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


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."


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 lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun

Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player hospitalized after an organized team workout two weeks ago, has died.

Maryland executive athletic director Damon Evans said McNair was hospitalized on May 29 and died Wednesday.

McNair was a 6-foot-4, 325-pound offensive lineman preparing for his sophomore season. A graduate of McDonogh (Md.) High School, McNair played one game last season.

After leading McDonogh to an 8-3 record as a senior, McNair chose Maryland over Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Rutgers.

In a statement, Maryland coach DJ Durkin said, "Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair. Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team."

He added, "Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter."

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Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball


Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

Maryland basketball head coach Mark Turgeon announced earlier today that assistant coach Dustin Clark is parting ways with the program to pursue an opportunity in Texas with a family business. 

In three seasons as a full-time assistant, Clark was responsible for recruiting Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan Jr., along with incoming freshman Aaron Wiggins. 

The 35-year-old also made a point to recruit overseas, spending much of his time at the Canaris Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands, where he found former Terps center Michal Cekovsky and current redshirt freshman forward Joshua Tomaic. 

Clark will become the second member of Turgeon's staff to leave the team following this past season. Nima Omidvar, who was brought on to replace Clark as director of basketball operations in 2014, walked away to become a full-time assistant coach at South Alabama in April. 

At the start of the 2018-19 season, Bino Ranson will be the only original member of Turgeon's staff. 

Matt Brady, who has had previous head coaching stints at James Madison and Marist, will replace Clark. 

In his eight years at JMU, Brady won 139 games and enjoyed four seasons with 20 wins or more. His 2012-13 team won the Colonial Athletic Association and reached the NCAA tournament. He finished with a 73-50 overall record after four seasons at Marist. 

The news comes after a season in which the team failed to make the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 19-13, including 8-10 in Big Ten play.