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Seth Trimble debuts reworked jump shot, turns heads with poster dunk in win over UC Riverside

UNC sophomore guard Seth Trimble (7) runs in for a layup during UNC's victory over UC Riverside on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 in the Dean Smith Center. UNC won 77-52.

Seth Trimble closed his eyes.

He leapt for the basket, shut his eyes, slammed his hands down and the Dean E. Smith Center roared.

He came, he didn’t see and he dunked.

“Oh my god,” Trimble’s roommate, sophomore Jalen Washington, said with wide eyes about Trimble’s first college poster.

Meanwhile, junior transfer Harrison Ingram could see the highlight forming before it even happened.

“I knew right when he caught that ball, I was like ‘Oh shh, oh lord,” Ingram said. “It's about to be bad. When he went up I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s over.’”  

Trimble’s 11-point performance — which included the debut of his reworked jump shot — in the Tar Heels' 77-52 win over UC Riverside on Friday is indicative of the young guard’s upward trend so far this season. After logging 9.7 minutes and 1.8 points per game last year, Trimble has averaged 15 minutes through three games this season and contributed stout defense off the bench.

The fastbreak dunk, in particular, showcased a springy athleticism the former 4-star recruit out of Wisconsin was lauded for.

“If I could jump like him, I would just dunk everything,” head coach Hubert Davis said. "It's nice to see him be really aggressive on the offensive end.”

The offensive determination is a turnaround from Trimble, who struggled for most of last season. He saw action in all 33 games last year, but after a career-best 11 points against Wake Forest, Trimble only scored 13 total points over the following 17 games.

In his words, it was a slump.

“I just kind of went through a spurt where I lost it mentally, and then just went downhill from there,” he said at a media day in October. “So that was just one of the things that I just told myself — I'll never let it happen again.”

To rectify his performance issues, Trimble spent his offseason reworking the mechanics of his jump shot and focusing on the mental aspect of the game — even cracking open the David Goggins book “Can’t Hurt Me: Master your Mind and Defy the Odds" as part of the journey.

The jump-shot tweaking hasn’t stopped. Seventy minutes before tipoff on Friday, Trimble drilled 3-pointers with assistant coach and former UNC sharpshooter Marcus Paige.

“I shoot them in practice," Trimble said after the win. "I make a lot of practice. It's just time to translate into games.”

After recording no field goals in UNC's first two games, Trimble saw the fruits of his labor pay off on Friday, going 5-7 from the field.Last season, he only made one three on six tries and shot below 50 percent from the field.

But any lingering nerves around Trimble’s offensive ability seemed to melt away against UC Riverside.

“I didn't take [my jumpshot] to heart," Trimble said at media day. "I didn't cry about it. I didn’t get sad about it, I just knew it needed to be worked on.”

On the defensive end, the young guard tries to emulate his defensive game to reflect that of Boston Celtics' Jrue Holiday, who uses his strength and mobility to contest shots and get around ball screens.

According to Davis, Trimble's athleticism and strength allow him to lock down opponents and cover different positions. 

And as for Trimble's monster dunk? It might just be a preview.

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“I got a little more when it comes to a dunk contest."


@dthsports |