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Maryland basketball is comfortable no matter who's taking the final shot

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While Trimble is probably still their best option, the Terps have several players who are capable of knocking down a game-winner.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Melo Trimble ended up taking Maryland's final shot when the Terps last played Wisconsin, but it's not a guarantee that he'll be the one with the ball in his hands next time the team is in a similar situation.

If the team needs a bucket with the clock approaching zero in Saturday's rematch against the Badgers, Mark Turgeon will be looking for a higher-quality shot than the NBA-range three Trimble sunk to give his team the victory in January's matchup in Madison.

"Yeah, I didn't like the shot," Turgeon said Friday. "I was already upset that we'd blown an eight-point lead in 1:15, and they made some very nice shots to get it tied. I didn't like it, just glad he made it and didn't have to go into overtime."

Many of the team's other double-digit scorers feel quite comfortable taking those kind of shots. Before coming to Maryland, they were often relied upon to do so regularly.

(Reminder: there's no such thing as a "clutch gene." Just an important thing to note now and forever. Carry on.)

"We have a lot of guys on our team that, if it came down to it, if throughout the rhythm of the game they had things going for them, they’re going to be ready and step up and have that ‘it’ factor to take that shot," said guard Rasheed Sulaimon.

The transfer from Duke had his own opportunity to sink a game-winner earlier this season against Michigan, but his contested three-pointer clanked off the rim and the Terps lost, 70-67.

"If that opportunity ever arises again, I'm going to make sure I'm prepared and I'm well-equipped and confident enough to take that shot again," he said. "Michael Jordan, probably one of the best closers, missed probably more shots than he made down the stretch, but you just have to have the confidence to continue to shoot them."

Before coming to College Park, Robert Carter Jr. had probably been the primary threat on every team he'd ever played for. As one of Maryland's secondary pieces, he's still supremely confident in his abilities if called upon late.

"I've been taking the last shot since I've been playing basketball," Carter said. "I kind of fell into that role, so I just think about myself making the shot. I doubt I have flashbacks of Jordan, Magic or somebody taking that shot. I just think about taking that shot that I've took thousands of times."

The Terps are still evolving as they approach the stretch run, and the team's last game against Wisconsin was the kind of lesson in late-game execution all teams would prefer to have. Maryland held an eight-point lead with 90 seconds remaining in the game, but somehow still needed their leading scorer to break a tie with two seconds left.

[Here's why Maryland needed Melo Trimble's three to top Wisconsin in January]

"As a coach, you're a perfectionist, and you're upset with the way the last 1:15 went, but you're relieved that you won the game," Turgeon said. "It's a lot more fun to learn when you win than learn when you lose, so his shot allowed us to learn a lot about ourselves in a victory."

Still, the team will be pretty comfortable if Trimble is indeed the one who's taking the team's final shot.

"When it came down to it, everybody on our team knew he was going to make the shot, and fortunately he did for us," Sulaimon said.