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John Feinstein: Maryland's Mark Turgeon Not On Hot Seat, But Fans' Frustration Understandable

March 19, 2019
For the third consecutive season, Maryland basketball failed to win a game in the Big Ten tournament, losing to a short-handed No. 13-seed Nebraska team March 14.

Despite the early exit, head coach Mark Turgeon isn't yet on the hot seat, according to broadcaster, author and Washington Post columnist John Feinstein.

"I've liked a lot of what this particular team has done. They've had some good moments.  No great moment though," Feinstein said on Glenn Clark Radio March 15. "He's not on a hot seat partly because of his contract. Maryland has no money. They can't afford to buy anybody out at this stage, so he's not on a hot seat."

"He is a good coach but I do understand -- I certainly understand the frustration from Maryland fans. I totally get that," he added.

Feinstein said he received a tweet recently that accurately summed up Turgeon's eight-year tenure at Maryland. 

"I am a defender of Mark Turgeon probably because I like him and partly because I think he's a good coach. I really think he's a good coach," Feinstein said. "Is he Gary Williams? No. Gary Williams is in the Hall of Fame for a reason, but somebody tweeted at me, 'One Sweet 16 in seven years at Maryland isn't good enough,' and that's an accurate statement."

Maryland advanced to the Sweet 16 for the only time in Turgeon's tenure in 2016. As a No. 5 seed, the Terps defeated No. 12 seed South Dakota State and No. 13 seed Hawaii, which had upset No. 4 seed California in the first round. Cal had lost its leading scorer, Tyrone Wallace, to broken hand the day before the game. Maryland beat the Rainbow Warriors, 73-60, before losing to No. 1 seed Kansas in the second weekend.

"The one Sweet 16 they got to ... they sort of got lucky," Feinstein said. "Maryland gets to play a 13 seed in the second round and make it to the Sweet 16. But you play who's there."

There is still a chance Maryland (22-10) could redeem their season with a victory or two in the in upcoming NCAA tournament, Feinstein said.

The Terps were awarded a No. 6 seed March 17. They are in the East Region and will face the winner of Belmont and Temple in Jacksonville, Fla., March 21. But Turgeon, who often reminds his critics that his team is one of the youngest in the country, can no longer use that as an excuse for his team's failings, Feinstein said.

"Just about everybody in big time college basketball these days is young to one degree or another," he said. "I don't want to hear from Mark or anybody else at the big-time level, 'Well we are young.' That's on you if that's the case."

For more from Feinstein, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox