What’s that old commercial? Is it the shoes? Maybe it was for Maryland guard Melo Trimble in Tuesday night’s game between the United States and Venezuela as part of the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
Trimble, wearing Team USA Nikes instead of the Under Armours we’ve grown accustomed to seeing him wear with the Terrapins, looked unable to find a level of comfort in the first half of the United State’s 85-62 win in Canada.
OK. Shoes probably weren’t at the center of it. But there are some valuable takeaways.
Trimble did not start, with coach Mark Few giving that spot to former NBA guard Bobby Brown, instead coming off the bench to unofficially tally five points on 2-of-5 shooting with two assists and four turnovers.
For all of his struggles in the first half, the second half featured a more poised and comfortable Trimble to do his part in helping Team USA to a win.
Here are five things you need to know.
1) The entire U.S. team looked out of sync in the first half
Give credit to Venezuela. As they emphasized ball movement on one end of the floor, they zoned the United States and Team USA fell back into a lot of one-on-one sets without much ball movement.
The Americans had only one assist in the first half, which happened to be a Trimble dish to former NBA first-round pick Anthony Randolph, who then hit a three fading off a pick-and-roll.
2) The international game is much more physical than college
ESPN color commentator made a witty off-hand comment during the first half, saying that contact on a particular Team USA entry into the post would have gotten that player some jail time in New York City.
These are grown men, many of whom are professionals, and the physicality comes with that. At times, that bothered Trimble, especially because of this:
3) Venezuela brought the pressure
Combine that physicality with a Venezuelan game plan that brought the pressure, especially against the Team USA guards, and it was clear that it would be difficult for Trimble to get comfortable.
The Maryland sophomore turned the ball over three times in the first half, once giving in to full-court pressure, once on a five-second inbounds call, and another time amidst more Venezuelan ball pressure when he tried to go behind his back and lost control.
4) Team USA storms back in second half
After trailing 41-33 at halftime, the United States stormed back to take a 48-46 lead by the point of under three minutes to go in the third quarter.
Most of that was done with Brown running the point and Wichita State’s Ron Baker at the shooting guard spot with Trimble remaining on the bench.
5) Melo holds the fort
Team USA has only two point guards on its roster, Trimble and Brown. After the United States retook the lead in the second half, Brown needed a breather and Trimble provided that by taking over the offense and keeping the lead intact.
He looked more comfortable and poised in that second half, despite registering his fourth turnover. Included in the half was a slashing layup by Trimble that showed off his body control around the rim and a dish to NBA veteran Damien Wilkins for a made corner three.
Both of which were very solid.