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Why isn't Melo Trimble getting to the free throw line anymore?

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Why isn't Melo Trimble getting to the free throw line anymore?

COLLEGE PARK -- It was the bread and butter of Melo Trimble's game as a freshman at Maryland. While he held the threat of shooting the ball from the outside against you, he could also change speeds and drive by you then show off his body control around the rim to either finish or get fouled.

That, at the very least, seemed to be the end result of a Trimble drive. He would get to the line and, being that he shot 86 percent from the stripe, it was often an efficient offensive possession.

But something has changed this season. After averaging 6.9 free throw attempts per game last season, he has shot at least seven times from the line is just two of Maryland's 19 games. As a sophomore, he is averaging just 3.9 attempts per game. He has attempted five free throws in the last four games. Total. That includes just one in 42 minutes on the floor in Tuesday night's overtime win over Northwestern.

Head coach Mark Turgeon has been beating that drum since the start of conference play, back even before the team's loss to Michigan last week.

"Melo gets the ball wherever he wants. I just wish he'd get a few more foul calls," he said. "I'd like for him to get to the line a little bit more."

"It's very physical on him right now and he is [Big Ten] Preseason Player of the Year and hopefully as the season goes on as we continue to figure out ways -- because we're going to keep driving the ball, that's what we do -- hopefully he'll get to the line a little bit more, but he's got to stay confident."

MORE TERPS: TURGEON PLAYS DIAMOND CARD AGAIN LATE IN OT WIN

There could be numerous causes for the dip. It most likely starts with familiarity, as Trimble himself pointed out on Tuesday.

"Teams are starting to strategize against me," he said. "They watch film on me."

Fouling an 87-percent free throw shooter is like handing the other team points, so more defenses are willing to back off and force him to finish over length instead of getting up into his body. He still often makes them pay with dazzling adjustments at the rim, but given the choice between that and almost automatic free throws, it is not hard to choose.

Then there is the actual act of calling a foul, which comes down to referees. Has something changed?

"Coaches are asking the refs to look at the film of how I get my fouls," Trimble said, "and refs are starting to just watch for little things and not even call fouls."

As a freshman, Trimble was the master of selling contact. He would throw his head back to emphasize a collision with a defender. That worked last season, but now becomes a "let-it-play" tell as a sophomore.

The result is a certain amount of contact on his drives that seems to go uncalled to avoid giving a phantom foul to a defender instead. Thus, that could be at least a part of his overall dip in attempts.

Ultimately, though, don't expect it to change Trimble.

"It's nothing that's in my control," he said. "So it's part of me just playing basketball and not worry about the fouls and hopefully it will come."

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Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland forward Justin Jackson will forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility to seek a career in the NBA.

Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon also says guard Dion Wiley will transfer before playing his senior season.

MORE TERPS: LEFTY DRIESELL IS FINALLY GOING TO ENTER THE HALL OF FAME

Jackson averaged 10.5 points as a freshman before missing most of the 2017-18 season with a shoulder injury.

Jackson says, "After talking with my family and weighing my options, it's my desire to turn my full attention to preparing for a career in professional basketball."

Wiley appeared in 83 career games, playing a backup role on three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under Turgeon.

Maryland was 19-13 this season, including 8-10 in the Big Ten, and failed to reach the postseason.

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Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

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Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

Long-time University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell will finally be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

This is according to NBC Sports Washington contributor Jon Feinstein.

Driesell coached the Terrapins for 17 seasons between 1969-86. While guiding the program to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT Championship, Driesell transformed Maryland into a legitimate force in college basketball.

When hired by the Terps, Driesell famously announced that he wanted to turn Maryland into the “UCLA of the East.” After only four seasons he had made it to two ACC Championship Games and his first Elite Eight appearance. His success opened the door not only for the program but the school to compete at the highest levels of competition.

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Maryland made it as high as the Elite Eight twice under the reign of Driesell. He was named ACC Coach of the Year twice and won one ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. At the time of his NIT Championship with the Terps in 1972, the NIT was held in a similar regard to the NCAA Tournament.

He is second on Maryland’s all-time wins list (348), behind Gary Williams’ 461. Driesell however, still holds the best win percentage of all Maryland coaches with 68.6 win percentage.

After Maryland, the former Duke basketball coached at James Madison for just short of a decade and ended his coaching days at Georgia State. Driesell also coached at Davidson before taking the Maryland job to combine for over 40 seasons at the head of a Division I basketball program.

The 86-year-old was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2007. He also the namesake for the NCAA’s best defensive player of the year award, which was first awarded in 2010.

The official announcement from the Naismith Hall of Fame will be during the Final Four on Saturday, March 31.

WANT MORE HOOPS?  Listen below as Troy Machir and Chick Hernandez discuss Lefty Driesell's legacy in the area and why the Terps icon was on the outside of the Hall of Fame for so long.