The Maryland men’s basketball team has no shortage of weapons, but sophomore point guard Melo Trimble proved this weekend that he is chief among them.
With 12 seconds remaining and the score tied in a difficult road matchup at Wisconsin on Saturday, the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year dribbled the ball up the court and took the game into his own hands.
Instead of trying to run a play or drive to the rim, Trimble confidently stepped up and buried a long 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left to give the third-ranked Terrapins the victory.
Trimble’s shot also gave Maryland plenty of momentum heading into its Tuesday showdown with Michigan at Crisler Center. With senior guard Caris LeVert likely out for the third straight game with a lower-leg injury, the Wolverines will have their hands full defending the Terrapins’ loaded starting lineup, which also features two capable bigs in Diamond Stone and Robert Carter Jr., a talented wing in Jake Layman and a reliable shooting guard in Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon.
Stopping Maryland’s offense will be no easy task for Michigan — especially with a player like Trimble to hold it all together.
In October, the Daily caught up with the Terrapins’ star player at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago to talk about high expectations, Maryland’s recent recruiting success and spending part of the summer at a camp with Stephen Curry.
The Michigan Daily: Maryland has much higher expectations this year than in recent years. Has the team had a chance to react to those yet? Does that change anything heading into the season?
Melo Trimble: I think we’re confident as a group, but I think more so, we want to work and just keep grinding. It’ll take the little things to be a great team, and I think from the summer to the fall ’til now, I think the team — the way we’re headed, the direction we’re headed — we feel that we can do great things, and we have a good group.
TMD: This year, you’re bringing in Diamond Stone, one of the top recruits in the country who had a lot of other teams interested in him. What do you think it says about the trend of this program to be able to bring in guys like that?
MT: Once you get recruits like myself, Diamond Stone — Rasheed (Sulaimon) to transfer in, Rob Carter — recruits are starting to see Maryland. A lot of people want to go to Duke, Kentucky, all the other good schools, but it’s all about winning at the end of the day, and I think we’re gonna win. Coach (Mark) Turgeon and the coaching staff are working for this, and I think Maryland will be one of the schools that recruits want to go to.
TMD: Over the summer, you got a personal invitation from Steph Curry to go to one of his camps. What was that experience like?
MT: It was a great experience. I got a chance to train with Steph Curry, I got a chance to be beside him. It was very exciting — he was the MVP last season and won the championship, and just being beside him, seeing how he shoots the ball was a great experience.
TMD: Did you get a chance to pick his brain at all? Get any advice from him?
MT: I just asked him, “What does it take to win?” And he told me, “Work ethic.” Work, work, work, just being a leader, being myself.
TMD: There were a lot of high schoolers at the camp, too. Were you working mostly on yourself, or were you also in an instructional role?
MT: I was a teacher at the camp, I talked to young guys in the groups. It was mostly me being a leader, being very vocal. I’m not used to teaching a group of guys. It’s something I’m working on, being a leader. I think that camp was a good experience.
TMD: You’re pretty young still yourself, with just one year of college basketball under your belt. What kinds of things have you learned in that short time that you were able to impart on those younger kids?
MT: I would say, just know yourself, know what you do best, and continue to stay in the gym, because that’s what I did. I didn’t think I was gonna have the year I had last year before the season started. It just came from me getting confidence (and from) my teammates, my coaches, always having a good relationship with my coaching staff.