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Maryland basketball has some serious problems. Melo Trimble isn't one of them.

Ohio State laid bare a number of flaws that will limit the Terps' ceiling. But be wary of putting too much stock into a horrible game – or even three.

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

After Ohio State laid waste to Maryland at Value City Arena Thursday night – the third-straight less-than-good showing for No. 16 Maryland – it's fair to put to bed any notions of the Terrapins as the Big Ten's best team. They will probably not win the league's regular season title, nor will they be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, nor will Melo Trimble win the conference's freshman of the year award. The Terps' last few games have given rise to some worrying trends, and they've exposed some of this team's dormant warts. For Maryland, that's the bad news.

There's a brighter side, too. The Terps have already established a fine NCAA Tournament resume, and they're still equipped to do a little bit of postseason damage. This is still a fringy top-25 team, and its CV for the season suggests it's even better than that. So fans needn't worry about Maryland missing out on March Madness. That won't happen. But this team has a couple of serious problems, and Ohio State gave the country a clear look at them. Let's examine a few:

  • Maryland's perimeter defense is sliding. On the whole, Maryland's three-point defense this season has been good. The Terps currently rank 51st in the country, allowing opponents success on 37.6 percent percent of their deep shots. Lately, though, Maryland has been trending downward here. In the Terps' last five games, four opponents have gashed them from deep, the lone exception being a lowly Michigan State shooting 3-of-17 on Jan. 17. In their four other most recent games, the Terps have given up the deep shot at rates of 41, 68, 40 and, last night, 59 percent. All of those figures vastly outpace how Maryland's opponents have shot for the entire season. In their last three games, opponents have made 33 of 59 threes against Maryland – good for an untenable 56 percent. And that was with Northwestern inexplicably falling off a cliff in the second half last Sunday. The scariest thing for Maryland? In conference play, the Terps rank ninth in the Big Ten in three-point defense. That won't do.
  • Maryland's post game is bad, and it's leaking outward. Way, way back on Jan. 5, I wrote a somewhat fawning feature on the resurgent play of Damonte Dodd, Maryland's sophomore center. At the time, Dodd had the best offensive rating on the team, had been taking on increasing minute loads and making, in general, a strong two-way impact. Since then, Dodd's scored 10 points in seven games, and Maryland has given up three of its highest point totals of the year based largely on inside dominance by opposing teams. All the while, Maryland's shifted to smaller lineups as Mark Turgeon has taken minutes away not only from Dodd but also big men Jon Graham and Michal Cekovsky. None of the three players have much of a post game on offense.

    On defense, Dodd's usually good when he's on the floor, but foul trouble and inconsistency have kept him on the bench. He played only six minutes on Thursday, part of a three-game run where he's played 28 total minutes. Cekovsky is slow on rotations and hasn't filled out his 7-foot frame. Graham is a relentless worker but not as talented as practically anyone he matches up with. And Evan Smotrycz, who's played increasingly at center lately, has obvious defensive limitations and isn't the offensive player he once was.

    The result of the shortcomings of Maryland's big men? Wings and guards cheat toward the basket, leaving men open on the outside. It's a vicious cycle, even if doesn't entirely explain Maryland's perimeter struggles on defense.

It's obvious that Maryland's lack of interior skill and perimeter defending are serious problems. Dez Wells's startling decline in offensive efficiency could be another. So could Maryland's young team wearing down over the course of a season that's longer and more grueling than what half its major players have ever gone through before.

One thing that isn't a serious concern, however, is Trimble. The freshman point guard had the worst game of his career against the Buckeyes, making none of his eight attempts from the field and only rebounding and assisting one time apiece. I made most of these points on Twitter near the game, so I'll leave them below:

And Trimble is outstanding. He could be the best player Maryland's had in more than a decade. D'Angelo Russell is better than Trimble both as a college point guard and professional prospect, but he's not 15 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists per game better than Trimble, as he looked on Thursday. It's sort of a shame that two of Trimble's worst efforts have come in games at Indiana and Ohio State, because they paint a picture that doesn't align with his superior overall efficiency. Just remember what Maryland has on its hands here: a freshman guard with a 114 ORtg and a preternatural ability to create offense off the dribble and draw fouls. He is immensely valuable.

Melo Trimble remains very much big-time. As long as Maryland has him – and a resume that includes a seasonal sweep of Michigan State and wins against Oklahoma State and Iowa State – the Terps will be a postseason presence. But they're clearly beatable, and the issues Ohio State exposed will only make them more vulnerable come March.