The Dagger - NCAAB

UPDATE: Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon has now confirmed to multiple outlets that he will be Maryland's next coach. Read below for why I think it's a smart hire ...

If Maryland's scattershot coaching search concludes with Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon accepting the job later this week, Terps fans should be celebrating, not complaining.

Turgeon has received a contract offer and is expected to accept it, according to multiple reports on Monday afternoon. He wouldn't be as splashy a hire as Sean Miller or Jay Wright, nor is he a rising star like Shaka Smart or Chris Mooney, but he's still plenty qualified to succeed Gary Williams and return Maryland to prominence.

In a combined 11 seasons as head coach at Wichita State and Texas A&M, Turgeon, 46, has made eight postseason appearances including five trips to the NCAA tournament. He's led the Aggies to the NCAA tournament in all four of his seasons in College Station, no small feat for a program that's hardly steeped in college basketball tradition.

Turgeon has forged a reputation in basketball circles as a terrific Xs-and-Os coach and a solid recruiter.

The Kansas native's apparent lack of ties to the Baltimore and D.C.-area is a drawback to his candidacy, but he did land a commitment from onetime highly touted Naji Hibbert of tradition-rich DeMatha Catholic in 2008. Plus, Turgeon would almost certainly add an assistant or two familiar with the region and capable of building the relationships with area AAU programs that Williams often wasn't interested in making.

The only legitimate reason Maryland fans have not to be satisfied with the potential hire of Turgeon is because of the big names tossed around immediately after Williams revealed he was retiring.

Maryland should have done more to keep its courtship of Miller, Dixon and Stevens a secret because the leaks inflated the expectations of its success-hungry fan base. Even so, just because the Terps swung and missed at their first-tier candidates, that shouldn't make a solid second-tier choice with a proven track record like Turgeon's seem undesirable.

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