So...we’ve already covered Maryland football pretty in depth this week, probably more than anyone wanted to read if I had to guess (other than Maryland fans!). Let’s switch sports and take a look at basketball. In case you live under a rock, Maryland PG Melo Trimble declared for the draft and signed an agent, effectively ending his college career after his junior season. Maryland loses a player that averaged 15ppg, 3.6rpg, and 4.9apg in his last season and closer to 17.1ppg overall in his career but beyond the stats Melo Trimble consistently came up big for Maryland when they needed him down the stretch in games. Whether it was a dagger three at the Kohl Center or playing hero ball getting into the lane to win a close game, Trimble did it all to get Maryland the W. Where do they look to replace him?
Anthony Cowan, PG, Sophomore
We’ve already seen Trimble’s replacement at PG this past season as Cowan took over starting PG duties as Trimble moved off the ball and they played more interchangeably between the 1 and 2 spots. Now, with Trimble gone, Cowan will have the reigns full time and will look to increase his point production at the point. Cowan showed great flashes as a freshman but hit a wall down the stretch. That isn’t to be expected but it showed that teams had adjusted to his quick pace of play and learned to stay off of him and dare him to take 3’s. He will need to better his long range shot if he wants to make the sophomore leap so that teams can’t play off of him behind the 3 point line. He has the passing ability and the quickness, but his size is a limiting factor right now. If he can develop that 3 point shot further, a poor mans version of Yogi Ferrell wouldn’t be a bad thing to have.
Kevin Huerter, SG, Sophomore
Huerter will more directly replace what Trimble did last year as he moves from the starting SF to the starting SG in the lineup. Huerter was a PG through high school and showed great floor vision last year, so presumably he will play off the ball in tandem with Cowan at the point this coming year. Huerter has amazing range on his shot but was inconsistent last year, so as he lets the game slow down going into his sophomore year he will be relied on more for his scoring ability and facilitating off the ball.
Any recruits coming to help?
In short, no. Maryland has a small recruiting class for 2017 with Bruno Fernando coming in at Center and Darryl Morsell at SG, who has been described as more of a glue player. They both bring “toughness” to the lineup but neither is going to be a replacement in any way of Melo.
In all likelihood, Maryland is really recruiting his replacement in 2018, where the local DMV class is loaded and Maryland is in the Top 3-5 for more than a handful of elite recruits. The closest commitment watch is currently Prentiss Hubb out of Gonzaga (Washington D.C.), who is the nations 5th best SG and is rumored to be deciding shortly. Many think Hubb will transition to PG at the college level which would be a great help for Maryland. Hubb has been to Maryland countless times and is considering MD, Notre Dame, and Villanova. The 247 crystal ball has him to Maryland but we’ll see.
Hubb could be the domino that gets things rolling for Maryland’s 2018 class, which will be on the larger side. Maryland is looking to take 4 players in this class, which shouldn’t be an issue with scholarships. Other local standouts that Maryland is in the chase for: Brandon Slater (PF), Jalen Smith (PF), Immanuel Quickley (PG), and Kiyon Boyd (SG). That isn’t to mention the national recruits they’re on as well so 2018 could round out to be a fantastic recruiting class.