The Maryland Terrapins will be entering a new era this upcoming season. After falling short in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Xavier, numerous faces that have been around the program for years have left for either graduation or the NBA Draft. The Terrapins had three departures from last season’s team, including one of them being one of the most dynamic players in the country.
Can the Terps overcome those departures? Let’s take a look.
L.G. Gill was only a member of the Terrapins for a year after spending his first three seasons of collegiate basketball playing at Duquesne. According to The Diamondback, Gill decided to join Maryland to get the chance to compete in the NCAA tournament for the first time in his career.
Gill came to Maryland expecting to get the majority of his minutes playing at power forward. The breakout of freshman Justin Jackson and injuries to centers Damonte Dodd and Michael Cekovsky forced him (Gill) to make the move to center.
The adjustment to center was a tough move for Gill as he only averaged 3.5 points and two rebounds per game while playing in all 33 games for the Terps.
Even though Gill spent only a year in the Maryland program, players and coaches could not say enough good things about him at the end of the season.
“He was really productive when he got in the game,” said then freshman guard Kevin Huerter. “Off the court, everyone loved him. It kind of sucks we only got to play with him for a year.” (The Diamondback)
Damonte Dodd will be a player dearly missed by the Maryland program. Dodd was a four year player under head coach Mark Turgeon and his stats increased after every year in the system.
“It’s amazing what he has done for our program,” said Turgeon according to Press Box Online . “When we recruited him I said, ‘Well we need a big body.’ I did not expect him to do what he has done here.”
Dodd was not known for his offensive scoring prowess. During his time at Maryland he was a defensive-minded “rim protector” for the Terps. He finished his college basketball career in eighth place all-time at the school in blocks with 138.
During his senior season Dodd fought through a left knee injury that caused him to miss five games throughout the year, however that did not stop him from setting career high averages in points with six per game and rebounds with four per game.
There may not have been a player in the draft this past year that was as important to his team than Melo Trimble was for Maryland. Trimble was one of the most successful players in Terrapins history.
He finished his college basketball career leading the Terps in scoring all three seasons, finishing 13th in points with 1,658 and second in career free throws made with 503, in just three seasons.
“He (Melo) is a winner and helped change the face of our program,” said Turgeon, according to ESPN.
In his last year at Maryland, he averaged just under 17 points per game while also being voted to the All-Big Ten first team by both the coaches and media.
Most notably, Trimble was one of the clutchest players in Maryland history, finishing his career 30-8 in games that were decided by six points or less and hitting big time shots in big time moments. One of those moments came on senior day of last season, when Trimble hit a game winning three pointer with one second left against Michigan State.
With all of the winning, points scored, and shots made by Trimble, his leadership qualities will be missed the most as Turgeon will be looking for a new face of the program to take over that role.
Replacing Gill, Dodd, and Trimble will be tough for Maryland as they try to return to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year. The continued development of Huerter and Jackson as well as a healthy Cekovsky will serve as a good base for a potential Big ten championship team.