Melo Trimble scored 2 points in Maryland basketball's loss to Michigan last Thursday, perhaps the worst game of his collegiate career. The Terrapins lost by three, and coach Mark Turgeon strolled into the Ann Arbor locker room after the game with a decidedly straightforward message.
"Obviously, Melo didn't have his best game. We missed a lot of shots, and we played against a team that makes 12 threes, and they're really good at home, and they're well coached, and we have a shot to tie it," Turgeon told his team. "I'm like, 'Guys, we're pretty good. We're pretty good, so let's not get all caught up in this. Let's move on, and let's compete a little bit harder and see what happens.'"
Trimble took five shots from the field in Saturday's 100-65 shellacking of Ohio State, making two of them. He finished with 8 points, making for the second-lowest-scoring two-game stretch (10 total points) of his time at Maryland. But he had 9 assists, four more than anybody else on either team and five more than Ohio State playmaker JaQuan Lyle. Trimble managed to dictate the game even when his best asset, his preternatural skill to drive to the rim, didn't play.
"The best part is Melo trusts his teammates, so he never forces anything," Turgeon said.
So while Trimble didn't score, his friends did. Robert Carter Jr. had 25 points, Rasheed Sulaimon 22, Diamond Stone 15 and Jake Layman 10. That's everybody else in Maryland's primary lineup touching double figures.
In sports, there are different ways to define depth. The most standard of these is a variation of the question: "How many good players does a team have on its bench?" That's fair enough, and it's not a question Maryland can answer very well. The Terps have gotten consistently above average performances from just one bench player this season, that being sixth man-in-name-only Stone. Maryland's a little bit top-heavy.
But, uh, how about that top?
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Maryland only has five players averaging better than 6 points per game, but each of those five averages better than 10. Trimble, Stone, Carter, Layman and Sulaimon are all shooting at least 47 percent from the field, with Maryland's two big men, Carter and Stone, closing in on 60 percent.
Every player has an offensive rating of at least 116, with 100 signifying quality play. Anything near 120 is golden, and that's where all of these players are. Bring it together, and this is as dominant a five-man offensive group as you'll find in the sport.
When Trimble was at his worst, it took a nearly team-wide dry spell for Michigan to beat Maryland by a basket on its home court. Anything less than that, and Maryland's excruciatingly hard to even challenge. The Terps have a limited bench, but there's hardly a deeper team in the country.