Welcome back, everybody! I’ve been “out of the office” the past 2 weeks because of the holidays and traveling for games, and I wanted to give everyone a chance to get back to their normal routines. 2019, can you believe it? Let’s get started.
I’ll begin with this… If you come to the games, I appreciate you. We all appreciate you. If you just sit at home, watch and complain, and then take to social media to share your negative views and hateful messages, well, I don’t appreciate you. It is crazy to go online after games and see the backlash that we get EVEN WHEN WE WIN. “Great, you guys beat Nebraska.” ...Yeah, the dudes were ranked 24 in the country and will probably make the tournament. That’s a great win. We are 11-3 people, not the other way around. “No big wins…” Huh? Every win is a big win. There are no easy games in a division 1 schedule. Stop the complaining and negative energy on the internet. If you care about this program and really want to help us out, come to the games and make our home court STRONG. That’s what will help us. (Oh, and feel free to snap back at the haters online and let them know what’s good.)
Alright, glad I got that off my chest. Now, let’s talk about the big boy day I had last week. As many of you may have seen… I got a f*cking scholarship. I was so amped that it hurt. How it all went down was simple… We had an early morning practice and then came back for film later that night. I got called out of the film meeting with another player, and when I came out, Coach Broadus essentially told me that I had been doing everything wrong that day. You see, I run the scout team with my Men (Travis, Reese, Trace, and Willy C) and it is our job to punch the starters in the mouth as much as possible (not literally, but you know). But the practice earlier in the day was light because our tough practice was that night, so I was just messing around a lot.
Side Note: I work really hard, don’t get me wrong, but I have fun doing it. I’ve been told that being funny is a gift; ideas just come to me and most of the time I go with them. Whether that involves untwisting water bottles (so it looks like the lid is on but really it isn’t) so that it dumps all over them, pretending to take dumps on basketballs and then passing them to Bruno (this one is an everyday thing), pulling shorts down, etc. You name it, I’ve probably done it.
But that day I got called out of the film meeting and pretty much got yelled at for the first time in my college career, so I thought that I had finally gone too far with things.
Side Story: First day I ever met Coach Turgeon I was in his office with my parents and we were all sitting down talking about me coming to Maryland. Long story short, Coach Turgeon asked me if I liked to be yelled at, and I told him I don’t mind it unless it’s for something stupid. He responded “Great, I can’t wait to yell at you then.” To this day, he never has. He hasn’t raised his voice at me even once and I am not entirely sure why. I am a pain in the ass, but for some reason... he digs it, man.
So anyway, I am in the hallway with Broadus and he tells me how sh*t my day of practice had been and all that. So I’m thinking ‘what in the hell… I didn’t do a damn thing all day that was all that bad.’ Followed by ‘alright, this dude is getting his water bottle lid twisted off, I’m gonna take a real dump on a ball and pass it to him, and he better have his shorts tied…’ It was all I thought about the whole film session. I wasn’t even mad, I was just so motivated and anxious to mess with him it was crazy. We played Radford the next day and that night, I couldn’t tell you a thing from their scouting report because I was that locked in to what I was going to do to Broadus at practice.
Eventually Turgeon gets up to talk to everyone and do his thing, and I am still locked in to my plans for Broadus. ‘Water bottle, dump, pants… okay.’ Then I hear my name and I am just like ‘don’t do it Turgeon, I don’t want to ruin your day too, buddy.’ He asked me to come up front and read something out loud that he liked and had printed from my blog. I took the sheet of paper, expecting it to be a bad line from one of my posts, only to see that the Big Dog was presenting me with a scholly.
When I read stuff, I typically do a quick skim to see if I can add a funny emphasis on any of the words. That day, being completely unprepared for what was happening, I skimmed because if it was something I had said that was bad, I was going to change some words around to make it sound better, and if it was good, I was going to add “I’m comin’ for you Broadus, check yourself” to the end of it. As it turned out, I did the quick skim and I saw the words “Scholarship” and “Turgeon” and I couldn’t even read the full thing because I was so amped up. I remember thinking as I saw those words, “F*ck yeah, baby.” And y’all know the rest. To see the full video, check out my Instagram @a.terrell4 or find it on the Maryland Basketball Instagram/Twitter page @terrapinhoops (below).
