NCAA Men's 1st and 2nd Rounds: Orlando
Wednesday, March 15 2017
Maryland TerrapinsQ. Melo, headed into your third NCAA Tournament, I wonder if you could reflect back on the first one and what your emotions and excitement was then and how that compares to now when you're a little bit more of a veteran.
MELO TRIMBLE: The first time in the Tournament, it was my first year in college. I was excited. I didn't know what the experience would be like. I was just anxious to get out to where we played at and finally to play on an NCAA court during March Madness. We went there last year, and now again here this year.
Still excited. Still nervous to play. When we get to this time of the season, we just start over and try to go on a run.
Q. Kevin, I understand, from speaking to Chris Mack on Sunday, that you were at one time recruited by Xavier. Is that correct?
KEVIN HUERTER: I was, yes.
Q. What do you make of the matchup now playing against them in the Tournament? That must be kind of a fun thing for you.
KEVIN HUERTER: Yeah, it's been fun. But there was a bunch of schools, especially in the Big Ten, that I was getting recruited by, too, that I developed more of a relationship from talking to them obviously through recruitment. Coach Mack was also at the USA trials this summer for our first tryout in Colorado. I talked to him a little bit there. They're obviously a really good team, he's a really good coach, and I'm excited about that.
Q. Melo, it seems like all year you guys have played more relaxed when you're on the road. Has that been a point this week to try to get that back what you guys did in January? Does it feel more comfortable that you're back out on the road, and are you trying to find that comfort again?
MELO TRIMBLE: We haven't really made a big thing about us playing on the road coming to the Tournament. We just want to find ourselves and play as a team and be about the team as far as players. Like I said, we haven't really talked too much about playing away from Maryland or not playing in front of too many of our fans.
Q. Melo, congrats on being here. I wonder how far back your guys' film study of Xavier goes. And did the Xavier competing last week in the Big East Tournament look different to the Xavier teams on film prior to that?
MELO TRIMBLE: The film we watched, they're a really aggressive team on the offensive end. They play really hard on the offensive boards. Trevon Bluiett has scored on all three levels. They go and shoot the ball. That's what we've seen from the regular season until they play last week at the Big East Tournament. They're a really good offensive team. They play really hard.
Q. Melo, how do you feel coming back this year has helped your game? And where do you see your game has progressed?
MELO TRIMBLE: I feel great on the decision to come back. It's new. I play with a lot of young guys now, as opposed to my freshman year, I was one of the young guys on the team. Last year I was still one of the young guys, and now I'm one of the older guys on the team.
So it's different. I'm able to be a leader, lead the young guys. The way I played this year was the right way, in my opinion. I was able to get my teammates involved this year, just give the freshman to go, because college is a different level than high school.
To get to this point now to get to the NCAA Tournament, I couldn't be more proud of myself.
Q. Now that there's some distance between the Wisconsin game and you not being in it, a lot was made of it at the time. How have you digested it in the couple weeks since, and did it help in any way, or was it just hard?
MELO TRIMBLE: It was tough for me to sit out the way I did. It was the regular season. That didn't make our season. It was a learning point for us as a team. In order to win, we have to rebound, and we have to defend. That's all we've talked about the past two weeks is rebounding and defending, especially this time of the season. If you defend and you guard other players, you're able to almost come out on top.
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Coach Turgeon from the University of Maryland. Coach Turgeon, we'll ask you to make an opening statement, and then we'll open it up to questions.
MARK TURGEON: Obviously, very happy to be here in Orlando. Every team wants to be in the NCAA Tournament. Everybody's goal is to be in the NCAA Tournament. I wasn't sure when the year started. We had so many new players. It's been a fantastic year.
We're looking forward to the Tournament, playing a great Xavier team. It's an experienced, well-coached team. We've had a great week of practice and fired up for tomorrow night's game.
Q. I don't know how far back your film study of Xavier goes, but when you look at them in the Big East Tournament versus prior to that, do you see a vastly different team?
