Melo Trimble

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Maryland’s Stone, Trimble to enter NBA Draft

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With forward Robert Carter Jr. having already decided to forego his remaining college eligibility, Maryland announced two more important NBA Draft decisions Monday night.

Freshman forward Diamond Stone and sophomore point guard Melo Trimble have both decided to enter the 2016 NBA Draft. However, while Stone will sign with an agent and as a result end his college career, Trimble will not be signing with an agent. Trimble would have until May 25 per the new NCAA rules to withdraw from the draft should he decide to return to Maryland for another season.

Stone’s decision to hire representation isn’t all that surprising, as he arrived on campus as a McDonald’s All-American ranked sixth in the Class of 2015 by Rivals.com. Stone averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a freshman, and DraftExpress.com projects him to be picked 23rd in the June draft.

Trimble’s projected to be an early second round selection, a tough spot to land given the difference in contract guarantees (or lack thereof) compared to a first round choice. As a sophomore Trimble led the Terps in both points and assists, averaging 14.8 points and 4.9 assists per contest. Trimble’s scoring average dropped some from his freshman season, when he averaged 16.3 points per game, but this was to be expected given the other weapons at his disposal.

Unfortunately his percentages also dropped, going from 43.8 to 41.4 percent shooting from the field and from 40.0 to 33.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Trimble’s decision is a critical one for Mark Turgeon as he and his staff prepare for 2016-17. While rising junior Jaylen Brantley would have a season of Division I experience under his belt, he played just 8.4 minutes per contest. Should Trimble remain in the draft even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of incoming freshman guards Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter.

NEW PODCAST! Duke/Carolina, top five teams and a weekend preview

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It’s Friday, which means time for another episode of the NBC Sports College Basketball Talk Podcast. Host Rob Dauster and Raphielle Johnson got together to discuss some of the major happenings from this week, most notably No. 20 Duke’s win at No. 5 North Carolina.

How concerned should we be about the Tar Heels, especially their guard play? What can Duke do to keep this run going with another player (Matt Jones) being lost to injury?

Also discussed are the three other losses taken by teams ranked in the Top 5 this week, No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 Iowa and No. 5 Maryland. Which one has the biggest issues to deal with in regards to preparing for a run in the NCAA tournament? There’s also chatter about whether or not a certain Kentucky Wildcat deserves to be in the national Player of the Year conversation, which Big East team is best equipped to play deep into March (Villanova or Xavier?), and some of the big games on the schedule for this weekend.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher. Or if you so choose, just click the “play” button on the audio player below. Thanks for listening!

No. 4 Maryland refocuses, slows down No. 18 Purdue

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No. 18 Purdue and No. 4 Maryland exchanged leads for most of the first 33 minutes before the Boilermakers scored five straight points on layups by Rapheal Davis (who was fouled on his make) and Caleb Swanigan. Purdue was getting the touches it wanted around the basket, and Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins weren’t doing a whole lot to keep it from happening either.

Turgeon called a timeout to get his team back in sync defensively, and as a result Maryland went on a 9-0 run that ultimately led to their winning by the final score of 72-61.

Maryland’s big men, Robert Carter Jr. and Diamond Stone, did a much better job down the stretch of keeping Purdue from getting the ball inside to senior center A.J. Hammons. Hammons finished the game with 18 points and ten rebounds, but only two of those points came after Maryland’s 9-0 second half run. But keeping the ball from getting inside is just as much about the players defending the passers as it is keeping the big(s) from getting to his preferred spot.

Defensively Maryland took away the passing angles and essentially made Purdue’s guards make plays, something they’ve struggled with at times this season. That led to far too many perimeter shots for Purdue, which shot 3-for-23 on the day from beyond the arc. Add in the fact that they attempted just five free throws as a team, making two, and areas in which the Boilermakers can benefit went neglected in College Park.

By comparison Maryland was able to make a habit of going to the foul line, shooting 24-for-27 from the charity stripe with Rasheed Sulaimon and Melo Trimble combining to go 17-for-19 on the day. The foul line helped Trimble make up for an off day from the field, as he shot 2-for-12, but the sophomore’s ability to work off of ball screens ultimately opened things up for Maryland even with his shots not falling.

Add in the fact that Sulaimon (21 points, ten rebounds) and Carter (19 points, seven rebounds) were able to pick up the slack, with Diamond Stone adding 12 points and six rebounds, and it’s easy to see why Maryland was able to turn things around down the stretch.

Maryland’s been a good defensive team this season, but they got away from that for a significant portion of Saturday’s game. A key timeout to get the team refocused paid off, the the Terrapins defending at a level that made it incredibly difficult for Purdue to get anything going. And as a result, Maryland remains within a game of leaders Iowa and Indiana in the Big Ten title race.

Stone, Trimble lift No. 4 Maryland to 70-65 win over Huskers

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Freshman Diamond Stone had 16 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high eight blocks, and No. 4 Maryland held off Nebraska 70-65 on Wednesday night.

