Everything Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said after Alabama basketball beat the Terps in NCAA Tournament

Staff report
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama basketball defeated Maryland 96- 77 on Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to advance to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.

Here is everything Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said about the Crimson Tide in his postgame news conference:

TURGEON: It's not the way we wanted to go out, obviously. We started well. I think we were up 12-4. And the game got away from us. But I think Alabama was terrific. Quinerly was off the charts. I mean, he controlled the whole game. We couldn't keep him in front of us. And nine assists at halftime. Not sure what he ended up with. I think they made 16 3s. They shot the heck out of it. They haven't been shooting it well lately, but they shot it well today.

And we're a good defensive team but we were just a step slow all night. We never could get caught up with their offense. So our offense was good enough at times for us. It just we just couldn't guard them. But give them credit. There's a reason they won the league and won that conference tournament. They're a heck of a team. I said before the game they were the fifth No. 1 seed in my mind and they played like it tonight. They were terrific.

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Q. You mentioned Jahvon Quinerly and how much he attacked off the dribble. Do you think that was just a byproduct of the guys not being in the right spots and not being quick enough defensively or do you think that was just his explosive quickness from the point guard position?

TURGEON: Probably not quick enough would be an answer, but also you've got a lot of really good shooters around him. They were all making shots. It's hard to come help. They spaced the floor well. And some teams will have one guy out there that can't shoot. And you can come help. And they were all making shots tonight. So it made it difficult for us.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon yells to his players during the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Monday, March 22, 2021, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. Mandatory Credit: Michael Caterina/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

Were we a little out of kilter, a little bit out of it? Yeah, and I think it took our mojo a little bit when they just kept making them. The start of the second half it felt like everything they threw up went in. And so, yeah, it took a little bit of our mojo out of us. But I think they were really good and we were just a little bit off our game. But you've got to give them credit.

Q. How much do you think the lack of depth kind of hurt you guys when Alabama is running and gunning like that and really just being able to sub in and play as fast as they wanted tonight?

TURGEON: Well, Charles Barkley will say it: You are who you are; you are what your record is. And we are who we are. Certain teams we can match up with and really guard and figure out how to win games. And certain teams that were elite, like Alabama was tonight, was tough for us.

So, yeah, we couldn't sub. I subbed in that first half and the game got way from us. And guys got tired. We had a couple of guys that didn't play up to their potential tonight, which is disappointing.

But we are who we are. We talked about it all year. So it doesn't take away how proud I am of this group and what we accomplished this year and the fight we had. And we could have quit many times; we could have went a lot of different directions. But we stayed the right direction.

And we were able to get here and win an NCAA Tournament game when we were picked 12th and looked like our season was over in late January, early February. And we just to get here and be a part of this game says a lot about the young men in the locker room.

One, that we never had a positive COVID test. One, that we showed up for every game to play. That our coaches never had a COVID problem. We sacrificed a lot. So they're going to look at the record and say, oh, man we were 24-7 and this team was 17-14. But I think this team's going to be remembered for just unbelievable grit, unbelievable fight, unbelievable sacrifice.

We had Hakim Hart move to point guard just because we had to. We had Donta move to center just because we had to. And a lot of guys sacrificed -- coaches, players, managers. So many people sacrificed for this to happen.

So, I'm proud of every team. But this one will -- this takes it to another level for me. I always remember this team what they went through, how we fought. And we could have quit easily and never did. We were able to play in this game. Didn't play well we were able to be in a final 32 game with a chance to play in the Sweet 16 when it was a rebuilding year. I know I answered more than your question but I had to get that out.

Q. It seems like when a team plays so fast it can unravel equally as fast. Especially at the beginning of the second half, what's going through your mind, what's it like when you're kind of watching it totally get away from you?

TURGEON: I had to use two timeouts in the first half and probably waited too long on the first one. And the second one I was down 15. I almost had to call another one. We just couldn't get anything going offensively during that stretch either and they were making some tough ones. They're good when they get going. They haven't been shooting the ball that well the last few games -- the SEC Tournament. They haven't been shooting the ball well. Tonight they made some tough ones.

We knew they could make them. It wasn't like, there's certain guys we wanted to shoot it, and there's certain guys we didn't want to shoot it. But I just thought Quinerly was -- their best player didn't play. And so instead of playing through him they played through Quinerly. And it actually -- they probably learned a lot about their team tonight, too, which might help them moving forward.

It's no fun, especially for the last eight or nine weeks, we've been able to guard everybody but Michigan and maybe Ohio State at home, we've been able to guard pretty well. There was no answers tonight. We really had no answer.

Q. Specifically that first sub, usually you might bring in Galin and Jairus in at the same time or one of the two. But you brought in all three of the subs. Seemed like that was kind of different from what you do normally. Could you explain that?

TURGEON: There wasn't a dead ball until almost the 13-minute mark and our guys were tired. That's why I did it. I probably should have called timeout earlier, but I didn't. You've got to play your guys. I mean, only got a few of them. Gotta play them, gotta give them a chance.