Maryland’s John Tillman, on how to measure success, and more; ahead of the new season

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – The new Big Ten lacrosse season kicks off this Saturday, February 20th; when the Maryland Terrapins take home field, hosting the Michigan Wolverines for a 1 PM start.

Ahead of the season start, WDVM’s Allif Karim caught up with Head Coach John Till in a one-on-one interview, about the season overall, and talking points around it.

When asked about the season ahead, and how Coach Tillman would measure success; especially in a year stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic, Coach Tillman said, “I think you know a successful year is as many people staying on board and being able to stay healthy. Protecting those guys, protecting them mentally, making sure they know this is a reality but we’re here to help and support you. And when we do get on the field, playing together, playing unselfishly, playing for each other, and playing for Maryland.”

During the team’s Media Day, Head Coach Tillman touched on the schedule this season, and specifically how advantageous it is, for only being half released. When asked for clarification, and whether this should be a system that could be adopted for the future, he said, “I just like the fact that, we can easily put the other five games in.”

“We’ll have to get the travel done fairly quickly, but instead of locking yourself to 10 games, and let’s say, like football – somebody gets shutdown for a couple of weeks; to me, instead of locking yourself in for the last five weeks, what it does is allow you to kind of have a blank canvas.” as Coach Tillman continued.

Maryland started their schedule last season with a 5-1 record, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic shut them down, and put the team on the sidelines for almost an entire year. The extended offseason did not hurt the Terrapin’s greatly; from a personnel standpoint, as they enter this season as preseason favorites to win the Big Ten tournament, according to US Lacrosse Magazine.

“I think it’s going to be the best year ever for the Big Ten.” said Coach Tillman. “I think with the extra year of eligibility, I think some teams really helped themselves. Rutgers brought in a number of transfers, I think that will help them. I think almost everybody brought in a couple of transfers, or at least one. Or they got guys back for an extra year. Some guys actually have six-year guys now, they redshirted for a year; so they’re – to me, everybody returns more guys, or added more guys than ever.”

“It would be nice to play out of conference, just to see how we stack up, in a game versus the eye test; but it’s going to be- every week is going to be a battle. And people are going to know each other inside, and out. It’s going to be very interesting to see. You play somebody three times, potentially; what does that look like?”

For more from Coach Tillman, watch the full interview below.

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