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New Maryland Basketball Coach Mark Turgeon Prefers A Slow Pace

Now that Mark Turgeon has been hired as Maryland basketball's new head coach, it's time to figure out exactly what Terps fans should expect. We know that Turgeon is a successful coach, having led Texas A&M to four straight NCAA Tournament berths. We know he did a nice job building the Wichita State program.

But those are peripheral facts. The most important characteristic of Turgeon may be in his team's style. As Testudo Times notes, Turgeon is a huge contrast from outgoing coach Gary Williams in one key way: pace. Whereas Williams liked to press and force a fast tempo, Turgeon is known as a slow-paced coach. Here are his teams' pace rankings (possessions per game, adjusted for level of competition) at Texas A&M, via KenPom.com.

 

  • 2010/11: 326th in the nation (62.2 possessions per game)
  • 2009/10: 246th (65.6)
  • 2008/09: 231st (65)
  • 2007/08: 296th (69.2)
  • 2010/11: 17th (71.6)
  • 2009/10: 46th (70.3)
  • 2008/09: 128th (67.3)
  • 2007/08: 33rd (71.2)
That's a major change. We don't yet know whether Turgeon will successful as Maryland's next coach, but the team will certainly play differently.