When Melo Trimble committed to play for the University of Maryland in December 2012, he was viewed as a good signee who would most likely require some seasoning before making a major impact for the Terrapins. However, during his last two seasons at Bishop O'Connell High School, he made a major leap in the recruiting standings. When he walked on to campus at College Park, the Terrapins were getting the 31st best player in the class of 2014 and a McDonalds All-American. Fans had high hopes for Trimble and cautiously optimistic feelings about the 2014-15 team. Trimble would end up being the driving force in making those optimistic feelings a reality.
When looking at Trimble's impact at Maryland, he has had a profound effect on the program in just one season, on and off the court.
Trimble scored 16.2 points per game in his freshman season. He led the Terrapins in scoring and was second in the B1G in scoring per game among freshmen, behind DeAngelo Russell. His career high in points came against Arizona State, where he scored 31 points. Even when Trimble struggled to shoot the ball well in games, he still found a way to put points on the board for his team. This is shown best when Maryland played Virginia in the B1G-ACC challenge, and Trimble went 2-9 from the field, 0-3 from three, but 12-14 from the line, and finished with 16 points. Yes, the Terps ended up losing the game, but it was a good indicator that Trimble was going to impact the game, one way or another. Trimble could shoot the ball from the three, get to the basket with ease and his floater was effective.
Melo Trimble played the point guard position for Mark Turgeon and he played it well. His assist numbers, 3 assits per game, certainly won't blow you away, but he did a good job playing within the offense. Turgeon's offense relied a lot on isolation with Dez Wells at times, and ball movement around the perimeter. Plus, how many times did we see Trimble pass it to Dodd or Cekovsky down low and they would fumble the ball or miss the close shot? Trimble will have an easier time gathering assists when he is playing with good outside shooters and an improved front court.
While he is just 6'3", Trimble did make an impact on rebounds. He finished with 3.9 rebounds per game last season and even had two games with double-digit rebounds. While he isn't one to get in the middle of things and try to grab every board, he is a willing rebounder when a rebound needs to be had. On a bad rebounding team, he managed to grab rebounds when they came his way. On a presumably good rebounding team next year, expect him to continue to fight for loose rebounds and try to show he is a capable rebounder.
This is an area that Trimble will be looking to improve next season. His steals per game number wasn't bad, at 1.3, but other point guards had big games against him. Yogi Ferrell looked unstoppable opposite Trimble, and D'Angelo Russell went off against him. Trimble will need to become a better perimeter defender next season as Maryland will be without its two best perimeter defenders from last year, in Dez Wells and Richaud Pack.
Trimble certainly wasn't the type of leader who got in his teammates faces, because that was Wells. Trimble had a unique style of leadership, as his demeanor was so even keel. He could commit a turnover, and he wouldn't get rattled. He could step up to the line at the end of a close game, and he wouldn't get rattled. The most emotion Trimble showed on the court this season was smiles when things were going right for his team. Without Wells, Trimble may have to get into his teammates a little bit more, but that may not be his style. If not, somebody else will have to step into that role. Trimble's level emotions will be key in high-pressure games that the Terps could play in next year.
Trimble has effects on Maryland recruiting in both the short term and the long term. In the short term, Diamond Stone has already said that a big reason that he is coming to Maryland is because of Trimble's decision to stay. This shows that an elite prospect, like Stone, feels that he will benefit from playing alongside Trimble. Clearly, they have the goal of winning a national championship in mind next year, and with these two players, and others, they can do just that. If you follow Maryland sports closely, you know that the Maryland's football program is using a DMV to UMD movement to keep home grown talent in the area to succeed at the collegiate level. While Maryland basketball is not officially using this movement, Trimble's play last season could prove to be a driving force in local prospects deciding to come play for the Terps. Maryland has offered eight players from Maryland, D.C., Virginia and Pennsylvania in the class of 2016. The local movement will not be as large for Maryland basketball as it is for Maryland football, because classes are not as large for basketball. When these local prospects see a local kid in Trimble playing at a high level for Maryland, racking up awards and notoriety, and potentially becoming a first round pick in the NBA draft, they will believe in Mark Turgeon's ability to improve their game and win games.