGruder. Hill was the former coach of DC Assault. His ties in the D.C.-Baltimore area certainly would be a boost for Turgeon as he gets his feet wet there. Turgeon is not naive. He knows he needs a strong local presence in the fertile recruiting territory."

Bino, Dalonte and Spinelli would be a recruiting buzz saw. Don't know where Ehsan fits into the picture, if at all. Dalonte would be a bigger name than Bino, so they are sort of the same guy.

I said from the beginning, I think this was a great hire. Everyone saying he was 5-6th choice. Uhh, they were bringing his name up from the beginning. Williams recommended him to Anderson. He was a great player at Kansas, and Larry Brown is not an easy coach to play under. My only concern is as he keeps Maryland at the top, if Kansas comes a knocking. I think he can really keep Maryland in the Top 3 of the ACC.

next test for coach ... steam, "pick" and eat crabs and corn with a natty boh ... then he's a "homer". note, as a native marylander and a terp graduate (albeit a long time ago) will be glad to assist.

Who was the lead on Anderson? Was that a Bino get as well?

He has not signed his LOI yet, right?
I guess I'm just assuming he is gone too.

Ryan: Ehsan was the lead on Anderson. He can't sign his letter of intent until November. I wouldn't assume that he's gone, but he'll certainly have to be recruited by Maryland again. -- Matt

The hotbed talent-rich Baltimore City has a problem with getting kids eligible for college. A lot of these inner city kids have shady entourages/family members, bad attitudes, and poor grades. You get your exceptions who come out like Faust & Mosley that stay home, but I am sure guys like Selby, Barton Bros, Aquille, etc would be more trouble than good for UMD's program.

This will be what Turgeron finds the most difficult is the complete breakdown between inner city Baltimore kids and those capable & willing to play 4 years in college.

He needs to follow the Steve Lavin approach at St.Johns and bring in out of state guys and stay away from the shady basketball scene in the city.

ChimmyChonga: I have to disagree with this generalization about Baltimore City kids. The Barton brothers, just for one example, are two of the nicer kids you'll ever meet. Are there kids from here that don't qualify? Absolutely. But are there plenty of other kids that are recruitable and have the right credentials for Maryland? Definitely. -- Matt

Having well-known assistants in the Balto-Wash area is a good start. Recruit, recruit, recruit and look for a quick fix juco for the Fall. I like the pick. but I don't see Turgeon here if Kansas ever comes calling. Mark is a midwest guy.

@ed miller - i wouldn't worry about kansas. bill self is in his mid 40's. Unless he is going to the NBA, it'll be 10 - 15 years before he is ready to pack it in. By then Turgeon will be in his mid-50's. Think he is going to want to start over by that time. And even if he does, if we get 10 good years out of this guy it is still better than most coaches on most teams in this era of college basketball.

I saw this as a solid hire from the beginning. Getting great talent is all about building relationships and inspiring confidence. Coach T is the total package. MD will put the fear of g_d into the ACC again, and very soon. I also think the guys who got their releases will beat a fast path back to re-sign as Turgeons rep gets out there. Best wishes to everyone.

It is truly great that Coach T realizes that he has to establish a presence in Baltimore. He understands that between Baltimore and DC any team should have a top 10-15 class every year. Establishing ties with this area is very smart, he made it a priority to come here right away to get started off on the right foot.

I was initially upset that we did not land Miller but after watching the press conference and seeing him be visual and present in the city I am more and more impressed with the hire. He understands that the kids need to graduate but he also understands that he is trying to build the best program that he can to put Maryland back on top.

Great hire!

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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