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The Impact Of Melo Trimble’s Departure

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Maryland’s leader is gone, what does it mean?

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Maryland Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

It was announced earlier this week that Maryland’s star point guard won’t be returning to the program next season. Not only did Melo Trimble declare for the NBA draft, but he announced that he would be signing an agent, eliminating the possibility of returning to Maryland for his senior season.

Melo Trimble has been a polarizing athlete on Maryland’s roster for the past three years and while he’ll be remembered as one of the best players in program history, his career as a Terp will largely be remembered as a disappointment.

Statistically, he has largely stagnated over his time in College Park. He shot 44% from the field as a freshman, which went down to 41% as a sophomore before spiking back up to 43% as a junior. His rebounding numbers stayed relatively stable over his collegiate career, sticking around three rebounds per game. He became a far less effective three point shooter as his career went on as well, dropping from 41% all the way down to 31% in his last two seasons.

He was the most important Terrapin, but he never managed to lead them to the heights people expected him to. Now, he’s gone.

Melo Trimble, The NBA Point Guard

Melo probably won’t get drafted. The news of his declaration is too fresh for him to have been included in any mock drafts (this will be updated when/if he is), but for now, it isn’t unreasonable for us to assume he won’t be projected to be drafted, and won’t actually be drafted either.

The NBA Draft Combine can help him improve his stock, though. Everyone knows the incredible talent he possesses and if he shows well in front of scouts, I think that the precedent of his incredible play is more than there for him to be an enticing prospect. His body of good work is certainly there and his name will be on the radar.

At 6’3”, Melo is a taller point guard and his blend of athleticism and shooting touch makes him the prototypical modern athlete for the position. Still, as things stand now, no one will expect him to get drafted. He’ll need to have a monumental showing at the combine for that—something that can simply not be ruled out.

What this means for Maryland

Maryland will be fine.

Trimble meant a lot to the Maryland program and university community because of how instantly good and how visible he was. People were kind of expecting him to stay, but Maryland did a great job of stocking up in the meantime.

Jaylen Brantley, Anthony Cowan and incoming guard prospect Darryll Morsell are going to be tasked with picking up where Melo left off. Luckily, the former two already have playing experience and have been immersed in Mark Turgeon’s offence. The adjustment will be steep, par for the course of replacing a player of Trimble’s caliber, but they have pieces in place that are more than capable of getting it done.

Overall

Am I surprised Melo declared? Yes. Am I feeling trepidation over his prospects as an NBA guard? Yes and no. Do I think Maryland will be ok? Yeah, I do.

To me, this feels like a net positive. Melo has the talent to find a niche in the NBA and will probably be hellbent on proving everyone who doubted him wrong. He has done amazing things as a collegiate guard and I believe it is safe to say that Maryland fans, and yes, Big Ten fans, will miss him.