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'He's what we need' -- Turgeon on Durkin and football/hoops symbiosis

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'He's what we need' -- Turgeon on Durkin and football/hoops symbiosis

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland head basketball coach Mark Turgeon was sitting front row on Thursday afternoon at Gossett Team House in College Park as athletic director Kevin Anderson introduced D.J. Durkin as the university’s new head football coach.

Almost five years ago Turgeon was in the same situation, being introduced as the university’s basketball coach. In the time since, he has built his team up to national prominence. Now Durkin hopes to do the same with the football program.

He has Turgeon's support.

“I was impressed. I think he’s what we need. I like his energy,” Turgeon said later that day in a meeting with the media in advance of his team’s game Friday vs. St. Francis.

“We need football to be good -- not to put pressure on him -- but it would help a lot of areas and I think we can work off each other. We’re going to have great home crowds this year. He can bring recruits in here and help them be successful and if they get it rolling, that helps us when we bring recruits in town. Whatever we can do to help.”

MORE TERPS: WHAT MARYLAND GETS IN D.J. DURKIN

Durkin comes to Maryland with a strong coaching pedigree, having coached under Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh at Bowling Green, Stanford, Florida, and Michigan before taking the head coaching job at Maryland.

Turgeon has worked and played alongside industry giants as well, including being at Kansas under Larry Brown -- a staff that also included Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford and later Roy Williams.

Now, Turgeon is ready to help.

“We kind of understand what each other is going through, the two money maker sports and the pressure that’s on each other and hopefully I can help him,” Turgeon said. “He’s had a lot of great mentors. He doesn’t need my help, but I can help him navigate a few things as he gets used to Maryland.”

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Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland forward Justin Jackson will forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility to seek a career in the NBA.

Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon also says guard Dion Wiley will transfer before playing his senior season.

MORE TERPS: LEFTY DRIESELL IS FINALLY GOING TO ENTER THE HALL OF FAME

Jackson averaged 10.5 points as a freshman before missing most of the 2017-18 season with a shoulder injury.

Jackson says, "After talking with my family and weighing my options, it's my desire to turn my full attention to preparing for a career in professional basketball."

Wiley appeared in 83 career games, playing a backup role on three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under Turgeon.

Maryland was 19-13 this season, including 8-10 in the Big Ten, and failed to reach the postseason.

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Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

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Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

Long-time University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell will finally be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

This is according to NBC Sports Washington contributor Jon Feinstein.

Driesell coached the Terrapins for 17 seasons between 1969-86. While guiding the program to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT Championship, Driesell transformed Maryland into a legitimate force in college basketball.

When hired by the Terps, Driesell famously announced that he wanted to turn Maryland into the “UCLA of the East.” After only four seasons he had made it to two ACC Championship Games and his first Elite Eight appearance. His success opened the door not only for the program but the school to compete at the highest levels of competition.

MORE NCAA: BEST BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Maryland made it as high as the Elite Eight twice under the reign of Driesell. He was named ACC Coach of the Year twice and won one ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. At the time of his NIT Championship with the Terps in 1972, the NIT was held in a similar regard to the NCAA Tournament.

He is second on Maryland’s all-time wins list (348), behind Gary Williams’ 461. Driesell however, still holds the best win percentage of all Maryland coaches with 68.6 win percentage.

After Maryland, the former Duke basketball coached at James Madison for just short of a decade and ended his coaching days at Georgia State. Driesell also coached at Davidson before taking the Maryland job to combine for over 40 seasons at the head of a Division I basketball program.

The 86-year-old was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2007. He also the namesake for the NCAA’s best defensive player of the year award, which was first awarded in 2010.

The official announcement from the Naismith Hall of Fame will be during the Final Four on Saturday, March 31.

WANT MORE HOOPS?  Listen below as Troy Machir and Chick Hernandez discuss Lefty Driesell's legacy in the area and why the Terps icon was on the outside of the Hall of Fame for so long.