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Gag Order For Vasquez

Some of you may recall the flavorful exchange between junior guard Greivis Vasquez and members of the Maryland student section during Saturday's game against Georgia Tech. Well, at Gary Williams's media availability a little while ago, he said Vasquez won't be doing much interacting with the crowd anymore.

To recap: At several points during the Terps' ACC opener, boos were directed in Vasquez's direction, either for missed shots or other decisions deemed inadequate by unsatisfied fans. Vasquez, apparently, took the public criticism very personally. Near the end of the game, he repeatedly walked over near the student section and spewed four-letter words in succession. It was colorful, entertaining and inappropriate all at the same time. Anyways, Williams put the kibosh on such antics.

"I addressed the issue with Greivis after the game and again yesterday, and that’s behind us," Williams said. "That, that, you can’t do that. No matter what was said, and there was some really bad things said besides the booing, from the crowd. Given that, you still can’t respond, and Greivis understands that, and I think you will not see that again."

Vasquez, the team leader in numerous categories, seems to prefer playing in environments where he feels as though everyone is against him. That may be why he recently told freshman guard Sean Mosley that playing on the road is more fun than playing at home. Still, Williams would prefer a little more support be thrown behind Maryland's star attraction, at least when the team plays at Comcast Center.

"Greivis has a chance to be the first player in Maryland history to lead the team in scoring, rebounds and assists, and I think that speaks for itself," Williams said. "If a guy misses shots, you know, that’s too bad, but that doesn’t mean you’re a bad player. I know two of Eric’s threes down the stretch were assists from Greivis Vasquez.

"You know, he’s a different player than people are used to seeing or maybe how older people think players should play, but the game’s international now. You have different people from all parts of the world that act differently than they do here in the United States when something happens. It’s just, you know, I think we need his energy for sure. Like I said, he can’t talk to anyone in the crowd anymore. That’s gotta stop. But we need his energy. I don’t want to see him go away from the way he plays."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 13, 2009; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

I totally agree with Coach Williams. While Greivis probably shouldn't have said all the things he said, he is still a tremendous player and I doubt our team would have won half the games it has already if he wasn't playing on it. A lot of what GV does doesn't even show up on the stat sheet, such as getting double teamed which allows him to find an open man. People need to understand this before they boo him for taking ill-advised shots every now and then

Posted by: GoAheadStush | January 13, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Greivis is like a fiery version of Gilbert Arenas; both play with a perpetual chip on their shoulder.

Personally I'm with Greivis in terms of our fans. If they don't support the team they should get the %&$# out of the building. Whenever I see someone booing the team for a missed shot or something I feel like causing bodily harm to them, maybe throw them down the ridiculously steep steps on the Wall

Posted by: yukiwith2us | January 13, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Vasquez needs to shut his yap and play ball. Maybe Maryland wouldn't have won half the games they've won without him, but maybe they win more if Greivis focuses more on playing and less on how the crowd is responding to his antics. He's supposed to be the leader of the team and this is his behavior? Yelling at the home fans? If a team is playing like crap, the fans who have paid good money to be there have a right to boo. Shut up, play, and deal with it. Vasquez thinks he's better than he really is. Gary knows this, but he's not going to blast his best player in the media. There's nothing wrong with playing with a chip on one's shoulder, but it becomes a problem when a player thinks he's bigger than the team, or if he plays out of control trying to do too much because of that chip.

Posted by: CYork1 | January 13, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Fans are booing Vasquez because they know he plays better when he's fired up. It's how they get him going and the reason MD won this game. He just needs to figure out how to get fired up on his own without getting overly excited and rushing his shots and passes.

Posted by: bitner | January 13, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

bitner There is no excuse for Terps to boo Terps. FREDTERP

Posted by: FREDTERP44 | January 13, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"While Greivis probably shouldn't have said all the things he said, he is still a tremendous player and I doubt our team would have won half the games it has already if he wasn't playing on it."

-then again, we might've won a bunch more games if he didn't have his head up his ass when he kept turning the ball over because he was trying to do too much rather than help his teamates get better around them. GV has a huge ego that he needs to let go of. Then and only then will he really be a contributor.
And, can Gary please try to recruit players from MD? They all leave and go on to have spectacular careers elsewhere.
Even when those players want to come to MD. ie. Joe Alexander.

