The 2015-16 season didn't quite go as well as hoped for the Maryland Terrapins, but there is no denying they wouldn't have been in contention for the Sweet 16 if it wasn't for sophomore point guard Melo Trimble. After leading the Terrapins to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003, there could be a new lead guard for the 2016-17 season, as Trimble could be on his way to the professional ranks. If Trimble in fact does enter the 2016 NBA draft, the new lead guard for Maryland will have big shoes to fill.
The main knock on Trimble's game was his ability to facilitate an offense and generate more assists. After averaging three assists his freshman year, Trimble proved to NBA scouts that he can play more as a lead guard by averaging just shy of five assists per game. It helps having Robert Carter Jr eligible, Rasheed Sulaimon and Diamond Stone added to the starting unit. That quartet added with Jake Layman gave Terps fans a new sense of enthusiasm that hasn't been experience since the 2002 national championship season.
With Trimble likely entering the draft, where could the Upper Marlboro, (MD) native land in June?
Trimble is a very talented, multi-faceted point guard who can score in a variety of ways, but his shooting stroke allows him to play off the ball and make himself a more dangerous scorer by coming off of screens. The presence of Rasheed Sulaimon helped Trimble become a tremendous shooter, and also gave Trimble a chance to round out his off-ball guard capabilities. Trimble shot an impressive 41 percent from the perimeter his freshman season, but his percentage dropped to to 31 percent his sophomore season. Perhaps that was just a sophomore slump, but the ability to be a threat from behind the arc is there for Trimble.
With Mark Turgeon utilizing more of a half court offense in College Park, Trimble became one of the best guards in the country navigating a half court offense. Trimble showed a propensity of declining screens in the half court setting and attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line. His amazing 86 percent free throw shooting percentage made him one of the most versatile guards on the court at all times due to his ability to shoot, drive and set up others.
At only 6'3, Trimble doesn't possess the ideal length to play the point guard position in the NBA. Having below average length will make finishing in traffic much more difficult as the speed and length of the professional game will be something that could cause a steep learning curve for the sophomore guard. Trimble was able to get to the free throw line seemingly with ease his freshman season, but if he doesn't get the calls at the next level, converting through contact will be pivotal for Trimble.
Turnovers have always been a problem with Trimble as he has averaged at least two per game during his tenure at Maryland. Facing intense, high pressure defenses have always been a problem for Trimble - North Carolina and West Virginia to be specific - so having better control over his assist-to-turnover ratio is critical. It's not likely Trimble will see defenses like that in the NBA, but there could be individual defenders who have greater length who could be problematic for the young guard.
Nothing is official in terms of Trimble declaring for the 2016 draft, but with four-star guard Anthony Cowan on the way to Maryland and the loss of Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman to graduation as well as the probable loss of Diamond Stone to the NBA, it's likely that Trimble's sophomore season was his last in college. Due to the lack of length and ideal height for the position, seeing Trimble fall to the second round would not be terribly surprising, but due to his offensive versatility and ability to lead an offense, Trimble should serve as a solid player in the NBA for years to come.