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Maryland fans will finally get the new coach they’ve been wanting after wearing down Mark Turgeon

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Mark Turgeon missed the NCAA Tournament in each of his first three years at Maryland, then watched five players transfer, all of of which created the perception that Year Four could be a make-or-break deal. Show real improvement, make the NCAA Tournament, and he would get a fifth season. Otherwise, he might not.

Turgeon responded by going 28-7 in 2014-15.

Then he returned two of his top three scorers, enrolled two McDonald’s All-Americans, and Maryland was ranked third in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll heading into the 2015-16 season. And it is with that backdrop that I visited Maryland’s campus just before the start of that season to spend some time with the Terrapins. I talked with Turgeon about lots of things — but mostly about what it was like to enter the previous season on the so-called Hot Seat, and how great it felt to turn things around. The result was a positive story that detailed how a coach survived and flourished. But at one point I did note how quickly things can flip back around on a coach who persevered and actually wrote the following words:

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Turgeon only needed to win enough last season to show real progress and calm his fans, and a trip to the Round of 32 qualified as enough. But a second-place finish in the Big Ten and a loss in the Round of 32 this season will technically be disappointing, relative to expectations, because there’s potential for much more. So, as always, there’s a new bar to meet.

Fast-forward five months, and Turgeon’s 2015-16 team did indeed disappoint relative to preseason expectations (even if they did make the Sweet 16), and, from that point forward, he never returned to the good graces of Maryland’s fanbase (even if he did take the Terrapins to five of the past six NCAA Tournaments). His teams were almost always good — but never truly great. Maryland fans forever wanted more and/or a different coach. And now, just eight games into Turgeon’s 11th season, he’s gone.

“After several in-depth conversations with [Maryland AD] Damon [Evans], I have decided that the best thing for Maryland Basketball, myself and my family is to step down, effective immediately, as the head coach of Maryland Basketball,” Turgeon announced. “I have always preached that Maryland Basketball is bigger than any one individual. My departure will enable a new voice to guide the team moving forward.”

What a remember most about my time at Maryland just before the start of the 2015-16 season is a conversation I had with Mark Turgeon about entering the previous season with his job very much on the line and the impact it had on his family, most notably his oldest son, William, who was a teenager at the time. As the story goes, the father and son were in a car together. That’s when William asked the question.

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“He said, ‘Dad, do you think you’re going to get fired?’” Turgeon recalled.

The way I remember it, Turgeon explained that his oldest son was simply worried about having to move again because that kind of stuff isn’t always easy for young people. They had, just three years earlier, moved from Texas A&M to Maryland, leaving friends behind. Now, William feared, he’d have to move again.

Turgeon told his son everything would be OK.

That’s what dads always do.

And it was OK — for the most part. But the truth is that Turgeon lost part of the fanbase when that 2015-16 season didn’t go as planned. And when he never got back to the Sweet 16 in any season after that, it was just one frustrating year after another — the lone exception being the 2019-20 season in which Maryland finished tied for first in the Big Ten but never got a chance to make a run through the bracket due to the fact that the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled because of a global pandemic caused by COVID-19.

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As for this season, it started with promise thanks to some transfers Turgeon added; Maryland was ranked in the preseason. But the Terrapins lost three of their first eight games, including one at home to George Mason. So the boos inside the Xfinity Center were starting to outweigh the cheers. By all accounts, it took a toll on Turgeon. So Wednesday night, after a loss at home to Virginia Tech, Turgeon and Evans started discussing a possible divorce, according to The Washington Post. Two days later, it was done.

The most improbable part of this story is that Turgeon actually lasted eight full seasons after he first showed up on everybody’s Hot Seat lists, eight full seasons after his oldest child asked if he thought he was on the verge of being fired. That’s not usually how these things work. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned while covering this sport for two decades, it’s that once a fanbase stops believing in a coach, it’s very difficult for the coach to ever win that fanbase back over. Not impossible, but certainly very difficult.

Turgeon never did.

That’s partly what led to this.

Earlier this week, after Maryland dropped to 5-3, some jerk with a Twitter account decided to tag William Turgeon, now an adult, in a tweet endorsing his father’s termination. (Regardless of how you feel about any coach’s job performance, we should be able to agree that tagging the coach’s children is pretty classless.) Naturally, William saw it. Less than an hour after his father resigned Friday, William responded.

