The Terps have hired Mike Lonergan to be the new head coach. After Coach Turgeon’s departure, Maryland is eagerly looking for a replacement and has interviews planned with VCU Head Coach Will Wade this week.
The “maryland basketball recruiting” is a search for the next Maryland men’s basketball head coach.
The coaching carousel officially started to swing on Friday, three and a half weeks into the 2021-22 college basketball season, when Maryland revealed head coach Mark Turgeon was stepping down.
While college football has dominated headlines this autumn for its succession of midseason coaching changes — the most recent of which occurred earlier this week when Brian Kelly departed Notre Dame for LSU just before of a probable playoff participation — the trend has now spread to basketball. Except in the case of off-court or NCAA violations, prominent schools seldom replace coaches this early in the season. UCLA did it on New Year’s Eve a couple years ago with Steve Alford, and Andy Kennedy resigned from Ole Miss in February 2018, but such instances have been rare.
Turgeon had some success at College Park, earning a share of one Big Ten regular-season title and making it to the Sweet 16 in five NCAA tournaments. However, he only made it through the first weekend once. In 2020, he got a lucky break when the NCAA tournament was postponed due to coronavirus, and the Terrapins would have surely earned a top-three spot.
However, Turgeon and the Maryland fan base have been at odds for years, and a terrible start to the season provided both the school and Turgeon with the opportunity to move on.
Maryland now has the first large position on the board, and it should have an advantage over the rest of the nation in finding a successor — so what’s next?
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Cleveland State’s Dennis Gates: Gates, who was the hottest name on the coaching market last spring after guiding the Vikings to the NCAA tournament, decided to remain at Cleveland State. As an assistant coach at Florida State and California, he has a high-major history, and another NCAA tournament participation would make him an appealing contender once again.
Colorado State’s Niko Medved: Medved will be one of the finest mid-major names on replacement lists this spring, even if he doesn’t exactly fit the regional mold. Colorado State is the Mountain West favorite and should go dancing this season, despite the fact that he has yet to attend an NCAA tournament. He’s enjoyed success at three different institutions and has won at least 20 games in two consecutive seasons.
Miller, Archie: Maryland may find it tough to appoint someone who has only spent four years in the same league and has never finished higher than sixth in the conference, but Miller will have a stronger track record than many other candidates in the spring. At Dayton, he played in four NCAA tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2014.
Wes Miller, Cincinnati: The Bearcats just hired him seven months ago, but he makes more sense from a geographic standpoint than the other mid-major contenders. At UNC Greensboro, he won at least 21 games in each of his last five seasons, making two NCAA tournament appearances and capturing three Southern Conference regular-season crowns.
Mike Rhoades has a track record of success at VCU and might get a look from the Terps brass. Kevin Jairaj is a sports reporter for USA TODAY.
VCU’s Mike Rhoades: Rhoades has extensive experience in the area, dating back to his five years as an assistant coach at VCU and his current tenure as the Rams’ head coach since 2017. He’s also taken VCU to the NCAA tournament in 2019 and 2021, continuing his winning ways.
Mike Jones, University of North Carolina Jones won back-to-back Big South Conference regular-season crowns at Radford before finishing second last season as Wes Miller’s successor at UNCG. He grew up in the area, attended Howard University and beginning his coaching career at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.
George Mason, Kim English: English is in his first year as a head coach, but he has high-major recruiting expertise from his stint at Colorado and Tennessee, plus he is a Baltimore native. Earlier this season, he brought his squad to College Park and defeated Maryland on the road. If George Mason has a good season, he may be a name to watch in this league.
Mike Jones, assistant at Virginia Tech: While geographical connections may be exaggerated when it comes to coaching choices, Jones checks a lot of boxes. Given his 19 years at DeMatha Catholic High School, he has more recruiting contacts in this region than any other name on the list (Maryland). He’s just in his first year as a Hokies assistant coach, but he has plenty of high-level experience.
Syracuse assistant Adrian “Red” Autry and Louisville assistant Mike Pegues: Last season, a trend of high-major colleges hiring high-major assistant coaches began, and Autry and Pegues might be candidates if Maryland chooses to follow that path. Autry has been at Syracuse for more than a decade, but his days with Team Takeover and at Paul VI High School have left him with strong links to the D.C. recruiting scene (Virginia). Pegues is a native of Washington, D.C., who attended DeMatha and recently guided Louisville to a victory against Maryland as the Cardinals’ temporary head coach. His 5-1 stint as a fill-in for banned coach Chris Mack earlier this season may put him on the radar for a couple coaching gigs this spring.
At this time, it doesn’t seem like Maryland has a clear No. 1 choice. Danny Manning might acquire the permanent position if he accumulates a lot of victories as the interim head coach and wins an NCAA tournament game or two, but it seems like the Terrapins will search elsewhere for their future coach. If Kevin Willard is interested, I believe he is the best candidate. If he declines and the school chooses not to employ Sean Miller, the following three or four months of the season may determine their top choices.
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The “top maryland basketball recruits 2021” is a search for the next Maryland basketball coach. The coaching search will take place after the departure of Mark Turgeon.
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