With three freshmen in the starting lineup, Maryland was one of the youngest teams in the nation this season. That young team had success in large part because of the roles played by the few upperclassmen -- Damonte Dodd, L.G. Gill and Melo Trimble.
Damonte Dodd was the lone Maryland senior that spent his whole career in College Park. The 6-foot-11 center from Centreville, Md. has been a fixture in the Maryland lineup the last three years.
At his size, Dodd never played massive minutes with the way the Terrapins like to play. He also never grew into much of an offensive threat, scoring a career-high 6.1 points per game on 58.1 percent shooting this year. Dodd scored in double figures five times this season, including a 12-point, six-rebound, two-block performance in a Feb. 15 win at Northwestern.
But he knew his limitations and was comfortable anchoring the Maryland defense, blocking 1.5 shots per game as a sophomore and 2.0 blocks per game as a senior. While Dodd will leave a hole defensively and with his experience, Maryland has a solid replacement who should be ready to go.
7-foot-1 junior Michal Cekovsky averaged 7.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game this season, shooting 67.1 percent from the field and filling in seamlessly when Dodd missed six games with an injury. Maryland is also bringing in four-star recruit Bruno Fernando, a 6-foot-10 big man from IMG Academy.
Dodd was half of Maryland’s 2013 recruiting class. The other half, 6-foot-4 guard Roddy Peters, is currently at Nicholls State after a stop at South Florida. The former five-star recruit spent just one year in Maryland before transferring.
Gill took a different route to his senior year. The 6-foot-8 graduate transfer spent his first three years at Duquesne before joining the Terrapins this season. Gill, who averaged 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last year, never really found a significant role at Maryland.
Gill appeared in all 33 games, but averaged just 3.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 12.7 minutes per game. With forwards Kevin Huerter, Ivan Bender and Justin Jackson returning, the loss of Gill should be negligible moving forward.
However, what will be hard to replace is Trimble.
The 6-foot-3 guard has had the ball in his hands since he stepped on the floor in College Park at the start of the 2014-15 season. An Upper Marlboro, Md. native, Trimble led the Terrapins to a surprising 28-7 record his freshman year. Trimble received some flack after the Terrapins didn’t live up to their perceived potential in 2015-16, but Maryland still went 27-9 on the season.
Trimble fully adopted the veteran role this season, carrying Maryland down the stretch in a number of close games. Trimble averaged 16.8 points, 3.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game on the season, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Trimble’s early departure for the NBA Draft will force the Terrapins to make big changes next season, particularly on the offensive end. Anthony Cowan will likely take over the point guard role after an encouraging freshman season in which he averaged 10.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
But with all that Trimble did, it’s going to be a bit of a group effort to replicate his production next season. Darryl Morsell, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Baltimore, should also give the Terrapins scoring punch moving forward.
Maryland won’t lose too much production with the loss of its two graduating seniors. But with the addition of Trimble to the outgoing group, the Terrapins will have to recalculate how they want to play going forward. Thankfully, the lack of seniors gave Maryland’s underclassmen plenty of experience this season, which should prove beneficial moving forward.