Gary + Greivis 4evr
In his post-game remarks tonight, I heard Greivis Vasquez say at least twice that the Terps "have one of the best coaches in the country." Seriously, that guy can't eat a slice of bread these days without blurting out something or other in praise of Gary Williams. Is he on a year-long campaign to stick it to The Post? Angling for a future spot on the Terps bench? Or merely madly in love with his head coach and not afraid to show it?
"Coach Williams is the man," Greivis said six weeks ago. "Coach Williams is the man here at Maryland, and people should be thankful to have such a great coach, because he basically put Maryland back on the map."
"I mean, if I got to go to war with him, I would die for him before he dies," Greivis said a month ago. "The man is a winner and is a champion, so you better start writing about games instead of writing about criticizing him."
Sure, players praise coaches all the time. But usually it's a warm bowl of oatmeal, like what Santana Moss recently said about Jim Zorn: "I like Jim Zorn, I like what he wants to do."
Well, Greivis isn't warm oatmeal. Greivis is some sort of flaming steak delivered to your table with blood still spurting out onto the floor. While other players are buying "Dear Friend" Hallmark cards, Greivis is paging through Song of Songs. Here's what he said about Gary Williams after the crucial UNC win, when he was asked a question that had nothing to do with the man at the end of the bench.
"We have a great coach," Greivis said then. "Every Maryland fan should be thankful because that man can coach. He is the best at getting everyone together and making them believe that they can win games."
And here's what he said after a win over Miami a few weeks before:
"He's a great coach, he's the best coach that has ever coached me," Greivis said. "He's a tough guy, who never gives up and always tries hard. It's just a privilege to play for him."
That's five times in six weeks he went completely out of his way to praise his head coach. Can you think of another college basketball player who's done this, over and over and over again, without being asked? It's not just this year, either. Remember the Baltimore Sun story from his freshman year? Here's a reminder.
"Gary Williams is the greatest coach in the United States of America," Greivis told Heather Dinich. "I love him. I love him. He's a great coach. He's so passionate. He loves the game. He's just like me. We don't want to lose. I hate losing. I really can't go to sleep. It really bothers me when I lose. He wants to win. He wants to get better every day. He loves to be on the court, practice and work. I love that. I love his passion. I love the way he coaches. It's going to be an interesting four years for me. I think he can take my game to the next level. That's what I really believe if I really listen to what he says."
Greivis also talked to Mike Wise that season about his head coach. You'll never guess what he said.
"I love Coach Williams," Greivis told Wise. "Everything he does for us. Everything he do for me."
The greatest coach in the U.S. The man. Someone to give thanks for. Someone to die for. Someone to love. And the passion continues tomorrow. AU-Holy Cross at 4:45. Maryland-Wake at 7. Win, and the locals go to the tourney. Lose, and they go to the NIT. I love this week. I'm talking Greivis-for-Gary type love.
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