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Reality Dawns In College Park: Regional Attachments Trump Big Ten Money

And that’s just basketball. Football will take a very long time to catch up.

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round
JACKSONVILLE, FL - MARCH 21: Head coach Mark Turgeon of the Maryland Terrapins addresses the media after the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Belmont Bruins at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

A sobering bit of reality is settling in for Maryland basketball: according to local powerbroker Keith Stevens, local talent prefers the ACC and the Big East over the Big Ten’s Maryland.

He’s a bit of a homer but this is an interesting thing to say nonetheless: “The one issue with Maryland is the conference that they’re in. Our kids are so caught up in [the] ACC and Big East that it’s hard for them to get over that hump. So that would be the biggest issue. If all is equal, conference and everything, Maryland is probably a top-five job in the country.”

Well it might be if it were still in the ACC. But it’s not. And Mark Turgeon, forced to confront reality, no longer has a guy focused on local recruiting and is working the Midwest and overseas to compensate.

Read that again: Maryland is having trouble recruiting in the DMV, one of the greatest basketball talent beds not just in the US but in the entire world.

In 1970, Lefty Driesell promised to make Maryland the UCLA of the East. He saw the potential that Stevens recognizes. Maryland got a lot of money to switch conferences but it’s still a basketball school and unless something major changes, it’ll be a frustrated basketball school - and there’s no need to get into football.

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