Melo Trimble was named to the Preseason All-Big Ten Conference Team, but he was snubbed not to be named the best player in the conference.
We were the most ecstatic fans in Maryland when the news came out that Melo Trimble would return to College Park. We named Episode 2 of the podcast “He’s Back” and dedicated a good portion of the show celebrating his decision not to enter the NBA Draft.
Much of the discussion was centered on how important he would be to the Maryland Terrapins. The guard entered last season as the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and will have an even bigger role this year.
After leading his team to a Sweet 16 run, he did not earn that honor once again. The only starter returning to the Terps this season did make the conference team, but considering what is ahead of him, you wonder how he was not named the favorite once again.
Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes was given the honor this season. He is the lone returning player that made last year’s All-Big Ten First Team last season, which likely helped him earn the coaches vote. But the fact that two other Badgers have been named to the team make you question why they believe he will be the top player in the conference.
Trimble will be asked to lead a team that lost Diamond Stone, Jake Layman, Rasheed Sulaimon and Robert Carter Jr. Even with the new supporting cast around Trimble, the Terps are ranked No. 22 in the preseason polls. That is an indication that coaches believe Melo can once again be a force for Maryland.
Melo led the Terps in scoring (14.8 ppg) and assists (4.9) in a year in which he battled a nagging hamstring injury. The program has won 27 games in back-to-back seasons with the Upper Marlboro native at the helm and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003.
In order for the Terps to stay competitive in the Big Ten this season, Trimble will have to do more. He will need to average 20 or more points a game as the next leading scorer to return is Jared Nickens, who averaged 5.4 points a year ago.
Denzel Valentine earned the postseason honor last season, deservingly so. He was a triple-double machine and was heavily relied on by Michigan State. It will be a similar situation for Trimble this season as he could lead not only the Terps, but the conference in points, assists, steals and free throw percentage.
Trimble could go down in history as one of the greatest Maryland Terrapins of all time with a terrific 2016-17 season. He could smash several program records this year and will have to lead a young team in order to make it back to the NCAA Tournament.
If Melo Trimble earns the postseason honor this year, we called it here first. We were right about the football team’s 4-0 start, the basketball team’s ranking in the opening polls and will be right about this prediction too. Expect great things from the junior guard this season.