If I have learned anything from this experience, it is this. First, I took a huge risk coming to Maryland and it has brought me more happiness than I could have ever imagined. Second, it proved that working hard can get you more than you ever dreamed of getting. I was never supposed to come here, let alone expected to make any type of impact or lasting impression on my teammates, but through some hard work (and a lot of antics) I think I have left my mark on this program. This whole experience has been so rewarding, and for once, I have a lack of words to describe how that feels. The scholarship is awesome; it saved my parents and myself a lot of money. But getting a scholarship because of hard-work is the whole dream. So yes, you can say that I am really living the dream, people.
Quick hilarious and somewhat ironic Side Story about coming to Maryland: As you all probably know by now, I am from Indiana, die hard Hoosier basketball fan (although I hate them now). The Terps were playing the Hoosiers in Chicago for the Big10 Tournament back in the 2014-2015 season, but this was in March so I still had no idea I was coming to Maryland. My family’s best friend is the Athletic Director at Indiana, so he had hooked us up with some nice tickets down by the floor. I was sitting down there just absolutely ripping the Maryland team to shreds. “Layman, YO LAYMAN, f*ck you. Does your mom cut your hair?” “TRIMBLE!! You are soft as wet bread buddy.” I was even yelling at the DOBO (reference section) on the bench, “NIMA YOU BALD DUMMY”. I was one of those fans - all for my team and completely against the other team - even when we were down 30 (that’s a true fan btw). I end up not only getting thrown out of the arena, but I was told that I couldn't stay on the premises (lol). It was great. Then 2 months later, Nima offers me a spot on the team and Jake and Melo are my best friends. Crazy how life works.
To all of the people who have reached out and congratulated me, thank you. The support means the world to me. To those of you who have been talking big boy sh*t and claim that you “could have played anywhere in the country but didn’t get a chance,” I am free 7 days a week for 1 on 1 sessions. But also, thanks for the hate, because just as my dad’s best friend Jon Dawson once told me “You have hate? Damn, you made it.”
Update: Merchandise designs are still coming along! I’ve been thinking about a couple different options with some talented people who have reached out and wanted to be involved (you guys are awesome for this). I just wanted to give everyone an update and let you know that the gear IS coming! So don’t you all worry. Let’s make this into a brand.
ALSO: As I mentioned in my last blog, I would love to open this blog up to other college student-athletes (current or former) that want to write and tell their stories. Over the next couple of months I am going to feature some of my old teammates as well as other athletes around the country. If you know someone that you think should contribute, let me know and let’s get them in on this! I think one of the best parts about being a part of this basketball program is meeting, hearing the stories, and learning about the lives that all of my teammates have had. There have been so many guys that I now know and consider to be my brothers for life that I would have never met, let alone befriended, had we chosen to take different paths away from Maryland and this basketball program. I think these features will give all of us a look through another person’s eyes… For example, Jared and Jaylen doing the running man. Jaylen’s heart condition. Dion growing up in the trenches. Kevin in his transition to the league and the decision making process that lead to leaving college. Melo and his sudden shock of fame and what it was like having the weight of Maryland on his shoulders. Things like that. Should be very interesting. I’d love to hear from ALL athletes, not just basketball players. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or if you’re interested in being featured!
I hope everyone had a great holiday! Enjoy the rest of your weeks, but first... pass me the towel buddy, it’s cold down here.
DOBO - Director of Basketball Operations AKA the guy who plans all of our trips and makes all reservations for hotels, arenas, and food places. AKA the guy who gets blamed for literally everything if literally anything goes wrong... It’s awesome. Mark Bialkoski is our DOBO now, and even when he does something right, he still gets blamed for everything else. Big shoutout to Nima and Mark
Seton Hall (12/22): Simply put, we didn’t know we could win yet. Seton Hall is good and beating great teams. I am not saying this is a game that we 100% should have won, but we definitely had the ability to win it highhandedly. Again, it comes down to having a young team that believes they can actually beat good teams. I didn’t even know how good we were yet, but this game gave me a little taste of how good we really could be once we got out of our own way.
