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Getting Into The Flow

The stat line for junior guard Greivis Vasquez from last night's game would seem to indicate a performance reminiscent of the ones he frequently put up last season. You know, the ones where Vasquez seemed to do everything -- score, rebound, dish out assists, create steals, sweep the aisles, dust the scorer's table, serve as the team's water boy, etc.

And indeed, he did most of those duties against Youngstown State. He finished with a game-high 28 points, but he also led the team in rebounds (eight), assists (four) and steals (four). The major difference between the Greivis on display last night and the one who often tried to do too much last season? Coach Gary Williams believes Vasquez operated more within the flow of the offense last night, rather than having to possess the ball constantly in order to make his impact felt.

"When he doesnt have to have the ball to get his points, he doesnt get as tired during the course of the game," Williams said. "Like, when you have the ball all the time, yet you still have to be a big time scorer, that's hard. It takes a lot out of you and it hurts you on the defensive end, too. So I thought it was good for Greivis to be able to score without having to have the ball all the time."

Vasquez has said repeatedly this fall that he neither wants -- nor can Maryland afford -- for him to be the sole focal point of the team's offense. But he also has attempted to make clear he will not tone down his highly energetic style of play in the process of getting his teammates to share the offensive burden.

"I'm just gonna do whatever it takes, man; I'm gonna try," Vasquez said. "You guys hit me a lot cause I try too much, but I'm gonna keep trying. I don't care what anybody say. I'm just going to keep trying to make my team better.

"Yeah, I'm maturing. I've got to be mature about things now. I knew something like this was going to happen. I'm gonna play hard every day. I'm not gonna score 28 points, but it's gonna be nice if you guys come over here and ask me, 'Oh, what a great game you have.' But no, I'm not happy about it; I'm just happy because we won. We're 2-0 and it's all good when you win."

As for Vasquez's teammates, well, they have enough sense to know that when their team's best overall player finds his scoring rhythm, it's best to keep giving him the ball, especially at a time such as the first half last night when Maryland once again got off to a slow start.

"We he starts getting going, you have to keep looking for him and running plays for him, and we did a good job of that," junior guard Eric Hayes said. "We kept getting him the ball, and he scored a lot for us tonight. It was big."

Vasquez played a large role in the 20-2 run the Terps executed to pull away from Youngstown State near the end of the first half and continued to supplement the team's offensive efforts in the second half.

There were times during the preseason when he appeared hesistant to let loose on his surgically-repaired ankle, almost as if full trust in its stability had not yet returned. Last night, Vasquez displayed no such hesitancy and seems to have healed fully -- both physically and mentally -- from the ankle surgery he underwent over the summer.

"I think he proved last year making second team all-ACC as a sophomore that, you know, he's a good player," Williams said. "You know, it's early in the year and players, no matter what they did the year before, they need that positive thing to happen. And I think tonight was very positive for Greivis. In the first half there he really did a lot of things for us that helped us."

By Steve Yanda  |  November 19, 2008; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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It's sad that the Beavis and Boomhead tandem had to come to an end, but if we can get one of our bigs to replace the front court energy that Bombale brought the past couple years, we'll be fine. Burney needs to start playing like he did at the end of last year, and Dupree like he did at the start of last year.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 19, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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