Maryland Terps

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Trimble believes he is good enough to play in NBA right now

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Trimble believes he is good enough to play in NBA right now

As part of a larger interview that spanned from his relationship with Steph Curry to the national championship aspirations of this Maryland team to the importance of the guys at the back end of the Terrapins' bench, CSN's Chick Hernandez brought up the topic of the NBA to sophomore guard Melo Trimble. 

"I've covered Maryland basketball since 1987 as a student and then throughout," Hernandez told Trimble, prefacing his question. "They've had some players who were going to go to the next level.

"I don't care to know if you're going to go. I want to know right now do you think you could play in the NBA."

Without hesitation, Trimble responded simply, "Yes."

MORE TERPS: ROBERT CARTER HAS A GIFT IDEA TO HELP TRIMBLE CELEBRATE HIS 21ST

Of course, that is to be expected from a player of his caliber. Now in his second collegiate season, he is one of 10 players who have been selected as finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's best point guard. He played with Team USA in the Pan American Games this past summer. He is the best player on of one of the best teams in the nation.

He should have that kind of confidence. 

In the latest edition of DraftExpress.com's 2016 NBA Mock Draft, Trimble is projected to go just outside of the lottery at No. 16 overall. That is up from earlier versions of the mock, which had him in the early 20s before he shifted into gear during the conference portion of the season. 

What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with basketball intelligence and shiftiness with the ball in his hands. He has developed a reputation as a knockdown shooter and is one of the most effective pick-and-roll point guards in the college game. 

"It's never enough," head coach Mark Turgeon said earlier this month when asked about NBA criticisms of Trimble in the face of all he does well. "A player could average 30 a game, it's never enough. It's just today's world. Melo gets the ball wherever he wants. I just wish he would get a few more foul calls."

Watch more of Chick Hernandez's interview with Melo Trimble in Wednesday's 10:30 p.m. edition of SportsNet Central on CSN. Also, tune in for Wizards Pregame Live on CSN before Wednesday's game between the Wizards and Warriors to hear more from Trimble on his relationship with Golden State star and NBA MVP Steph Curry.

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

The Terps were the only team in the Big Ten without a performance center dedicated specifically for basketball. That's about to change.

Maryland Athletics announced Tuesday a fundraising campaign to build a new Basketball Performance Center. The facility, totaling 60,000 square feet, would be home to both the men's and women's basketball teams.

The athletic department has already raised $19 million of the estimated $36 million needed to complete the project. With Tuesday's launch of the public phase of the fundraising campaign, the remaining $17 million will be funded through donations and athletic department revenues.

"It is our vision that with a new Basketball Performance Center, the university will continue its ascent in the Big Ten Conference and provide our teams with the infrastructure they need to continue striving for championships,” Athletics Director Damon Evans said at the event. “This new center will help provide a transformative experience for our student-athletes, giving them an unmatched opportunity to become top collegiate basketball players."

Maryland is one of only four schools to have won a championship in both men's and women's basketball, the men in 2002 under Gary Williams, and the women in 2006 under Brenda Frese, who's entering her 18th season with the Terps. She was named head coach of the women's team the day after the men won the National Championship in 2002. Both she and men's head coach Mark Turgeon spoke Tuesday.

“This training facility will keep both our basketball programs ahead of the curve and at the top of their games,” Frese said. “We always strive to be the best and this facility will represent that. In my 17 years at Maryland, the support we've received is incredible and I know our fans will love seeing our programs work out of the best facility in the country.”

The women's team is ranked No. 5 heading into the season, is returning all five starters and is adding the No. 3 recruiting class in the country as they try to defend their Big Ten regular-season title.

"The addition of a performance center will have an immeasurable impact on our basketball program as we strive to provide a first-class experience for our student-athletes,” Turgeon said. “The facility will upgrade nearly every facet of our program, further elevating our status in the national basketball landscape."

The men's team is a consensus top-10 team and returns every contributor from last year's team other than Bruno Fernando. The Terps will be led by senior point guard Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith, who was a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree last season.

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

Maryland basketball's season ended in disappointing fashion last season as Tremont Waters sank the Terps with a last-second layup in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Even still, NBC Sports College Basketball Talk's Preseason Top 25 has Maryland as the No. 9 team entering the season.

Sights immediately turned toward this coming season. Four freshmen enter the mix in Donta Scott, Chol Marial and Makhi and Makhel Mitchell. The first is a fill-it-up wing scorer from Philadelphia, the last two, twin 6-foot-9 big men from Washington, D.C. who wanted to stay home. Marial is a 7-foot, one-time top player in the nation who's been hampered by lower-body injuries. He'll miss time to start the season.

It won't be easy, but Marial and the twins will be tasked with replacing some of what the Terps are losing from now-Atlanta Hawk Bruno Fernando. Last year, Fernando averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. His production will be missed, but he's the Terps' only significant departure.

Here's a full breakdown of the Terps' roster:

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Darryl Morsell
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith


The length of that 'who's back' line is almost as important as who's on it. Seven key contributors return, including senior point guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith. The team will likely go as far as the two of them can carry it. Aaron Wiggins could be the x-factor that takes this team from a competitive, top-25 team to a dangerous, top-10 team. He's got all the talent and mentality to become a top-scorer on a great team. It's not always that simple, though.

There is nothing riskier than going all-in on a team coached by Mark Turgeon, but here we are. - Rob Dauster

This could be a make or break year for Mark Turgeon. He has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The last time the Terps entered the season with a Top 10 team, they never lived up to the hype. Another lackluster performance this season could heat up the hot seat for Turgeon.

But the big story is the 1-2 punch of Cowan and Smith and the depth that surrounds them. If they can put it all together, the Terps could make some noise in College Park this season.