Radford (12/29): Nice win. Nothing crazy. Radford is a sneaky good team. Glad we finished out the non-conference on a solid note!
Nebraska (1/2): THIS CHANGED OUR WHOLE SEASON. I remember reading online “What are you guys celebrating for? You beat Nebraska.” No, no, no. We beat a really solid Nebraska team that dismantled a Seton Hall team. We beat a team that believes they are going to the NCAA. And we won a close game. We have not done that in a while. It isn’t something to just pass over. We have a young team. We held the lead late, lost the lead, and came back. That builds more confidence than you could ever imagine and guess what…IT CARRIES WEIGHT. I can’t believe some of the “fans” we have talking about “It is Nebraska…” come on now. The win was monumental to our season.
Side Story: When captains met at center court for the Nebraska game, it was Ivan Bender and myself for our team and James Palmer and Glenn Watson for Nebraska. Anyway, it was the most awkward meeting of all time. Watson wouldn’t come close to anyone, it was absurd how tough the dude was trying to be. The ref even looked at him and said “What are you doing, stand closer.” It was that noticeable. So I start laughing at him a little like ‘come on man don’t be like this.’ The ref finishes up his spiel, and after, you shake hands with the other team. So Ivan and I both put our hands out to shake hands with them and they turn away saying “F*ck y’all, we’re not shaking your hands.” Of course I started dying laughing thinking ‘Okay lets ride.’
I shut the warmup down and immediately called everyone into the huddle. I am fired up at this point because it felt more disrespectful than I think it should have, but I also loved it. Even better than that, our team loved it, and it helped us want the win even more. It was just like adding gasoline to a fire.
Last year the South Pole was ruthless to Watson and Roby. Watson is a really good Big10 point guard, but every time he was in our corner, we were asking him about the 9-5 he was going to have after graduation. I won’t lie, Watson never once looked us or said anything in response, and that is how it should be. We sit on the bench, people, we should never get a reply from you. We are practically fans with courtside seats. Same thing with Roby, but he was soft. Every time we said something to him, he would look over and respond to us, which was hilarious because what can you possibly say that could ever affect us even a little?? “Hey, guys you sit on the bench” … Yeah thanks, we are aware.
Mind you, we understand our role on the bench. Me, Reese and Travis do this sh*t for fun. We say things we don’t mean just to get in people’s heads, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But again, we do it because we’re having fun, and if you start talking back to us or just blatantly disrespect us, well, you are giving us way more than we deserve and we will take full advantage of that!
Rutgers (1/5): These guys will ruin some teams’ chances of winning a BIG regular season title. There will be a team that goes in there and doesn’t fully show up and they. will. lose. First off, their home court is great. They actually sell it out and it gets loud for a small gym. Secondly, they have players that just go crazy some nights. Geo Baker can go off and their power forward is a stud.
Minnesota (1/8): Coach Turgeon made an adjustment in the middle of the second half that changed the game. Switching defenses was giant, it threw off the pace of the game, and it threw off everyone on their sideline. It also helped having Anthony go crazy... But it wasn’t unexpected, we see how hard that dude works. It was a team effort though overall. Without winning the Nebraska game, we may not have believed that we could win this game. But we won the Nebraska game, we celebrated the Nebraska win, and that is what led us to confidently playing and winning this game in the fashion that we did. We won by 15.
Terrell Trillion Tracker
Still the same as before. A shame I haven’t played since getting the scholarship, but hey, we’ve been undefeated since then, so I must be doing something right. Big10 play does not offer many chances for me… I doubt I’ll see the floor more than 2 more times in my college career. But it’s been a great ride, let’s finish strong.
We have been awarded a bench warning every single game on this holiday stretch. Literally every single game. And before you get all worried… Turgeon loves it, man.