Just this week, Maryland announced it will be taking football games to Baltimore in 2013 and 2014.
Could basketball be right behind? Potentially so under new coach Mark Turgeon.
Turgeon said he is interested in playing a game each season in Baltimore and Washington —- with the usual financial caveat that accompanies many things in College Park.
“I think Maryland’s been locked into a couple of these games, one in D.C.,” Turgeon said. “My hopes are to play a game in D.C. and a game in Baltimore each year as long as we can afford it and the athletic department can afford it. That’s the whole key. If not, we won’t do that, maybe play one in D.C. one year and one in Baltimore the next. I’d like to do that.”
Maryland has maintained an annual D.C. presence by participating in the BB&T Classic at Verizon Center. The same hasn’t been the case with Baltimore, which last hosted a Maryland basketball game in November 1999.
The Terps played in Baltimore for eight straight years in the 1990s, facing the likes of Oklahoma, Towson, Massachusetts, Penn, Temple, Princeton and Iowa. The 2002 opening of the 17,950-seat Comcast Center —- and its sellouts for several seasons —- provided plenty of incentive to keep home games on campus.
Turgeon also left open the possibility of playing nonconference home-and-homes. Since completing a series with Florida in December 2003, the Terps have not scheduled many road nonconference games outside of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and exempt tournaments. Those occasional road dates included Temple (January 2006), Charlotte (January 2008), UNC Greensboro (January 2010) and Villanova (January 2011).
Maryland is also expected to face Temple in Philadelphia this season as a return game for last December’s BB&T Classic visit.
“We’ll play in great exempt tournaments like Maryland always has and we’ll continue to do that,” Turgeon said. “We’ll schedule tough. We’ve got the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, so there’s kind of a home-and-home with a power conference, so that’s one. Whether you do two, we’ll see. A lot of guys at this level don’t do those things, to be quite honest with you. Some people do. If we can get it made for TV and it feels right and looks right, yeah, we’ll do it.”
—- Patrick Stevens