When you think about Maryland Terrapins basketball, names like Len Bias, Walt Williams, Len Elmore, Buck Williams, Steve “Franchise” Francis and Juan Dixon come to mind. A school that has built its reputation on playing and challenging the best programs in the country in one of the toughest conferences in the country. It’s something they’ve long taken pride in.
— Maryland Men’s Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) February 6, 2022
That isn’t the case this year in College Park, with the Terps mired in one of their worst seasons in years. The heralded recruiting pipeline has dried up. The program needs a jolt. Sunday’s embarrassing wire-to-wire loss to Ohio State placed the Terps at 11-12 and under .500 for the first time since 2013.
Terps athletics director Damon Evans was interviewed by InsideMarylandSports in regards to the coaching search.
“As everybody says, Go get this person, go to this person. Hey you guys. Don’t you think that those institutions that have those coaches sitting there, their ADs are saying, ‘Let’s get our guy locked up before Louisville comes after them?’ Look at what they just did with Bruce Pearl, you’re gonna start seeing a lot more of that. Look at what they did when USC wanted to drop Andy Enfield’s contract, say he got a contract extension. Institutions are looking to protect themselves. But we’re gonna do our due diligence and go find a great coach.”
— Damon Evans (@Evans_TerpsAD) January 1, 2022
While Manning is a candidate to land the gig permanently, many believe there are others who stand a much better shot at being the new head coach. The two-most prominent names are Providence head coach Ed Cooley and USC head coach Andy Enfield. Both would be home run hires for the Terps.
Cooley Or Enfield Make Sense For The Terps: They Need A Splash Hire
Cooley has shown an innate ability to build and sustain a program. His Providence Friars are currently 20-2 overall (10-1 in the Big East). The Friars have a legitimate shot at a Big East championship, in a season most gave them no shot to compete.
The Dunkin Donuts Center has become a house of horrors for visitors this season. Which makes you wonder, if they were to cut the nets down at MSG, would he leave? The belief is he would leave for the challenge of competing in the Big Ten.
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) January 30, 2022
Via CBS Sports:
“Cooley has the disposition and track record of success in a major conference to validate himself as a candidate. Few people are more wired to handle the pressures of a job like this than Cooley. The Friars are (201-136) since 2011 under Cooley, with five trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Providence native could well be a PC liver, but it would be hard to turn down an opportunity, should Maryland pursue him.”
📺 – FS1 pic.twitter.com/sLrKKq2ES1
— BIG EAST MBB (@BIGEASTMBB) January 30, 2022
Enfield is a name to keep a close eye on. Enfield, a Pennsylvania native, graduated with an MBA from Maryland. His work at Florida Gulf Coast and USC speak to his ability to raise the visibility and exposure of a program. He took “Cinderella” FGCU to the Sweet 16 in 2013.
Upon arrival at USC in 2013 the Trojans were awful, but they’re a Pac-12 contender now. In 2020 Enfield landed prize recruit Evan Mobley, who was drafted No. 3 overall by the Cavs and is currently the NBA Rookie of the Year favorite.
His current Trojans squad is 19-4 and will be a high seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Under his leadership, the “Men of Troy” are on the cusp of three consecutive 20-plus win seasons and their sixth in the past seven.
One name that is in the mix among other candidates being considered for the Maryland job is USC’s Andy Enfield, sources told @Stadium.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 6, 2022
Enfield has made the second weekend of the tourney with two teams. In fact, last season USC made a surprising run to the Elite Eight. His familiarity with College Park as an alum of the university could be a plus, but would he leave beautiful Southern California? That remains to be seen.
Why The UMD Job Is A Good One Despite How It May Look Right Now
UMD is located in the center of the DMV, known as a basketball hotbed. KD did a documentary called “Basketball County: In The Water” detailing all the hoopers from the talent-rich area.
The team as currently constructed will look much different, but with Julian Reese, Donta Scott, Qudus Wahab and Hakim Hart all expected back next year the Terps will have some quality pieces returning. They recruit well, so they’ll have plenty of talent. The Terps just need a leader to guide and harness that talent.
It would be nice to hear folks once again say “FEAR THE TURTLE.”
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