College Basketball

When Trimble Trembles: How Melo’s Slump is Affecting the Maryland Terrapins

Melo Trimble dribbles in a game against Bowie State. Photo by Sammi Silber.

The Maryland Terrapins came into this season with an intimidating catchphrase, signified by their intro video.

“Ready or not, here I come, you can’t hide.”

As the Terps started off with an unbelievable record, they have stumbled a bit of late. The Terps have lost back-to-back games, first falling at home to Wisconsin, then falling in a terrible game against Minnesota. The Terps haven’t fallen in back-to-back match-ups since March 2014.

In these matches, the Terps have been playing with a struggling Melo Trimble. While it can be argued that Diamond Stone would’ve been useful against Minnesota (he was suspended for a foul committed against Wisconsin), it has been the Terps number one guard who is struggling.

By far, the Terps rely most on Trimble. He is a great playmaker, and he is the one who usually delivers the heroics. The amaizng behind-the-back passes, the breakouts, the Stone dunks and the buzzer-beater threes. However, all of that has been gone… almost as if he is absent from some of the game.

In his last five games, Trimble has only had four assists. Though he had 10 points against both Minnesota and Wisconsin, he has not been himself. He made one of three three-point attempts against Minnesota, and even worse, against Purdue, he made no threes out of five tries. He has no assists in three of his last fives, along with a chilling 17 turnovers.

What is even worse is that while Maryland has never experienced a losing streak since Trimble’s tenure in College Park, Melo has never had such difficulty shooting. He was 3-11 from the field in Minnesota and has only made 12 of 45 shots from the field.

His frustration is clearly showing, but his teammates are not too worried about his slump.

“We have so much confidence in Melo. We’re not worried about him,” senior forward Jake Layman said. “He’s going to get into the gym and get extra shots up, get himself going again. He’ll be fine.”

As the Terps prepare for the Big Ten Championship, as well as NCAA Tournament play (March Madness is right around the corner), there is still a lot to be done. The team needs to tighten up when it comes to rebounds, stop turnovers and most importantly, reignite the spark inside of their star player and guard.

Certainly, the team needs their best player back as they start to take a dip in the standings and put up poor efforts.

According to the Washington Post, Trimble and head coach Mark Turgeon have hinted that the sophomore sensation is struggling with back and hamstring pain. The same problem plagued him during his freshman debut with the Terps and came back around Jan. 6 against Rutgers.

Teammate and guard Rasheed Sulaimon, who has been putting up insane performances of late, claims that it may just be the increased pressure on Trimble.

“I just feel like a lot of people are putting too much pressure on him. He’s putting too much pressure on himself. He has to just got out and play,” Sulaimon said. “we’re fine. Everyone has confidence in him, he has confidence in himself.”

We will see if Trimble can bounce back Sunday against Michigan. Opening tip is at 1 p.m. Eastern

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