Maryland has just returned from its journey to the Sweet Sixteen, their first time in the Sweet Sixteen since 2003. After losing 4 of the 5 starters from last year, many were uncertain of Maryland’s future. This upcoming season, Maryland will definitely be an underrated team.
The Return of Melo Trimble
On May 25th, just about every Maryland fan jumped with joy as Melo Trimble announced that he would return to Maryland for his junior season. Trimble has not only been a standout player but he has also been a leader for the team. Trimble exceeded all expectations his freshman year averaging 16.2 points per game, and 14.8 his sophomore season. Trimble is able to generate free throws; such as the 240 free throws he shot his freshman year, and 182 his sophomore year, as well as averages 5 assists per game. Trimble is the most influential player for Maryland. Remember to #StayMelo folks.
Graduate Transfer LG Gill
Once Robert Carter Jr., Diamond Stone, and Jake Layman left, Maryland was severely lacking big men. LG Gill, graduate transfer from Duquesne. In a guard-oriented team at Duquesne, he managed to average 10.1 points per game as well as leading Duquesne in rebounds at 6.5 rebounds per game. Gill had three double-doubles last year with a career high of 22 points against UMBC. Maryland has had an extremely successful history with transfers, such as Dez Wells, Richaud Pack, Robert Carter Jr. and Rasheed Sulaimon, each outstanding players that were essential to the team’s tournament success. Gill brings experience from his 3 previous years at Duquesne, along with his ability to rebound and score.
Maryland picked up 5 freshmen that are all extremely athletic. The recruiting class is ranked 11th in the nation, and 2nd in the Big Ten. Anthony Cowan is a quick guard who will be a great back up to Trimble. Kevin Huerter, Mr. Basketball in New York was part of the U-18 team for Team USA. Justin Jackson has already lost 10 lbs since he started practicing at Maryland, and is a huge pick up choosing Maryland over UConn and Oregon. Joshua Tomaic gives 100% every practice, but is still adjusting to the physicality of how basketball is played in America. Micah Thomas is arguably the most athletic player on the team; he has the highest vertical and is a great shooter. These freshmen are extremely talented and will be big factors in helping Maryland win it all.
Depth of the Bench
Trimble averaged 32 minutes per game last year. As amazing of a player he is, he does need to rest to prevent injuries and exhaustion. On the bench, there are players who could be potential starters at any other school. Coming off for Trimble, there’s both Cowan and Jaylen Brantley. Shooting for starting spot at shooting guard, there is a large competition between veterans Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens, and freshman Mr. Basketball himself. At small forward, there’s competition between all relatively new to the position Thomas, Jackson, and Nickens as he dabbled at the position through his last 2 years. At power forward, there’s competition between Gill, Ivan Bender, and Tomaic. At center, Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky will switch off.
Other than 5’11” Brantley and 5’10 walk-on Andrew Terrell, the Terps are one of the tallest teams in the Big Ten. Maryland’s team consists of 10 players above the height of 6’6, including Cekovsky who towers at 7’1”. The average height of the team is 6’5.6”. Nickens could play either shooting guard or small forward standing at 6’7”. The hope for the towering Maryland team is that they will be able to rebound, one of Maryland’s toughest challenges that they have yet to conquer, and will need to conquer on the road to the National Championship.
University of Maryland