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Turgeon unsure Trimble would have made difference in final minutes

Maryland point guard Melo Trimble reacts after an injury that sidelined him for the final 8:25 of a 69-59 loss to West Virginia.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Having relied so heavily on freshman phenom Melo Trimble throughout the season, Maryland essentially ceased to function without him.

Trimble, temporarily knocked out of Sunday night’s game by a jaw-rattling Nathan Adrian screen early in the second half, was lost for the final 8:25 when he fell and was kicked in the head by a teammate.

His absence left Maryland and coach Mark Turgeon in a bind, one they couldn’t overcome in a 69-59 NCAA tournament loss to West Virginia.

“Yeah, the first time he hit his head, he was fine,” Turgeon said. “He bounced up, everything was clear. No head (injury), nothing. Evaluated by our physician, said he could go back in.

“The second time he came out, he didn’t pass enough of the tests and his head was hurting. And they said he can’t come back.”

Trimble played 29 minutes, his fewest since Maryland’s first two blowout wins of the season, but his time was productive. He riddled West Virginia for 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds.

“Obviously Melo is pretty important to us, and lucky for us he’s been healthy all year,” said Turgeon. “We have one point guard in our program, and a really good one. And it’s the first time all year really that he couldn’t play.

“He took a beating tonight. So would the outcome have been different? We don’t know. But obviously we weren’t the same without him out there.”

Several West Virginia players said they heard Trimble’s earlier collision, when the freshman’s face contacted Adrian’s shoulder.

“It wasn’t no faking to his injury, because I heard it,” said WVU guard Daxter Miles. “But it was a good screen—those guys have got to talk.”

Turgeon’s request for a video review resulted in no foul.

“The referees looked at it and said it was clean. I don’t know if it was a clean screen, but they said it was,” Turgeon said. “They said there was no elbow.

“I saw it in real time. I don’t get to go over and look at the monitor, but they promised me that it was a clean screen. So if it’s not, they’re going to hear about it. And I told them that.”

Considering Maryland trailed by seven at the time of Trimble’s exit, Turgeon wasn’t playing the what-if game.

“I think you’ve got to give West Virginia a lot of credit tonight. They were terrific,” he said. “The press was good … and we didn’t deserve to win. We didn’t play well enough to win.

“This tournament’s about matchups. If you want to advance, you’ve got to have the right matchups, and it wasn’t a great one for us.”

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