Superstar Melo Trimble and the Maryland Terrapins are off to a fast and furious start to college basketball season. Jacksonville State doesn't pose much of a challenge tonight, but the betting spread indicates that the Gamecocks could be competitive.
The only thing negative that can be said about Maryland can be said for a lot of other top rated teams and that is that they have easy early season schedules and ease their way into inter-conference play. This is where teams such as Maryland pad their record against the likes of Jacksonville State. What's surprising to me is that Maryland is a mere 13 1/2 point betting favorite as I thought the number would be a bit higher.
He might not ever be as good as "The other Melo who play's for the New York Knicks", but Melo Trimble has been a consistent performer for the Maryland Terrapins in his first two years at the collegiate level and now Trimble's success has carried over to his junior year as he leads the Terps in scoring 17.2 points per game.
This is a player that along with being a major offensive threat, can dish the rock, grab a few rebounds, and play outstanding defense. Trimble is coming off of a rare poor outing in Maryland's 66-56 win over St. Peter's. He finished the game with just 5 points and 4 assists and took just 4 shots overall in 26 minutes of play. As their schedule becomes tougher, Maryland will need Trimble to be more selfish as he carries this team offensively. Expect Trimble to look for his shot more often against Jacksonville State and he should get a lot of open looks.
Justin Jackson is another player to keep an eye on as he's had a strong start to his freshman season. Jackson had one of his best games this season against St. Peter's as he finished with 19 points and 5 rebounds in just 25 minutes. I look for Jackson to come into this game with extra confidence and be another go-to guy while manning the boards.
From a Jacksonville State perspective, all eyes will be on 3-point specialist and leading scorer, Erik Durham. Durham has converted on 54.4% of his 3 point attempts and much like Trimble, he need's to look for his shot more often in order for the Gamecocks to be competitive with a team such as Maryland.
As I stated earlier, I thought the spread was too low and I look for Maryland to beat up on lesser competition while they have the opportunity.