Turgeon: Qudus Wahab and Fatts Russell 'complete' Terps originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Maryland basketball wasn't widely expected to make the NCAA tournament, let alone win a game against a higher seed and then put up a fight against No. 2 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide in the second round.
Now a year removed from the Big Ten regular-season co-championship run with Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan Jr., the Terps could be poised for a big year after adding transfers Qudus Wahab from Georgetown and Fatts Russell from Rhode Island.
Head coach Mark Turgeon, who joined Wizards Pregame Live on Monday, offered his thoughts on what each player can bring to the team next season, starting with his brand new big man.
"We're really excited about Q because he makes us better on the block," Turgeon said. "He's a great rebounder, a great shot blocker and we feel like we can do some things to help his game moving forward even though he had tremendous improvement from his freshman year to sophomore year at Georgetown."
Wahab played a big part in Georgetown's surprise run toward a Big East tournament championship. With Chol Mariol headed out, the Terps got an upgrade at center, which has been an important position on prior Turgeon-led teams.
Regarding Russell, he should be able to fill another void on this team at point guard. The Terps didn't fully replace Cowan on last year's team and Russell's addition should provide some much-needed stability at the most crucial spot in college basketball.
"Fatts was one of the most complete guys out there," Turgeon said. "He averaged 13.5 [points], five assists, five rebounds and about two steals a game, so he's a real complete player. He won't have to do as much scoring and he's excited about that, though there'll be nights where he scores a lot for us. But he played hurt all year, fasciitis, hurt his wrist, a lot of different things that he played through so we'll get him healthy."
With Wahab and Russell coming in along with a few key returning players, the Terps should have one of the deepest teams Turgeon's had in recent history. Add the fact that the head coach just inked a new extension, and Maryland hoops is in a good place entering 2021.
"This is where I wanted to be, I never wavered on that so I'm glad I got the extension," Turgeon said. "We love being a part of a great basketball program, something bigger than yourself so we're excited about that. Recruiting is going pretty well, we've had a couple of commitments, got some other guys signed, we should have a lot of good players coming back. We're excited about next year."
Tune in to NBC Sports Washington at 7 p.m. for the full interview with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon on Wizards Pregame Live