Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Melo Trimble shines on Garden stage at Jimmy V Classic
NEW YORK — Melo Trimble is not afraid of the bright lights, even the brightest lights that Madison Square Garden provides.
In front of a sellout crowd Tuesday night at the Mecca for the Jimmy V Classic, Trimble was the best player on the floor, finishing with 25 points, including a 14-for-15 showing at the foul line, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and four turnovers as the sixth-ranked Terrapins held off Connecticut, 76-66.
Trimble’s big night was just his latest. The 6-foot-3 sophomore point guard had 23 points and 12 assists, but also eight turnovers in a Dec. 1 loss at North Carolina, and 17 points, six rebounds and four assists in a key early-season win over Rhode Island on Nov. 25. The win over the Rams featured Trimble going 7-for-7 from the floor in 27 minutes.
“His tempo, his basketball IQ, when to get other people involved, when to get [Terrapins junior forward] Robert Carter a touch and just his awareness of what his team needs at critical moments,” UConn head coach Kevin Ollie said. “He does that probably better than anyone we’ve played so far. We’ve been doing a good job against good players and stopping them, but he lived in the lane and it was a bad job by us, and me as a coach.”
In a game that included four players currently projected to be picked in the 2016 NBA Draft according to DraftExpress, Trimble had yet another opportunity to show what he can do. Tuesday night’s game was attended by approximately 40 NBA scouts, and several ex-stars from both programs. On Wednesday morning, Trimble moved up to No. 21 from No. 36 on the latest Draft Express mock.
“I don’t think about [the NBA scouts],” Trimble told SNY.tv. “It was kind of hard because we played in the Mecca. I just thought about Carmelo Anthony the whole time.”
The Knicks, by the way, don’t have a first-round pick in 2016.
Among the former Huskies and Terrapins there were Ray Allen, Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Steve Francis and Lonnie Baxter.
“He’s quick, strong and sees the floor well,” one NBA scout told SNY.tv. “He’s looking to pass first and he’s still improving. He’s in that 25-35 range.”
“I think he’s a good player, a steady point guard,” said Gordon, who played at UConn from 2001-04 and helped it to the national championship as a junior in 2004 before declaring for the NBA Draft. “I think tonight he did a good of just running the team, I think he has a bright future.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.