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Terps' Vellano doubtful for UNC game

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Terps' Vellano doubtful for UNC game

By Matt Dewhurst
CSNbaltimore.com contributor

It's been a season marred by injuries for Maryland's football program, and the final game of the year will be no exception.

Already forced to start true freshman linebacker Shawn Petty at quarterback for the last month due to a string of season-ending injuries, the Terps could be without captain Joe Vellano for it's final game of the season against North Carolina.

Vellano was listed as doubtful on this week's injury report released Nov. 22 after being seen in a walking boot following Maryland's 41-14 loss to Florida State Nov. 17.

Vellano is tied with Darin Drakeford - who ironically has been ruled out of the UNC game - for the team lead in sacks with six.

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Career night propels Melo Trimble to another Big Ten Player of the Week award

Career night propels Melo Trimble to another Big Ten Player of the Week award

Melo Trimble is the straw that stirs the No. 24 Maryland Terrapins' drink, and during the team's most important week of the regular season, we saw just how important he is.

The junior guard scored a career-high 32 points in a pivotal road victory against a NCAA Tournament-bound Northwestern team, and followed it up with 27 points in a tough road loss against then No. 11 Wisconsin.

The two-game performance was enough for the Big Ten to award Trimble with Player of the Week honors, the fourth time he has received the award.

Trimble made 12 of his 17 field goal attempts against the Wildcats, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also contributed three assists and grabbed four rebounds. Against Wisconsin, he scored the bulk of his 27 points in the second half, but struggled from the free throw line, making just 5 of his 10 attempts.

Against the Wildcats, Trimble carried the load, putting the team on his back, and it was more than enough.

He attempted to do the same against the Badgers, but needed some extra help. That's where the Terps have struggled this season. Freshman Justin Jackson, Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan have the ability to do so, but they are still just freshman, meaning consistent output on the road late in the season is far from a guarantee.

But one thing is for sure, Melo Trimble continues to prove that he is the type of player that can single-handily carry a team to the NCAA Tournament's second weekend.

The Big Ten knows this, and it won't be long before the rest of the country does too.

RELATED: TERPS CONTINUE TO SLIDE DOWN AP TOP 25 POLL

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Terps' Top 25 slide continues following matinee loss at Wisconsin

Terps' Top 25 slide continues following matinee loss at Wisconsin

The Maryland Terrapins finished their toughest week of Big Ten play with a 1-1 split, defeating the surprisingly strong Northwestern Wildcats 74-64, before falling to the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers in Madison on Sunday, 71-60.

The loss was the Terps' third in five games since rising to as high as the No. 17 team in the AP Top 25 poll.

But with just four games left on the regular season schedule, Maryland finds itself barely holding on to a spot in the polls, coming in at No. 24 this week, one spot lower than last week.

Junior guard Melo Trimble continues to stir the drink for the Terps, but the lack of scoring options hurt the Terps in the second half against a deep, talented Wisconsin team.

Trimble scored 27 points against the Badgers, which came on the heels of his career-high 32 points against the Wildcats. But Justin Jackson, Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter, the Terps' next three top scorers, combined for just 16 points against Wisconsin.

Up next for Maryland is a home game against a desperate Minnesota team looking for a quality win to boost their tournament resume.

After the Wednesday night home game against the Golden Gophers, the Terps will host Iowa, another potential bubble team, on Saturday night. 

LATEST ASSOCIATE PRESS TOP 25 POLL

Rank. Team (1st Place Votes), Record. Previous Rank
1. Gonzaga (59), 28-0. 1
2. Villanova (5), 26-2. 2
3. Kansas (1), 24-3. 3
4. Arizona, 25-3. 5
5. UCLA, 24-3. 6
6. Oregon, 24-4. 7
7. Louisville, 22-5. 8
8. North Carolina, 23-5. 10
9. Baylor, 22-5. 4
10. Duke, 22-5. 12
11. Kentucky, 22-5. 13
12. West Virginia, 21-6. 9
13. Florida, 22-5. 15
14. Purdue, 22-5. 16
15. Cincinnati, 24-3. 18
16. Wisconsin, 22-5. 11
17. SMU, 24-4. 19
18. Virginia, 18-8. 14
19. Florida State, 21-6. 17
20. Saint Mary's, 24-3. 22
21. Notre Dame, 21-7. 25
22. Butler, 21-6. 24
23. Creighton, 22-5. 20
24. Maryland, 22-5. 23
25. Wichita State, 25-4. NR