ROSEMONT, Ill. – Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon has been named Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year by the media, the conference office announced Monday. Senior Dez Wells, freshman Melo Trimble and junior Jake Layman also earned various All-Big Ten honors as the Terps finished with a school-record 26 wins in their inaugural season in the league.
Wells was tagged First Team All-Big Ten (coaches) and second team (media) while Trimble landed on the first team (media) and second team (coaches). Layman earned third team honors (media) and was also named honorable by mention by the coaches. Trimble was also named to the All-Freshman Team.
“I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished. This is award is a testament to our coaching staff, players and administration who did a tremendous job preparing for our first season in the Big Ten,” Turgeon said. “I am very excited for Dez, Melo and Jake. The hard work they put in starting this summer paid off and I am very happy for this well-deserved recognition.”
“I am thrilled for Mark as he is very deserving of this honor, particularly with it being our first season in the Big Ten. Mark’s tireless work ethic and commitment helped established a new school record with 26 wins,” Maryland director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “I’m happy for the success that Dez, Melo and Jake had during this remarkable regular season.”
Turgeon led Maryland to 26 wins in the regular season, a nine-game improvement from its 17 victories in the 2013-14 season, a mark that is second among schools in the Power Five conferences. Maryland – which finished second in the Big Ten – cracked the Associated Press poll Top 10 for first time since Feb. 3, 2003 – a span of 12 seasons and has been ranked among the Associated Press Top 25 poll for 15 consecutive weeks, the longest such streak since 2002-03.
Under the guidance of Turgeon, who is in his fourth year at the helm of the Terrapin program, Maryland finished its inaugural season in the Big Ten with a perfect 9-0 home record, which included victories against then-No. 5 Wisconsin, Michigan State and Indiana. Overall, Maryland concluded with an 18-1 home mark at XFINITY Center.
Wells finished the regular season on an absolute tear, scoring in double-figures in 11 straight games, while averaging 17.7 points per game with a .527 field goal percentage during that span. He added a pair of double-doubles at Rutgers and Nebraska as the Terps reeled off seven consecutive wins to wrap up the season.
The guard/forward from Raleigh, N.C., scored 20-plus points in five games this season, including three of the last six games, and led the team in scoring (26), rebounds (7) and assists (4) in a win vs. then-No. 5 Wisconsin (2/24). He ranked ninth in scoring (15.3) and eighth in free throw pct. (.802) in the Big Ten and recently passed former Naismith Player of the Year Joe Smith on Maryland’s all-time career points list and is currently 23rd (1,343).
In his first season in College Park, Trimble led the team in scoring (16.0 ppg), assists (97) and steals (39) and paced the squad in in double-figure scoring games (28) and 20-plus point games (9). The point guard from Upper Marlboro, Md., ranked fifth in the Big Ten in points per game and first in free throw percentage (.874) and is fifth in the nation in free throws made (190). Trimble was named Most Valuable Player of the CBE Classic, averaging 21 points, three rebounds and two assists in a pair of wins over Arizona State and then-No. 13 Iowa State at the CBE Classic and scored a career-high 31 points against Arizona State (11/24), the highest mark for a Maryland freshman since former Naismith Award winner Joe Smith’s 33-point outing vs. Rider in 1993.
Layman has thrived in his new role at power forward in 2014-15, racking up 27 double-figure scoring performances. The Wrentham, Mass., native leads the squad in double-doubles (4) and ranks 18th in the Big Ten in scoring (13.1), 14th in field goal percentage (.474) and 14th in rebounding (5.9). During Wells’ seven-game absence due to a fractured wrist, Layman averaged 17.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.1 field goals, 11 field goal attempts, 5.3 free throws, 6.9 free throw attempts and 31.6 minutes as Maryland went 6-1 during the stretch with its lone loss coming to then-No. 7 Virginia.
Maryland, (26-5 overall 14-4 in B1G), ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll, will open play at the Big Ten Tournament on Friday, March 13 against the winner of Indiana-Northwestern on 6:30 p.m. EST.
Big Ten Men’s Basketball Honors
Mark Turgeon – Coach of the Year (media)
Dez Wells – First Team All-Big Ten (coaches); Second Team All-Big Ten (media)
Melo Trimble – First Team All-Big Ten (media); Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches); All-Freshman Team
Jake Layman – Third Team All-Big Ten (media); Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches)
What They’re Saying:
Senior Guard/Forward Dez Wells
”It is very humbling. This makes me want to work harder to do everything I can for my team to be successful. There is still more we want to accomplish. I share this honor with my teammates and coaches.”
Coach Turgeon taught me how to lead and be patient. He stood by me. We stood by each other. I am really excited for him. He is an outstanding coach and very deserving of the award. Coach is such a hard worker who is committed to making Maryland Basketball the very best.”
Freshman Guard Melo Trimble
“I want to thank my teammates, especially the seniors, who believed in me from the moment I got here and pushed me to work harder every day. I am very appreciative of the trust that they have in me. I also want to thank Coach Turgeon and the rest of the coaching staff for helping me make the transition to the college game.”
Junior Forward Jake Layman
“This is a tremendous honor. I appreciate all the support and encouragement from Coach Turgeon, my teammates and the staff. Last summer, I worked out with John Auslander and he really pushed and encouraged me to elevate my play to another level.”