INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — When your season comes to a screeching halt like the University of Maryland men's basketball team's did on Monday night, the emotion is raw.
"It was just all surreal. This team, they fought. Everybody counted us out the whole year. I just told everybody how proud of them I was for never giving up," said Darryl Morsell.
The senior guard from Baltimore was emotional after the No. 10 Terps’ 96-77 second-round loss to No. 2 Alabama. The high-flying Crimson Tide knocked down three... after three... after three... after three. 16 total for the game on 33 attempts.
"They found their rhythm and started hitting shots and never stopped missing shots," said Morsell.
"We ran into a hot team that played extraordinarily well," said Terps Head Coach Mark Turgeon. "We kept battling. It wasn’t like we stopped trying. We just couldn’t guard them."
The #Terps season comes to a screeching halt against Alabama. Maryland loses 96-77. Not many saw them getting this far 6 weeks ago. Need more talent. A team that reinvented itself as a defense-first squad allowed 'Bama to almost hit the century mark in the #NCAATournament.— Shawn Stepner (@StepnerWMAR) March 23, 2021
Maryland’s lack of roster flexibility and depth was exposed against a legitimate national title contender. For Turgeon making it this far with this team was a success.
"I mean, come on, we weren’t a final four team. Come on. Let’s be real," he said. "I think we maximized this team extremely well and that’s what I told them. I said, ‘You guys need to walk out of this building with your head up and proud of what you accomplished’. I’m proud of every group but this one will have a special place in my heart as I grow older."
"This team wasn’t supposed to be here. You put us on paper, you ask anybody. We weren’t supposed to be here. But we are here. We kept fighting," added Morsell. "I think we go down, in my record books, as the grittiest team to ever put that Maryland jersey on."
That grit was embodied by Morsell, as for his future he said first he will have surgery to repair his injured shoulder. Regarding a potential return for a fifth year he gave no commitment to coming back to school or calling it a collegiate career.