Melo Trimble, DraftExpress's projected no. 20 pick in June's NBA Draft, is in the middle of a much improved passing sophomore season, reaping the benefits of playing alongside a talented lineup of other professional prospects.
Swap Trimble with a replacement-level point guard and Maryland isn't the No. 10 team in the country with a 23-5 record, as he is the centerpiece to KenPom's 49th-ranked offense.
I tried to calculate just how much Trimble has contributed on the offensive end for this Terrapins team, pulling information from play-by-play data. Included in the chart below is a breakdown of all points the Big Ten's top point guard has created.
The far right column, titled PRF - points responsible for - indicates the points Trimble is directly credited for, based off points he scored and points teammates scored off of his assists.
Twenty games into the season, Trimble has been directly responsible for 755 of 2,130 points, good for 35.4 percent of the team's total.
That number is even on the low side, as it doesn't include points scored off Trimble's free throw assists – free throws converted after a foul call on what would have been a Trimble assist – or points scored off his missed shots – for example, a Diamond Stone tip-in off a missed Trimble floater, so this number could even be much higher.
What's truly interesting about these numbers is the comfort and ability Trimble has dishing to all four of his 10-plus-points-per-game teammates.
He's recorded the most assists to Stone, with 34 and then going down the line: Robert Carter Jr., with 29, Rasheed Sulaimon, with 28, Jake Layman, with 21 and Jared Nickens, with 17. His set-ups clearly go outside the arc more often than not, as the order switches in terms of actual points scored off those assists. Sulaimon is the leading scorer with 82 points, then Carter with 72, Stone with 64, Layman with 53, and Nickens with 48. Sulaimon has scored 26 of his 28 shots off Trimble's assists from deep, and Nickens has only scored off 3-point attempts.
Maryland has a very balanced team in terms of individual scoring, but Trimble is the true workhorse. It's no surprise that two Terps losses came in games in which Trimble contributed fewer than 10 points worth of assists.
A year after his debut season, the Terps are still reliant on their point guard. But with such a unique talent, it's probably hard not to be.
This post was updated on 1/29 following Maryland's win over Iowa.
This post was updated on 1/31 following Maryland's win over Ohio State.
This post was updated on 2/4 following Maryland's win over Nebraska.
This post was updated on 2/8 following Maryland's win over Purdue.
This post was updated on 2/11 following Maryland's win over Bowie State.
This post was updated on 2/14 following Maryland's loss to Wisconsin.
This post was updated on 2/20 following Maryland's loss to Minnesota.
This post was updated on 2/27 following Maryland's win over Michigan.