Just got off the phone with Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, who shared some of his thoughts o n UConn and the upcoming season opener against UConn:
“Obviously, UConn’s got great guards. Two guys who can get the ball anywhere they want to, any time they want to. A lot of teams have one, they have two.
“DeAndre Daniels is a special player, and it looks like he’s even playing at a higher level right now than he was last year. But the thing I’ve noticed this year in scouting is that UConn has a lot more depth. Last year, I heard a lot about how thin they were. But now they’ve got a lot more pieces, whether it’s the transfer from GW [Lasan Kromah], or the freshman guard [Terrence Samuel] or the young big man [Amida Brimah]. They’ve got some nice pieces.
“… I actually think they’re undervalued. I guess they’re [18th in AP, 19th in the coaches poll], I think they’re better than that. We played Kentucky in the first game last year and we came up short, but I think UConn is a lot better team than Kentucky was last year when they had a lot of young guys. UConn is a lot further along.”
Maryland lost its point guard, Seth Allen, to injury last week and are having to re-adjust, moving shooting guard Dez Wells to the point.
“Dez is not a natural point guard, but he’s doing a nice job. We’ve got a freshman, Roddy Peters, who will play some at the point. We’re adjusting. We were a pretty deep team, 8 ½ or nine. Now we’re not as deep as I thought we were going to be, 7 ½ or 8. We were going to do some [complex] things on defense, now we’ll just be more of a solid defensive team. We won’t able to run as much, but we’ll still be a running team. It’s a blow for us, no question.”
On playing this game in Brooklyn to start the season (Friday at 6:30 p.m.).
“Just the visibility, ESPN picking the game up, I think it’s great for both programs to be part of a game like this. This will be a good guage for us. It’s a lot better than just playing a cupcake to start the season.”