Maryland Basketball: Should Melo Trimble declare for the NBA Draft?

Mar 15, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Melo Trimble (2) reacts during practice prior to the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 15, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Melo Trimble (2) reacts during practice prior to the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Melo Trimble has had quite a career during his time in College Park.

Coming off his best season as a Terrapin, Trimble will now have to decide if he wants to declare for the NBA Draft or spend another year at Maryland.

Trimble came to Maryland in the early stages of Mark Turgeon’s tenure. When he committed to the program in December of 2012, the Terps were coming off a 17-15 (6-10) campaign in Turgeon’s first year.

Gary Williams retired following the 2010-11 season, so it was too soon to know if local players would still want to play for their hometown school. Following Williams’ retirement announcement, Justin Anderson and Sterling Gibbs decommitted and Nick Faust rethought his decision.

With a lot of uncertainty in the air, Turgeon needed a face to build his program around.

That’s where Trimble came in.

Trimble pledged to Maryland over a year and a half before he ended up enrolling. The former Bishop O’Connell (Va.) star ended up seeing his stock shoot through the roof in the summer of 2013.

He most likely could’ve gone to any school in the country with the amount of talent that he possessed. In 247Sports’ composite rankings, Trimble was ranked as the No. 32 player and the fifth-best point guard.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Tyus Jones, Tyler Ulis, and Joel Berry were the other guards ahead of Trimble. Mudiay, Jones, and Ulis are all in the NBA now.

Trimble certainly didn’t waste any time getting to work in College Park. He was the team’s starting point guard as his freshman year began.

The Roddy Peters experiment was a complete bust and Turgeon needed a player to help stabilize the Maryland offense.

Trimble was definitely productive during his first few games during the 2014-15 season. However, it was his performance in the opening game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic that really got everyone’s attention.

Trimble went off for 31 points against Arizona State and connected on 13-of-14 free throws. He also hit four of his six attempts from beyond the arc.

He ended up scoring in double figures in all but three games as a freshman. Alongside Dez Wells, Trimble led Maryland back to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010.

The Terps ended up defeating No. 13 seed Valparaiso in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Maryland’s second game was one to forget because Trimble suffered a concussion against No. 5 seed West Virginia, resulting in a 69-59 loss.

Trimble averaged 16.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while shooting 41.2 percent from three that season. He also shot 44.4 percent from the field.

All in all, Trimble had a great freshman year and ultimately could’ve signed with an agent and declared for the NBA Draft. Instead, he decided to come back to College Park for at least one more season.

Trimble’s sophomore year wasn’t a failure by any stretch. However, his scoring average (14.8 points) dipped and he didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well.

Some can be blamed on nagging injuries and some can be attributed to the Terps never really gelling as a team. Maryland had an impressive starting five of Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, Jake Layman, Robert Carter Jr., and Diamond Stone and Final Four aspirations.

After a down year, Trimble elected to put his name in for the NBA Draft, but didn’t hire an agent. After taking it down to the last possible moment, the former four-star recruit elected to return for yet another campaign.

Trimble was criticized by many for his inconsistent play throughout the 2015-16 season. It’s almost like he played with a chip on his shoulder because he rebounded in a big way this past season.

The Maryland guard averaged a career-best 16.8 points while playing the least amount of minutes of his career.

Part of the reason for Trimbe’s elevated numbers was the emergence of freshman point guard Anthony Cowan. Cowan ran the Maryland offense, which allowed Trimble did play off the ball a lot more.

Trimble became more of a scoring threat than he ever had been. He attempted 12.5 shots-per-game, which was also a career-high.

Given his performance during the 2016-17 season, it’s pretty clear that Trimble is very effective in the role of a scorer. The two-guard position definitely seems to suit Trimble, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a very talented distributor when he’s in that role.

After a redemption season of sorts, the ultimate question becomes: should Trimble leave Maryland for the NBA?

First of all, it would’ve made the most sense for Trimble to leave after his freshman year at Maryland. Trimble was very dangerous due to his ability to get to the free throw line while also being able to hit threes (41.2 percent).

Trimble certainly could’ve been a first round pick, but definitely would’ve heard his name called. The 2015 draft class at the guard position had a lot of uncertainty.

2015 class:
D’Angelo Russell (No. 2, Los Angeles Lakers)
Mario Hezonja (No. 5, Orlando Magic)
Emmanuel Mudiay (No. 7, Denver Nuggets)
Devin Booker (No. 13, Phoenix Suns)
Cameron Payne (No. 14, Oklahoma City Thunder)
Kelly Oubre (No. 15, Washington Wizards)
Terry Rozier (No. 16, Boston Celitcs)
Rashad Vaughn (No. 17, Milwaukee Bucks)
Jerian Grant (No. 19, New York Knicks)
Delon Wright (No. 20, Toronto Raptors)
Tyus Jones (No. 24, Minnesota Timberwolves)
R.J. Hunter (No. 28, Boston Celtics)

Out of that class, there are quite a few guards that didn’t work out up to this point in their NBA careers. Trimble may have wowed teams and been taken late in the first round.

After his sophomore season, it wouldn’t have made a ton of sense since it was a down year for Trimble.

Following this past season, it’s something wrong considering. However, his name hasn’t been listed as being drafted at all according to mock drafts from Draft Express and other publications.

Obviously, Trimble can open a team’s eyes at the draft combine and in individual team workouts. That’s really taking a chance and at this point, coming back for another season isn’t going to hurt his stock.

The Maryland guard will be playing alongside Cowan once again. The Terps have a significant amount of talent coming back, so it’s also a chance to win a Big Ten title and potentially make an NCAA Tournament run.

Trimble shot the ball very well as a freshman, but has been subpar at best over the past two seasons. If he can really hone in his shot and be more selective, being drafted is something that can definitely be a reality after four years at Maryland.

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It just doesn’t appear to be in Trimble’s best interest to turn pro. With nowhere for his stock to go but up, it’s also a chance for Trimble to finish what he started in College Park.