Melo Trimble had 14 of his 20 points in the second half as the Terrapins overcame a slew of turnovers to remain a half-game behind conference co-leaders Indiana and Iowa.

Stone dunked off an assist from Trimble to give the Terps (20-3, 9-2 Big Ten) the lead for good, 60-58, and he dunked again after rebounding Jake Layman’s missed free throw to make it 66-61 with 2 minutes to play.

The Huskers were within three points when Trimble put the game away with two free throws with 8.2 seconds left.

Andrew White III had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Nebraska (12-11, 4-6). Shavon Shields was just 4 of 17 from the field and finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Maryland committed 18 turnovers, its most in a conference game this season, but the Huskers converted them into only nine points. Nebraska was unable to overcome its season-worst 31.8-percent shooting.

The Terps blocked a season-high 13 shots.

Nebraska was within 68-65 with 35 seconds left when Shields fouled Stone, an 81 percent free-throw shooter. Stone missed his third straight free throw of the game, though, but he was able to block Shields’ layup try at the other end.

After White missed what would have been a tying 3-point attempt, Layman came up with the rebound. Trimble was fouled and shot the clinching free throws.

The Terps had lots of chances to put away the game but couldn’t against a Nebraska team that has dropped four of five Big Ten home games.

Maryland turned the ball over 13 times in the first half and mostly got away with it because of Nebraska’s poor shooting. The Huskers brought the crowd to their feet when White dunked a lob from Benny Parker to tie it 27-27. After Layman’s hook-shot air ball, Jake Hammond made a free throw to put Nebraska in front by a point, but Stone’s jumper from the free throw line gave the Terrapins a 29-28 halftime lead.

TIP-INS

Maryland: Stone has scored in double figures in 16 of the past 19 games. … The Terps lead the nation in wins (19-2) in games decided by six points or less the past two seasons. … They entered the game as the only team in Big Ten to have five players averaging 10 or more points.

Nebraska: The Huskers were assessed a bench technical early in second half after Trimble stripped the ball from Shields right in front of coach Tim Miles. … They matched their season low with six turnovers and have had 10 or fewer in five straight games. … Glynn Watson Jr. has scored 10 or more points in seven straight games.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts No. 18 Purdue on Saturday.

Nebraska hosts Rutgers on Saturday.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: It’s Buddy Hield and then everyone else

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There’s no denying it at this point: Buddy Hield is the favorite to win the Player of the Year award in college basketball this season.

Anyone that says otherwise is being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian, and there are a couple of reasons for that. For starters, Hield is having the most efficient season of any high-usage player in the KenPom era. I explained this in detail yesterday (right here), but for simplicity’s sake, no one in the last 13 years has been as potent offensively as Buddy. Not J.J. Redick or Adam Morrison or Stephen Curry or Jimmer Fredette or Doug McDermott. No one.

He’s also the only player since the 1994-95 season to shoot at least eight threes per game and make more than 52.0 percent of those threes. The closest anyone came to that was Troy Hudson of Southern Illinois, who shot 51.1 percent on 8.7 3PAs per game.

So yes, Hield is having a historically great season.

But he’s not the only guy on this list that’s doing so.

Providence guard Kris Dunn is one of just two players since 1994-95 (that’s the reference point because it’s as far back as this database goes) to average at least 17 points, six boards and six assists in a season, and he’s the only one to do all of that while also notching three steals per night.

The other guy to do that?

Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, who is the only player to average 18 points, seven boards and six assists in the last 21 years. That would usually lock Valentine in as the hands-down favorite to win, at the very least, the Big Ten Player of the Year award, except Jarrod Uthoff is currently averaging 2.5 blocks and shooting 46.4 percent from three, something that no one has done (while averaging more than two 3PAs per game) since 1994.

Should I mention that Uthoff is also averaging 18.6 points for a top five team that is currently sitting in first place in the Big Ten standings?

And I haven’t even mentioned BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth, who is on pace to be the first player in that database to average at least 15 points, seven boards and seven assists.

In other words, that’s a really long way of saying that Hield is not the only player in college basketball having an unbelievable season. So saying that this is Hield’s award to lose at this point isn’t a shot at anyone else in the field, because he’s one shooting slump away from looking relatively mortal, and shooting slumps can happen to the best of them. (Ask Marcus Paige).

What it is, however, is a sign of just how good Hield — and Oklahoma — have been this year.

Anyway, here are the Power Rankings. You can follow along with the countdown on the CBT Facebook page right here.

SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 6 Villanova, No. 8 Maryland earn road wins

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Boston University 75, Lehigh 73

The matchup between two teams in the middle of the pack in the Patriot League wasn’t decided until time expired, as BU’s John Papale tossed in a shot after nearly turning the ball over. Cheddi Mosely scored 18 points and Eric Fanning 16 for the Terriers, who had five players in double figures. Lehigh’s Tim Kempton led all scorers with 24 points while also grabbing 11 rebounds.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 8 Maryland 66, Ohio State 61: Melo Trimble scored 20 points and Jake Layman added 16 and ten boards as Maryland completed a season sweep of the Buckeyes. The Terrapins managed to gut out the win in Columbus thanks to some timely shots late from Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon, and a defense that limited Ohio State to 35.6 percent shooting from the field. With the win Maryland remains a game behind No. 3 Iowa and No. 19 Indiana in the Big Ten standings.

