The Melo Trimble era is over in College Park. Still, head coach Mark Turgeon and Maryland basketball have plenty of upside heading into this season.
Last season was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Mark Turgeon and Maryland basketball. They lost four key players from the 2015-16 squad, including Rasheed Sulaimon, Robert Carter, Jake Layman and Diamond Stone, who either graduated or went pro. Star sophomore Melo Trimble also put his name in the draft but decided to return for his junior season.
That was huge for the team but they were still projected to finish as low as tenth in some preseason conference polls. With so many underclassmen in the rotation, you wouldn’t have blamed Maryland for falling into the back of the pack in the Big Ten. But Turgeon completed one of his best coaching jobs since he arrived at College Park.
The Terrapins finished the season with a 24-9 (12-6) record and finished in the top-tier of the Big Ten. The team was led by All-Conference Trimble, who averaged 16.8 ppg and 3.7 apg. His biggest moment was his game-winning 3-pointer to beat Michigan State in the regular season.
As the leader, he led the team to a successful season and ultimately a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. While they did lose to No. 11 seed Xavier in the first round, the postseason experience will be important moving forward for the young players. That experience will be relied upon as Trimble elected to forego his senior season to enter the NBA draft.
While there’s no current star on the team, but there are a few who showed great potential even in their smaller roles. This season and the next couple will depend on the continuing development of the 2016 Maryland basketball recruiting class.