Bino Ranson was a week into his new job as a Maryland basketball assistant and still getting up to speed.
His university e-mail account was getting set up. There were neatly stacked piles of paper on his new desk. A few books littered a mostly empty bookshelf nearby.
And when he leaned back in his leather chair, a Maryland logo stitched into the seatback was just above his head.
"It's great --- a great opportunity," the 35-year-old said. "It's a pleasure to coach here. It means a lot to me go out with this logo on my chest and represent the University of Maryland."
That opportunity is certainly looming. And it comes after a rapid rise through college coaching.
Three years at Marist. One at James Madison. Another at Xavier.
And now it's back to his home state, where he takes over a spot on Gary Williams' staff vacated when Chuck Driesell became the head coach at The Citadel.
Ask about Cole Field House, and Ranson remembers trips from when fellow Baltimore native Devin Gray was being recruited. Mention a spring weekend in Atlanta in 2002, and Ranson quickly finds a picture of himself and Williams from Maryland's banquet after that season.
There are ties to the program --- maybe not as obvious as when Driesell and Keith Booth became assistants, but they still exist. But it's not as if this was the plan all along.
"I always took the approach that the job that I had was the best job in the world," Ranson said. "It's not like I had one foot in at Xavier and was seeing what was going on at Maryland. Never, ever would I ever do that. Never, ever. The job you have is the best job. That's the job you should work the hardest at."
Ranson's had plenty of jobs in a decade of coaching, picking up ideas from mentors along the way. Learning how to run a practice from Paul Smith while helping out at Pikesville High School. There were lessons about winning from William Wells and how to be a professional from Jerome Shelton during a stint at Baltimore's St. Frances Academy.
In college, there were eye-opening moments working for Loyola's Jimmy Patsos ("He's the one who really opened my eyes in terms of what it would be like day in and day out," Ranson said. "What i learned from him was work ethic, always reaching out to people and being a good person, being on the guys but also loving the guys."). He picked up creativity and lessons in loyalty from Matt Brady at Marist and James Madison, and the significance of staying on task and firm in beliefs from Xavier's Chris Mack.
At his core, though, he's a Baltimore guy. It's a city with a relationship with Maryland that isn't always harmonious, even if the likes of Keith Booth and Juan Dixon have starred in College Park. The Terps will likely start a pair of Baltimore products --- Dino Gregory and Sean Mosley --- next season.
Still, more can be had. And it's safe to assume Ranson will be part of those recruitment efforts.
"It spurs me," Ranson said. "You want to guard your yard. You have to. You have to want to do good in your backyard and protect it and get the best out of it."
Nonetheless, he isn't claiming Baltimore is his sole responsibility --- nor is the Terps' work in the city entirely on him.
"I'm not a 'I guy,' I'm a 'we guy,'" Ranson said. "It's our job to do the best job. If you say in Baltimore, then Baltimore. If you say wherever --- D.C., wherever --- it's our job to the best job possible. I'm just a part of it to perhaps make it reality."
This much is certain: Ranson is both upbeat and determined to make the most of his first high-major job (though working at Xavier is better gig than many power conference schools). On that temporarily sparse bookshelf is a copy of Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" and another popular title --- John Edmund Haggai's "How to Win Over Worry."
Right now it means staying organized and remaining excited about finally leaving campus while wearing a logo of a school he's followed for some time.
"I know how it will be on the road," Ranson said. "You'll get a lot of backslaps in terms of congrats, this that and third. But you have to move on about your business and be persistent and consistent and have your eye on what you're doing."