The Maryland men’s basketball team began practice on Tuesday in College Park, just over a week before the team’s Midnight Madness festivities and 38 days before the season opener against Mount St. Mary’s at XFINITY Center.
After practice, head coach Mark Turgeon spoke to reporter Marisa Pilla about a range of topics in a video released by the program. Among them was the importance of the time between the start of practice and the team's first game, including the growth that he hopes occurs during that time.
“This is the most important six weeks for me. I’ve got to get a lot of stuff in,” Turgeon said. “I’m going to ride them pretty hard and for us to be a great team, this six weeks has to be great for us. They get it.”
When initial polls are released, there is a real chance that Maryland will be the No. 1 team in the nation.
With the addition of Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon and five-star freshman Diamond Stone, plus Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter becoming eligible, there is a good mix of veterans to go with young players entering the fold.
“We’ve got older guys, we’ve got great leadership and so they can help the new guys get through it but it won’t be easy for them,” Turgeon said. “It’ll be a lot of hard work, but we’re off to a good start academically too so our guys are in good shape there and we look forward these six weeks hopefully becoming a really good basketball team.”
Midnight Madness is set for Oct. 17. The season opener vs. Mount St. Mary’s is Nov. 13. Watch more from Turgeon’s interview here.