No. 6 Villanova 68, St. John’s 53: This game was noteworthy because the Wildcats played without starting center Daniel Ochefu, who didn’t make the trip due to a concussion suffered in practice. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins picked up the slack as both posted double-doubles, with Hart finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jenkins 14 and ten. The Wildcats struggled offensively, shooting less than 37 percent from the field and committing 20 turnovers, but they were still too much for a St. John’s team that has now lost 12 straight.

Colorado 70, California 62: The Golden Bears have won one game away from Berkeley this season: at Wyoming. That remains the case as they lost to the Buffaloes in Boulder. Colorado rebounded from a slow start, as they made just two of their first 20 shots, to move to 6-3 in Pac-12 play. Josh Scott led three Buffs in double figures with 18 points, while Cal’s Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 21 points.

STARRED

Fred VanVleet, Wichita State: VanVleet scored a career-high 32 points in the Shockers’ win at Evansville. He also limited Jaylon Brown, who scored 18 in the first meeting, to seven points and five turnovers.

Chris Boucher, Oregon: 26 points, ten rebounds and seven blocks in the Ducks’ win at Arizona State.

Dion Wright, St. Bonaventure: 19 points and 14 rebounds in the Bonnies’ 16-point win over Richmond.

STRUGGLED

A.J. Davis, UCF: Davis made just one of his 11 shot attempts, scoring seven points and grabbing seven rebounds in the Knights’ 67-41 loss to UConn.

Leo Vincent, Southern Illinois: Vincent shot 1-for-7 from the field, scoring three points in the Salukis’ 67-58 loss at Northern Iowa.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 3 Iowa rebounded from its first conference loss by beating Northwestern, 89-71. Peter Jok scored 26 points and Jarrod Uthoff, who failed to reach double figures for the first time this season in Thursday’s loss at Maryland, added 23 for the Hawkeyes. Tre Demps led all scorers with 30.
  • No. 12 Michigan State won its third straight game, this time blowing out Rutgers 96-62. Denzel Valentine scored 20 points and Bryn Forbes 18 for the Spartans, who made 17 three-pointers. Four players scored in double figures for the Spartans and two, Matt Costello (14) and Deyonta Davis (11) reached double digits in rebounds.
  • If anyone in the Valley was going to catch No. 22 Wichita State, Evansville needed to beat the Shockers today. They didn’t as Wichita State won 78-65 with Fred VanVleet scoring a career-high 32 points to lead the way. Wichita State’s now 10-0 in league play, three games ahead of the Purple Aces (who they’ve swept the season series from) and Southern Illinois.
  • Chris Boucher produced the best game of his Oregon career in the 23rd-ranked Ducks’ 91-74 win at Arizona State. The 6-foot-10 senior finished with 26 points, ten rebounds and seven blocked shots. With the win Oregon became the second Pac-12 team to get a road sweep this season, joining Utah.
  • Demetrius Jackson returned to the lineup for No. 25 Notre Dame, which took care of Wake Forest 85-62. Jackson finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and six steals, and Zach Auguste scored a team-high 21 points to go along with 12 boards.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • After winning ten of 11 games, Wright State has now lost two straight after falling 75-68 at Detroit Sunday afternoon. The Raiders now trail Valparaiso, who they beat January 22, by two games in the Horizon League standings.
  • There’s still a four-way tie atop the Summit League standings, as IUPUI beat North Dakota State 73-72 in Indianapolis. Jordan Pickett scored 20 for the Jaguars, who are 7-2 in league play (as are South Dakota State, Omaha and IPFW).
  • George Washington avoided a bad loss, as they got going offensively in the second half of their 76-70 win at George Mason. Having already lost at Saint Louis, the Colonials could not afford to fall in Fairfax as well.
  • Also 5-3 in Atlantic 10 play is St. Bonaventure, which took care of Richmond 84-68 in Olean Sunday afternoon. Marcus Posley scored 26 points and Dion Wright added 19 and 14 boards for the Bonnies.
  • Amida Brimah made his return from a broken finger in UConn’s 67-41 win over UCF. Brimah scored six points and blocked two shots, and Shonn Miller led the way offensively with 11 points.
  • William & Mary erased a 12-point halftime deficit, beating James Madison 68-62. Prior to the defeat the Dukes were undefeated on the road this season.
  • Wisconsin held off Illinois, 63-55, moving their win streak in the series to nine games. Nigel Hayes scored 17 points but the key for Greg Gard’s team was their defense, as Illinois shot just 36 percent from the field.