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Melo Trimble says Maryland’s ‘not caught up in the hype'

Our interview with the Big Ten's preseason player of the year.

Brian Kapur

It is a good time to be Melo Trimble.

Maryland's sophomore guard is coming off one of the greatest freshman seasons in program history. He's got an NBA future and a campus full of adoring fans, and he's the preseason player of the year for the No. 3 college basketball team in the world.

At Maryland's media day on Tuesday, Trimble talked with Testudo Times for a few minutes about where he is and where he's going. Our conversation is lightly edited for clarity:

Testudo Times: It's got to be pretty good to be Melo Trimble right now. What's it like?

Melo Trimble: I feel important. A lot of people around campus, they like me. They want to take pictures, give me hugs and stuff like that. I think I've got a lot of respect from the people around campus, and also from people who don't go to Maryland and just people in the state of Maryland. I think I'm just experiencing, you know, great things.

TT: Last year, with the season that you had, I know you considered leaving to go to the NBA. How tough was the decision not to go?

Trimble: After sitting down with Coach Turgeon and evaluating my options, I think it wasn't a tough decision at all. People projected me to go kind of first round, second round, but I knew that didn't matter. I needed to get better at certain aspects of my game – my passing ability, defense, just being a stronger and more experienced player.

TT: This year, it seems like some of the stars have aligned, getting Diamond Stone here and having Robert Carter coming off a transfer year. Do you feel like you're on the verge of an opportunity to make the kind of run that, maybe, you dream about?

Trimble: Yeah, I think we have the players. We have the attitude. We're also mature. We're not caught up in the hype about us being top-five, No. 1, No. 3. We're just worried about the process, worried about getting better every day. I think that's the best part about this team: We're just worried about getting better as a team, and we all know each other well.

TT: In terms of some of the new guys, I remember when Diamond Stone committed, I thought, "Melo's probably pretty excited to run pick-and-rolls with Diamond Stone," and then Rasheed Sulaimon comes in. What are you most excited about with your new teammates and the things you can do with them?

Trimble: They can score. It's not just me scoring. The best thing about them being here [for me] is me being a better point guard. I know I could find myself this year playing with Rasheed, Rob [Carter], Diamond, Jared [Nickens], Dion [Wiley]. They all gained confidence, and I think their scoring ability will help me be a better point guard, also knowing their strengths and weaknesses and also get my assists up.

TT: Getting all of these guys in here in the offseason, and with all of these expectations now, do you think Maryland's kind of been elevated again as a men's basketball program?

Trimble: It's been elevated again, but I think it's just going to be a really good year. That's really what I have to say about that part. I think after this year, we're going to have more commits, more people interested in Maryland and we'll get more hype around that.