The Maryland basketball team received some phenomenal news on Wednesday evening when Melo Trimble decided to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return for his junior season.
In doing so, the Terrapins got one of their starters back from the 2015-16 season. Robert Carter, Jake Layman, Diamond Stone, and Rasheed Sulaimon either left school early or graduated. Trimble did take the decision down to the deadline, but ultimately made the right decision.
Trimble started off his Maryland career with an abundance of expectations. He was a highly-regarded local star that was brought to College Park to resurrect a mediocre program.
Before Trimble even got to Maryland, the mass exodus happened with six players transferring out of the program, including guard Seth Allen. Even though Allen was a very talented scorer during his time in College Park, he wasn’t exactly the floor general that coach Mark Turgeon envisioned. Rather, Allen was better suited playing off the ball.
At the start of the 2014-15 season, Trimble was handed the keys to the Maryland offense as a true freshman.
Trimble took a few games to get accumulated to the offense, but his coming out party was against Arizona State in the semifinals of the CBE Classic in Nov. He exploded for 31 points (7-of-11), including making four of his six attempts from beyond the arc.
Throughout his freshman campaign, one of the main reasons that Trimble was so dangerous was his ability to shoot from the perimeter. The former four-star recruit connected on 41.2 percent of his three-point attempts, which was second on the team behind Dez Wells.
Trimble could camp out with the basketball beyond the three-point line, but also possessed the ability to put the ball on the floor and penetrate if an open shot wasn’t available.
When it was all said and done, Trimble averaged 16.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 steals for a Maryland team that reached the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated by West Virginia.
Trimble started off the 2015-16 season on a tear as he scored in double figures in nine of the team’s 12 nonconference games. He also scored at least 23 points in games against Maryland’s top tier nonconference foes in Connecticut, Georgetown, and North Carolina.
As impressive as Trimble’s play was during the nonconference portion of the schedule, Big Ten play was where his 2015-16 campaign took a turn.
The story was inconsistent play for Trimble. While he scored double-digit points in all but four games, his offensive efficiency left a lot to be desired.
Trimble’s jump shot wasn’t anywhere near where it was during his freshman season or even nonconference play.
He only connected on 31.4 percent of his three-point attempts. In fact, he went through an eight-game period (Feb. 6 to March 6) where he made just 10-of-35 (28.6 percent) three-point shots.
As was mentioned above, having a three-point shot is crucial to his game. If defenders know he isn’t making his perimeter consistently, then Trimble will be forced to drive a lot more than he may want to.
Much of the talk was that Trimble was suffering from a significant hamstring injury. If that was the case, that would make sense as to why he wasn’t hitting his jumper.
Trimble did seem to pick up his game late in the season, just in time for Maryland’s NCAA Tournament run. Over Maryland’s three tournament contests, Trimble averaged 20 points and looked like the complete player that Terp fans were used to seeing.
While it wasn’t the sophomore season that Trimble had in mind, testing the NBA Draft waters still made a ton of sense for the former Bishop O’Connell star.
The new NBA Draft process allows players to participate in the Scouting Combine and individual workouts with NBA teams up until May 25. Trimble had until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday evening to decide if he was going to hire an agent or come back to College Park for his junior season.
After turning in a less-than-stellar performance in five-on-five scrimmages at the Combine, Trimble’s stock fell a bit and even went from an early second round pick in many mock drafts to not even being drafted.
With two seasons of eligibility remaining, it made way too much sense for Trimble to come back to Maryland and improve areas of his game.
Trimble needs to make sure he has a consistent jump shot, especially since he will likely be playing off the ball more during the 2016-17 season. The Pan-American Games were a good barometer of how he needs to get stronger if he wants a professional career in the future.
There’s no question that Trimble is one of the more talented Terps in recent years and can find a niche in the NBA one day. That day just hasn’t arrived yet.