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South Carolina vs. South Carolina State prediction, odds: 2022 college football picks from expert on 14-1 roll

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The South Carolina Gamecocks look to remain perfect in the all-time series when they host the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Thursday. This game was originally scheduled for Saturday but it was moved to Thursday evening due to concerns surrounding Hurricane Ian. South Carolina (2-2) won both of the previous meetings between the schools at home, cruising to a 38-3 victory in 2007 and a 38-14 triumph two years later. The Gamecocks are coming off a 56-20 win against Charlotte on Saturday, while the Bulldogs (1-2) lost 41-27 at North Carolina A&T in their last outing.

Kickoff at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC is set for 7 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks are 39.5-point favorites in the latest South Carolina vs. South Carolina State odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 55.5. Before making any South Carolina State vs. South Carolina picks or college football predictions, you need to see what SportsLine college football expert Mike Tierney has to say.

A veteran sportswriter whose work appears periodically in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has converted college football of all levels for decades. He has emerged as one of SportsLine’s leading analysts in all sports and is 13-10 on his last 23 against-the-spread college football picks.

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What’s more, he has a keen sense for the trajectory of the Gamecocks. He is 14-1 in his last 15 picks involving South Carolina, returning almost $1,300 to $100 bettors.

Now, the Tierney has set his sights on South Carolina vs. South Carolina State and just locked in his picks and CFB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are the college football odds and betting lines for South Carolina State vs. South Carolina:

  • South Carolina vs. South Carolina State spread: Gamecocks -39.5
  • South Carolina vs. South Carolina State over/under: 55.5 points
  • SC: The Gamecocks haven’t posted back-to-back wins since starting 2021 with a 2-0 record
  • SCS: The Bulldogs have allowed 106 points in their first three games this season
  • South Carolina vs. South Carolina State picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why South Carolina can cover

The Gamecocks have won 35 of their last 41 home games versus non-conference opponents, including triumphs over Georgia State and Charlotte this season. They are 38-12 overall in their last 50 non-conference games, with seven of the losses coming against Clemson. The team also has enjoyed tremendous success versus schools that currently do not reside in a Power Five conference, posting a 51-4 record in such contests since 2001.

South Carolina ran for six touchdowns in last week’s victory against the 49ers and already has matched its total of rushing TDs in 2021. MarShawn Lloyd registered half of the team’s ground scores on Saturday and has five on the season after notching one in 11 games last year. The sophomore, who also has a receiving touchdown this campaign, more than doubled his output of 75 rushing yards over his first three outings of 2022 by gaining 169 on 15 carries — both of which were career highs.

Why South Carolina State can cover 

Quarterback Corey Fields came up with one of the best performances of his career in Saturday’s loss to the Aggies, throwing for 316 yards and four touchdowns. The senior has made four TD tosses in two of his last four outings, also accomplishing the feat in the Bulldogs’ 31-10 victory against Jackson State in last year’s Celebration Bowl. Fields’ favorite target was junior wideout Shaquan Davis, who hauled in six passes for 127 yards and extended his streak to five straight games with a TD reception dating back to last season.

South Carolina State will be hoping for a better effort on the ground as it rushed 22 times for only 12 yards versus North Carolina A&T. Coach Buddy Pough is optimistic about the availability of Kendrell Flowers, who made one catch for six yards but did not have a carry in last week’s contest due to an undisclosed injury. The sophomore running back is averaging 6.5 yards per rushing attempt this season after recording 153 and two touchdowns against Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 10.

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How to make South Carolina State vs. South Carolina picks

Tierney has analyzed this matchup, and while we can tell you he’s leaning Over on the point total, he also has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing what it is, and which side to back, at SportsLine.

So who wins South Carolina vs. South Carolina State? And what crucial X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the South Carolina State vs. South Carolina spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the expert that has crushed his college football picks, and find out.



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Michigan vs. Iowa D, a key Big 12 showdown, more we're watching in Week 5

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Can Iowa shut down the high-powered Michigan offense? RJ Young and Laken Litman preview Week 5 of the college football season.



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Drew Timme Q&A: Talking with Gonzaga basketball's All-American senior

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Gonzaga All-American Drew Timme on why he decided to return to school, his quest for the title and more.



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