Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon is the favorite for the Oklahoma job — if you believe the odds posted by a popular sports betting site.
BetOnline has installed Turgeon as the betting favorite to fill the Sooners vacancy, listing him as a +150 proposition to replace Lon Kruger in Norman. That means for every dollar you bet on Turgeon, you’d get back $1.50 if he’s the choice of OU athletic director Joe Castiglione — coincidentally, a Maryland alum himself. The next-highest odds from the site for the Oklahoma job: Oregon’s Dana Altman (+300), former Michigan coach John Beilein (+350), Oral Roberts’ Paul Mills (+400), North Texas’ Grant McCasland (+900) and South Carolina’s Frank Martin (+1000).
Castiglione, a former walk-on on the Maryland football team who’s earned a reputation as one of the nation’s best athletic directors, hasn’t named any candidates or spoken publicly about his plans since Kruger announced his retirement last week. Turgeon, meanwhile, is in limbo at Maryland. Joey Helmer of OUInsider included Turgeon on his hot board of potential candidates. He wrote:
“There’s some speculation that Turgeon could be looking to leave Maryland and land another Power 5 job in the middle of the country. This seems like perfect timing for both of those things to match up. He’s a Topeka, Kan., native, which brings him really close to home, and he’s obviously quite comfortable here, having succeeded previously at Wichita State. There, he was 128-90, leading the Shockers to a Sweet 16, before later landing the Texas A&M job and going 97-40 in College State, with NCAA Tournament berths each of his four seasons. With the Terrapins in 10 seasons, he’s managed a 221-113 overall record, with five NCAA Tournament appearances and one Sweet 16.”
The caveat here: prop bets like this are often generated to build buzz for a sportsbook via articles like the one you’re reading, rather than being rooted in inside knowledge about the situation upon which the bet is based. It’s not outside of the realm of possibility that whoever set the odds has some intel, but these odds are far from guaranteed to be a statistically reliable resource.
Turgeon led Maryland to a 17-13 record and a first-round NCAA Tournament win over UConn this season. It was his fifth NCAA Tournament victory during a 10-year tenure at Maryland, joining wins over Valparaiso, Hawaii, South Dakota State and Belmont.
“We were able to get here and win an NCAA Tournament game when we were picked 12th and looked like our season was over in late January, early February. And we just to get here and be a part of this game says a lot about the young men in the locker room,” he said.
“We could have quit — I’m telling you, it was dismal. And losing is no fun. And we didn’t have a ton of confidence. And we just kept battling. We just kept trying to figure it out. And we had some really good stretches. We became more consistent. And I think they’re going to be remembered as a team that sacrificed, was undersized, guys played out of position, and they went to the final 32. Right? I mean, come on.”