RTC Preseason Big Ten POY: Melo Trimble

Posted by Alex Moscoso on November 12th, 2015

Maryland’s remarkable turnaround in the past 12 months has been a hot topic in the run up to this season. Mark Turgeon has transformed the proud but suffering program back into national title contenders, and while the head coach who engineered everything certainly deserves a great deal of the credit, the primary catalyst on the floor has been sophomore guard Melo Trimble. The Arlington, Virginia, native was a highly regarded four-star recruit coming out of high school, but no one expected him to immediately dominate in the manner that he did last season. To wit, Trimble finished an All-Big Ten freshman campaign by averaging 16.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG and 3.0 APG. In the offseason, he decided to spurn the NBA to lead an upgraded Maryland roster to a Big Ten title and Final Four before making the jump. There wasn’t much doubt about it: Melo Trimble is the RTC Big Ten microsite preseason Player of the Year.

Melo Trimble is the best player on the best team in the B1G. (David J. Philip/AP)

Melo Trimble is the best player on the best team in the B1G. (David J. Philip/AP)

Trimble was so effective because of his ability to both shoot the three (41.2%) and score inside (55.1% field goal shooting at rim). The shot chart below shows how most of his field goal attempts came from those two spots on the court. Additionally, his slashing ability earned him a large number of trips to the charity stripe: Trimble shot a Big Ten-best 240 free throws last season, where he made opposing teams pay for fouling him (86.3%). This combination of threes, shots at the rim and free throws made him one of the most efficient players in the league, as evidenced by his true shooting percentage of 62.8 percent (second in the Big Ten).

trimble shot

This season — in addition to maintaining his scoring — Trimble will need to embrace the role of distributor more forcefully. While the sophomore was near the top of the Big Ten in several scoring categories, he finished outside the top 10 in assist percentage and logged a rather pedestrian 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. He’ll have a more talented roster around him this year with the additions of Diamond Stone, Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon, and all three of these talented newcomers will need their point guard to effectively put them in position to score. What’s more, the new pieces will look to him as the veteran for leadership in making this unfamiliar group of players bond into a cohesive unit. So there are definitely a few areas of potential improvement for the super sophomore, but we’re convinced Trimble is the perfect player to guide this Maryland program to a Big Ten title and deep NCAA Tournament run this season.

Alex Moscoso (170 Posts)

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