Testudo Times Roundtable
Week of 3/21
Q: Should Melo Trimble go pro, or should he stay in college for another season?
Brian B: If Melo Trimble decides to go pro, he'd fulfill a dream of playing in the NBA, secure substantial financial security and greatly improve his quality of life. If he decides to stay, he could potentially improve his draft stock after a moderately disappointing sophomore campaign. His draft stock could also remain the same. If he stays, he'd probably help the Terrapins win a few more games along the way, slightly improving my quality of life.
Todd: I think Melo has the least to gain from returning. Another year in College Park isn't likely to improve his "measurables". That is, it's not going to make him quicker, able to jump higher and the like. I think if he sees the likelihood that he'll be drafted, he should go. If not, he should return.
Andrew K.: If he's projected to go in the first round, then he should turn pro. Otherwise, I believe he can substantially improve his position in next year's draft by returning. Of course, that assumes Trimble doesn't suffer a major injury.
Justin: If Trimble is told by scouts that his draft stock would increase by staying another year, then he should stay. However, by staying, he could risk getting injured and showing more weaknesses in his game, which would decrease his draft stock even further.
Noah: I think he should try and get as much information as possible. If he gets projected to go in the first round, he should go get that money. It comes down to what he thinks is best for himself. I hope he doesn't let outside pressure dissuade him from doing what he thinks is in his best interest, whatever that choice may be.
Q: Should Diamond Stone go pro, or should he stay in college for another season?
Brian B: As much as it pains me to say it, Diamond Stone should probably go pro sooner than later. He is young, probably won't slip out of the first round and the NBA drools over big men with potential.
Todd: I think Stone needs to evaluate his projected draft position and base his decision on that. I personally think he could improve his draft position and long-term career success by returning and becoming a better defender and rebounder. The NBA seems to have become a league that drafts as much on potential as actual skills, so he might not see much actual benefit from making those improvements at the college level.
Andrew K.: I'm assuming that Stone will be told that he'll be drafted in the middle of the first round. In that situation, he should definitely go pro. He might need some time in the "D" league, but his upside is tremendous. It took Alex Len a few years to blossom as a pro, and I foresee the same for Stone.
Justin: If you asked me this question a month ago, my answer would've been a resounding yes. But after watching Perry Ellis and Landen Lucas school him against Kansas, my answer is more complicated. Stone has a nice touch around the basket and also has the potential to develop a midrange game that would help him in the NBA. But he also struggles on defense, and had problems with foul trouble. He could stay another year, but like Todd said, I don't know how much it would benefit him to improve against college players when the talent in the NBA is so much better. But since he's projected as a first round pick and has some solid potential, I think he should go.
Noah: It's hard for me to imagine a talented big man like Diamond Stone not getting projected as a first-round pick. Is he a developed player? No. Does he have holes in his game? Absolutely. None of that matters. Diamond Stone should and will be a first-round draft pick. He should go pro.
Q: What is Maryland's realistic ceiling next year if both Stone and Trimble go pro?
Brian B: That depends a lot on how much of an impact the incoming freshmen (Kevin Huerter, Micah Thomas and Anthony Cowan) have and how much Jaylen Brantley develops during the offseason. Perhaps most importantly, it depends if Robert Carter decides to join his fellow Terps on the path to the NBA or not. With Dion Wiley returning, if the Terps can get production out of one of the three freshmen, Brantley continues to improve and Carter decides to stay, than I have no reason to doubt that this team could make a return trip to the Sweet 16. However, I sincerely doubt they'll have the National Championship hype surrounding them.
Todd: I think everything Brian wrote makes sense.
Andrew K.: A lot hinges on whether or not Carter returns. If he returns, then that would add significant inside scoring. The other factor is how well Wiley responds after being injured this year. Dodd showed improvement from last season to this year, and his continued improvement (along with Cevkovsky) will be important. Finally, Nickens needs to develop shots other than from three-point range. (I didn't mention the freshman as their initial contribution is hard to gauge.) I can see Maryland returning to The Dance a bit more easily than going to the NIT.
Justin: If Carter returns, Maryland can definitely return to the NCAA Tournament. But if he doesn't this team will probably go to the NIT. If Trimble and Stone do end up leaving, a lot hinges on Anthony Cowan, who will probably start at point guard. Mark Turgeon found success when he finally found a good point guard in Trimble, and Cowan will need to adjust quickly if the Terps are to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Noah: If Carter returns, Sweet 16 is probably the ceiling. If Carter goes pro, Maryland might be a bubble team for next year's NCAA Tournament.
Q: Maryland softball got swept by Ohio State in its Big Ten opener last week. The Terps are 7-23 overall, and Madison Martin is the only Maryland pitcher with an ERA under 7.00. Is it too early to throw in the towel on Maryland softball's season?
Brian B: Not only is it not too early to throw in the towel, we probably could have thrown in the towel weeks ago. There's no way to sugar coat a 7-23 record through 30 games (with only 22 regular season games remaining). Their team ERA is barely below 7.00, they allow opponents to hit .327 and their season run differential sits at a staggering -101. To put that into context, the Atlanta Braves owned the worst run differential in the MLB last season at -187...in 132 more games. They have lost eight straight and have yet to string together consecutive wins this season. I don't see things turning around this year for Maryland's softball team.
Todd: I'm not sure what you mean by "throw in the towel." If you mean we as fans should not expect a sudden turnaround that sees the team approach even the .500 record they had last season, then yes. I think those of us who follow this sport well understand that this program is likely to struggle not only this season but for the next two or three seasons.
Justin: We should just accept that this year will be a rebuilding one. The pitching has struggled all year, and you need good pitching to be able to win consistently.
Noah: This is an inconsistent team. If they haven't figured it out yet, they're almost certainly not going to in the next month. I'm ready to write off this season and look ahead to next year.
Q: No. 1 Maryland women's lacrosse hosts No. 14 Northwestern on Thursday night. The Terps have scored 18 or more goals in each of their four home games this season. Will they top 18 against the Wildcats?
Brian B: Northwestern hasn't given up 18 or more goals to any opponent this year and only gives up 9.5 goals per game on average. However, the Wildcats also haven't had to play the Terrapins. The Terps certainly have a shot to score 18 or more, but if they don't, I still imagine that they'll come away with the victory.
Todd: I don't expect it. First of all, the Terps haven't faced high caliber competition at home. So while they've hit double digits in scoring in all but one of their road games, the goal count for the home games is probably a bit inflated because of the level of competition. Not only does Northwestern have a solid defense that's anchored by their talented freshman goalie Mallory Weisse, but their coach, Kelly Amonte-Hiller, tends to play at a slow pace. The Terps will have to dominate the draw, have their defense create a large number of turnovers and shoot well just to reach the teens.
Justin: 18 is a lot of goals, and since Brian mentioned that Northwestern gives up less than 10 a game, I don't think it's likely.
Noah: If this game turns into anything resembling the two beatdowns that Maryland put on Northwestern last season, than 18 goals is in play. My gut says that Maryland won't get 18 goals. This is by far the most talented defense that Maryland has played at home this year.