2016-2017 Overall Rank: #16
Conference Rank: #4 Big Ten
Following a trip to the Sweet Sixteen, Maryland will hope to continue that success in 2016-2017. With Melo Trimble back, the Terrapins have a great chance to reach for bigger things this season. Trimble had a bit of a disappointing sophomore season. His three-point shooting percentage dropped to 31.5 percent and he has already proven that he can shoot ten percent higher than that. Regardless of the bit of a sophomore slump, Trimble still led the team with 14.8 points and 4.9 assists. If he gets back to his earlier form, Trimble will be an All-American candidate.
2015-16 Record: 27-9, 12-6
2015-16 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Turgeon
Coach Record: 114-59 at Maryland, 364-218 overall
Maryland had five players score in double digits, but Trimble is the only one returning. Diamond Stone left after his freshman campaign in which he averaged 12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. The frontcourt also lost Robert Carter early and Jake Layman who, like Stone, was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft. Carter averaged 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds, while Layman added 11.6 points and 5.3 rebounds. Layman connected on 39.6 percent from beyond the arc and was a tough matchup due to his size and shooting ability. Rasheed Sulaimon was another consistent shooter and solid all-around scorer.
Maryland brings in a very good recruiting class that includes six incoming freshmen and graduate transfer L.G. Gill. Gill comes from Duquesne where he averaged 10.1 points per game during the 2015-2016 campaign. The versatile 6-8 forward is very strong on the glass and can stretch out the defense with his outside shooting. Justin Jackson highlights the group of freshmen. The 6-7 forward is a versatile player who can play either forward spot. He should be starting from day one. Micah Thomas and Joshua Tomaic will add further depth in the frontcourt. Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter and Travis Valmon are the freshmen joining the perimeter. Cowan will likely step in as the backup point guard. The more pressure he can take off Trimble, the better. He could spend quite a bit of time running the point while Trimble spends more time off the ball. Huerter needs to add some bulk to his 6-7, 190 pound frame in order to effectively finish around the rim, but he can be a great shooter off of the bench for now.
Who to Watch:
The backcourt will need to get production from Jared Nickens and Dion Wiley. Nickens, a 6-7 wing, did nearly all of his scoring from beyond the arc and could emerge as a very good all-around scorer if he starts using his large frame to attack the basket. Wiley sat out last season, but showed a lot of promise as a freshman two years ago and will play a big role on this team if he can stay healthy. Jaylen Brantley can knock down some shots too and could play a much bigger role off of the bench if he can be more consistent. Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky will man the center spot. Dodd started 13 games last season and while he is not much of a scorer, Dodd is a solid defender.
Maryland will need to rely on their newcomers quite a bit, but Coach Mark Turgeon has brought in a very talented group that is ready to contribute right away. And with Trimble leading the way, Maryland has a superb leader who can hold down the fort while the rest of the team develops into their new roles. As long as that does not take too long, Maryland has the tools to compete for a Big Ten title.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Melo Trimble, Junior, Guard, 14.8 points per game
Dion Wiley, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Justin Jackson, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
L.G. Gill, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Damonte Dodd, Senior, Forward, 2.9 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.7 (114th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.7 (51, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.6 (12, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.7 (43, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (130, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.1 (110, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.9 (8, 1)
Rebound Margin: 2.6 (90, 5)
Assists Per Game: 13.7 (140, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.7 (182, 11)
Madness 2017 NBA Draft Rankings:
#33 Melo Trimble
Madness 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#45 Justin Jackson
#62 Anthony Cowan
#64 Kevin Huerter
#102 Micah Thomas