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More Player Movement & Coaching Carousel Still Spinning

Oklahoma could really shake things up when they replace Lon Kruger

Virginia Tech v Duke
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 22: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils battles Isaiah Wilkins #1 and Jalen Cone #15 of the Virginia Tech Hokies for a loose ball during the first half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 22, 2020 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Player movement and the coaching carousel continue and show no signs of slowing.

In the ACC, Virginia and Virginia Tech both lost solid contributors - unless of course they change their minds.

Virginia lost Casey Morrell and Virginia Tech saw Jalen Cone leave, seeking “a bigger role.” Earlier, Hokie freshman Joe Bamisile also entered the portal.

Pitt’s Terrell Brown is off to San Diego as well.

There were no ACC coaching moves but there were some big changes nationally. First, Lon Kruger has retired at Oklahoma and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon was almost immediately tied to the job.

He’s never been particularly popular with the Terrapin fan base and rumors have been flying for several days that he was ready to head back towards home which, in his case, is basically the Big 12.

Of course Oklahoma has to be interested too and they’ll have plenty of candidates. But if he does take that job then Maryland is open and that could be fascinating.

Lefty Driesell was not wrong when he said that Maryland could be the UCLA of the East. He wasn’t really able to take Maryland there but given its location and the incredible talent nearby it’s still possible. John Thompson kind of tapped into the potential at Georgetown but couldn't sustain it. Gary Williams was one of the grittiest coaches ever but he wasn’t able to tap in to the local talent as much as you might have expected.

Consider the list of talent in the DMV that decided to play somewhere other than Maryland over the last few decades. Or even just a partial list:

  • Adrian Dantley
  • Danny Ferry
  • Johnny Dawkins
  • Kenny Carr
  • Muggsy Bogues
  • Kevin Durant
  • Thurl Bailey
  • Quinn Cook
  • Nate James
  • Randolph Childress
  • Hawkeye Whitney
  • Reggie Williams

That doesn’t even really get into the guys who left before Maryland and the ACC integrated like Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing.

Williams was not fond of recruiting and say what you will about him, he had lines he wouldn’t cross to get players.

We’re not slamming Mark Turgeon, but there’s no way he’s on the same level as Driesell or Williams.

If they can find the right guy - you can imagine what Eric Musselman, Nate Oats or Andy Enfield would do in College Park - they’ll be much, much better.

You still have to deal with decades of Maryland fans expecting to fail, but hey, no job is perfect.

We can’t say absolutely that former Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey would have been the guy for that job but he’s shown he’s a great coach. Maybe something about Charleston really intrigued him but we really thought he was in line for a bigger job.

We’d like to remind everyone that in the last five seasons, Northwest Missouri State’s Ben McCollum is 158-7 with two D-II national championships.

There might be a reason why he hasn’t moved up or he may be incredibly happy where he is but if Oklahoma doesn’t go hard after him they might as well just give up. Those are John Wooden-type numbers and no one else in the game is doing things like that.