Mark Turgeon is feeling feisty after seeing the All-Big Ten freshman team roster.
The Terps coach took to Twitter to speak up for his three freshman starters — guards Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter and forward Justin Jackson — after they didn't make the team despite the trio establishing themselves as the core of the Terps' success this season.
The freshmen Terps loved their coach's spark.
"It just shows us he's going to fight for us," guard Kevin Huerter said Wednesday. "He's not afraid to speak his mind, especially to everyone on Twitter, so we loved the tweet."
Turgeon joked about it Wednesday, acknowledging the public brashness wasn't his "style" and he might've made the team media relations staff's jobs a little harder. But he wanted to stand up for his players' production.
The rookies are three of the top four scorers in a group that finished in a tie for second in the league. Jackson (10.7) and Cowan (10.4) each average double-digit points per game. The latter is also tied with guard Melo Trimble for a team-leading 3.7 assists per game. Jackson (6.2) and Huerter (5.0) are the top two rebounders per contest.
"If you have family, you have kids, you like to stick up for them, and I was basically just sticking up for my guys," Turgeon said. "We had a terrific year. Just stated facts. Just proud of our guys."
Turgeon admitted voters had tough decisions as this year's rookies "might be the best freshman class the Big Ten's had, ever."
That included Michigan State guard/forward Miles Bridges, the Freshman of the Year, Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon and forward Tyler Cook, Minnesota guard Amir Coffey and Penn State guard Tony Carr, all of whom made up the all-freshman squad.
But the sixth-year leader will settle for continued success, with perhaps an extra edge, when the postseason starts Friday night in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals in Washington.
"It should motivate our guys to work harder. I know it would be if I was in their shoes," Turgeon said. "Hopefully it will add a little fuel."
Huerter doesn't expect to find inspiration in the snub — "You're going to see us play harder because of the time of year we're in, not because people are mad about what team they did or did not make" — and Trimble echoed that.
"They're going to continue to do what they've been doing all season," the star junior who made first-team All-Big Ten said, "which is helping this team win."