MARK TURGEON: Yeah, you see a much more confident team. They were much more efficient on both ends of the floor, I thought, and their best players played well. And I think Chris figured it out. Yeah, because I watched the stretch, and I watched when they started winning, and it's a different team. Guys are playing well. Macura has been terrific. Continue to rebound at a high level. I just think their execution got better and their defense got better.
They're just playing with much more confidence than they were during that streak, kind of getting used to playing without their point guard.
Q. Mark, you've probably been asked this many times before, but what has Melo Trimble meant to your program at Maryland?
MARK TURGEON: Number one is he's a winner, and so we've won a lot since he's been here. He's changed the face of our program. I mean, you think of Maryland basketball, Lefty and all the players and the job that Lefty did, and Gary comes in and wins a National Championship. But we had to kind of establish ourselves, and Melo's helped us do that on a national level.
The best thing about Melo, besides being a winner, is he's a great kid. He hasn't changed a bit. He's humble. He always puts the team first. This year he's had to be more of a leader, which is not a natural thing for him to do. He's a quiet kid, and he's been able to lead.
I mean, I can go on and on. I can't say enough. He's done a lot for our program.
Q. Coach, I saw an interview with you on Sunday where you talked about not having any expectations coming into the season. I was curious to know what goes into setting expectations for a team? Is it just returning players, skill development over the summer? Does the fans and the media, does that play a part into the expectations any?
MARK TURGEON: Yeah, fans and media play a big part in it, but our expectations were different because we lost so many players, and then we had some injuries when the year started. Our big guy Cheko (Cekovsky) was never healthy all year. Dion Wiley was never healthy all year. Those were two projected starters for us. So you lose four starters, and then two other projected starters don't play most of the year. So the expectations were pretty low.
Our young guys were terrific, and we started to win. Expectations changed during the year, too. So we got off to the best start in school history at 20-2, and then expectations changed. Then didn't play as well from then on.
A lot of things go into it. I think media plays a lot in expectations, who you recruit, who's coming back, all that kind of stuff. It's kind of like momentum plays into expectations.
Q. Coach, 11-3 this year away from the Xfinity Center. Can you talk about the difference of playing on the road and how that plays into your hands here on the road in Orlando.
MARK TURGEON: For some reason, we've just been really comfortable on the road. We were 7-2 in the league in true road games. 8-2 overall. I think someone told me it was the best power conference road record out there. We did it with three freshmen playing 30 minutes a game. So it was pretty amazing.
I don't know how it happened. We won a game we probably shouldn't have won against Georgetown. And our first league road game was Michigan following a loss to Nebraska at home, which we weren't too pleased about. So we were locked in. Then it just became, hey, let's keep it streak going, keep it going, keep it going.
We played well on the road. All except for one game, we really played well on the road. Hopefully, that will help us here because we're treating this, obviously, like everybody is, a road game. We'll have some Terp fans out there tomorrow night, but we feel more comfortable.
I think we're more locked in defensively, and I think our shot selection and execution's better on the road because we know how important that is.
Q. Back to Melo real quick, you mentioned the leadership factor. How did you and the staff coax that out of him? You knew you were going to need it. It might not have develop naturally. What was that process like?
MARK TURGEON: I have some really good guys on my staff that do a good job, if I'm not in Melo's ear, they're in Melo's ear. Just teaching him to be comfortable as a leader is what's more important. He's more example than he is talking, but he's talked more in our team meeting. We do a lot of team meetings -- I don't know if they're called team meetings. We just kind of get together and talk. He's felt more comfortable doing that, and his voice carries a lot of weight in those meetings.
And I just think maturity. He knows he has to be the leader of this team, and it just -- you know, you watch him. He's comfortable doing it. He's much more comfortable doing it. I'm just really proud of him. What he's gone through this year with such a young team and to put us on his back at times, it's been fun to watch.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you very much. Good luck.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #181 at 2017-03-15 20:09:00 GMT