Half of Terps' recruiting class plays at Capital Classic all-star game

Nickens scores 13, Trimble has 14 and 5 assists; Reed hurt, Wiley out as U.S. wins

April 26, 2014|By Don Markus | The Baltimore Sun

ALEXANDRIA, VA. — The 41st Capital Classic at T.C. Williams High on Saturday night was supposed to be a local showcase for four of Maryland's highly touted, five-player recruiting class.

Those hopes were scuttled when 7-foot-11/2 center Trayvon Reed showed up wearing a boot on his sprained right ankle and shooting guard Dion Wiley didn't show up at all, telling the promoters Friday that he had a family commitment.

While the two who did play — McDonald's All-American guard Melo Trimble and small forward Jared Nickens — showed flashes of what attracted Mark Turgeon's attention, a pair of power forwards wound up as the game's stars.

Angel Delgado, a 6-8, 215-pound forward from Elizabeth, N.J., headed to Seton Hall, led a second-half comeback, and finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds in the U.S. team's 139-134 victory. He was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Chinanu Onuaku, who was recruited by Maryland but eventually chose Louisville, came off the bench to lead the Capital All-Stars with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

As for the College Park-bound players, Nickens showed good range, a pure stroke and even in a shoot-first setting didn't force too many shots. He finished with 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting, including 3-for-7 on 3-pointers.

“I didn't want to go out and do too much,” Nickens said. “I came out and did what I do best — I shot the ball. I had a nice dunk. I was looking to have fun and compete at the same time.”

Until the fourth quarter, Trimble looked like he had played in one too many all-star games.

But after Nickens hit a 3-point shot to cut the Capital lead to 110-108 with a little under nine minutes left, Trimble made a strong move that resulted in a three-point play and then used his strong upper body to fend off a couple of defenders for a short banked drive. He finished with 14 points and five assists.

“That is my game, I'm more of a physical player,” said Trimble, who is expected to start at the point for the Terps next season. “I guess the Big Ten is right for me.”

Sitting at the end of the U.S. bench in a black warmup suit, Reed said he was aware of the recent turnover on Turgeon's roster, and hoped to contribute for the Terps as a freshman, particularly on the defensive end.

Reed, who said he hurt his ankle three weeks ago “running the bases playing baseball” at his high school, knows what is expected of him. He followed the Terps during their disappointing 17-15 season in 2013-14 and thinks he can help shore up one major deficiency.

“I feel like from a defensive standpoint, they could have done a little better,” Reed said. “Knowing that they didn't make it to the [NCAA] tournament, that just makes me hungry to go there and grind and try to get to the tournament, most definitely. Try to win a national championship.”

Reed and his two fellow future Terps expect to be on campus for summer school June 2.

“Turgeon and [assistant coach Dustin] Clark called me this morning and they want me to keep my body in shape and keep working out,” Trimble said. “I just can't wait to get to Maryland.”

Nickens knows there will be playing time available after the departure of rising junior shooting guard Nick Faust (City) and rising sophomore point guard Roddy Peters.

“Coach told me there's going to be a lot of minutes [to compete for],” Nickens said. “I'm going to work hard and get my body ready.”

NOTES: The two Baltimore-area players, Phil Booth Jr. (Mount St. Joseph) and Dwayne Morgan (St. Frances) finished with seven points and six points, respectively.

don.markus@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sportsprof56

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