The Terps navigated nonconference play without a glaring setback. That’s a credit both to Turgeon and the manageable schedule he inherited; of the eight nonconference home games Maryland was completely responsible for, only one was against a team with a winning record deep into February (Albany) and only one came against a current top-200 RPI team (Cornell).
All of which is to point out Saturday stood out largely because Maryland was three months removed from such a humbling outing. Yes, the Terps were drubbed in the second half at Florida State. Yes, Duke pulled away for a couple of victories in that stretch. And certainly North Carolina overwhelmed Maryland with a talent advantage in the final 10 minutes of a game earlier this month.
There still was something to build on in each of those losses. There was no solace to be taken from the visit to Virginia, if only because the Terps played perhaps their worst 20 minutes of the season.
The 13-point second half - during which Maryland scored an anemic 0.39 points per possession - stirred memories of the Terps’ pre-Thanksgiving follies in Puerto Rico. Turgeon described his team as “disinterested” in rebounding and defense.
Then again, Virginia performed well. Exceptionally well. And anyone paying attention to Maryland since the start of the season had to know there would be a few forgettable outings along the way thanks to the combination of the Terps’ depth limitations and the abilities of the more capable opponents on the schedule.
“I don’t know if it would have made a difference today, because they were a pretty determined team,” Turgeon acknowledged.
And that, really, is the place Maryland now resides, at the mercy of both a shortened rotation and talented foes. In the balance sits the Terps’ hopes for any postseason experience beyond the ACC tournament.
It is, for Turgeon and his first Maryland team, unfortunate. It’s also where they are with four regular-season games to go.