Posted by: luvdc808 | January 13, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

It's difficult for a young guy to grasp how what you do gets interpreted once you're a public figure. (Look no further than Pac Man for a guy who simply doesn't get it.) But that's why Gary is right (and it's his job) to sit on Greivis at exactly this moment. Also, Greivis wouldn't have learned the proper lesson had Gary sat on him before this happened. Sometimes you just have to let the kids learn the hard way.

Friendly or not, people are going to boo. That's the territory. Are they right, are they wrong, are they boorish or misinformed, it doesn't matter - you can't react poorly.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | January 13, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Vasquez is by far the best player on the Terps. The problem is that he can also be the best player on the other team as his lack of defense has led to the player he is guarding to be the high scorer for the other team a number of times this year. His shot selection and passing during key momnets can also be questioned

I don't think that he is the problem as much as Gary and his staff our in not bringing in the talent to match other teams in the ACC. That is a big source of the frustration with the program that brings on the booing. Not even considering UNC and Duke, the rest of league has passed or is passing the Terps in the talent level and the near future is far from bright. I see the NIT or no bids over the next few years.

Gary is a great coach but you need the players to win in the ACC and they are not getting them when you see what the rest of the league is doing on the recruiting trail.

Posted by: miketerp1 | January 13, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

A gag order on Beavis Vasquez is long, long overdue. I love his play (when he is under control) but the crap he does after he makes a shot makes me embarrassed to be a MD fan.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 13, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Greivis is a great talent, but also an ego-driven jerk on the court. That's why people boo. Either his ego gets in the way, or he's just not a very on-court intelligent player (probably a little of both). So when he makes bone-headed decisions that hurt the team, people boo. He's guaranteed to make a few of them a game. He's guaranteed to make the same ones game after game.

Fans care about the team, and if they think an individual is hurting the team by being selfish, they will boo him. He should realize that he is getting booed, not the entire team. Just him. Maybe that will convince him to look at why they're booing. Though his ego is so big, that it probably won't help.

While I personally wouldn't boo during a game, I'd be the first to say he needs to play smarter on the court, and check his ego.

Posted by: segastyle | January 13, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Seeing how the half of the student section probably consists of kids from New Jersey and New York what do the players expect? These kids were not fans before coming to the school and probably won't be when they leave. The game is just something to pass the time for some people. After losing to Morgan State the fans have a right to boo and of course they are going to boo him because he is always strutting around and pounding his chest.

Posted by: bigtom34 | January 13, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Great Player? Where do you people come up with this stuff? Was Caner-Medley great? Was John Gilcrist? How about Mike Jones?

Listen, the fact that this is MD's best player is problem #1. Have you seen Maze in Tennessee or Gilchrist in S. Florida.

These are both average college players who would by far be the best players on MD's team. Next year you get 2 bigs in and then you have a senior Grevis and Hayes?

We need to stop having Syracuse, Villanova and whatever other school comes into town recruiting the best players. I mean you have to at the very least when the COUNTY your school is located in.

PRINCE GEORGES

Posted by: vegastate11 | January 13, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I graduated UMD in '03 and it was evident that our fan base (mostly the student section) was becoming dumber and dumber with each passing year. And now it seems our students are booing our own players. I think it's disgraceful and is a horrible reflection on Maryland. I don't blame Vasquez but it's a two way street.

Posted by: mofro | January 13, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Let's be real here. The kid lost it because a couple of racial epiphets were tossed his way by the home crowd. Thats just inexcusable on the fans parts. Leave that classless BS for the Dukies to fire Greivas up on the road. The kid plays as hard if not harder than anyone to put on a MD uniform in almost 10 years. He does it for his coach and to win. If you can't see that you aren't really watching the game or you don't know the game when it is right there in front of you.

Posted by: Lee26 | January 13, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from the thuggish, boorish, Philadelphia-esque Maryland fans?

"Hey, our teams aren't winning so let's go light some couches on fire and burn down the campus." - what a University of Maryland education buys you

Posted by: playahatah | January 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Lee26 -

Yeah, I'm sure Vasquez plays harder than Juan Dixon or Byron Mouton or anyone on the final four teams. And where did you get the information that the crowd was yelling racist statements? There is a difference between playing hard and under control, and playing hard but out of control. Greivis is clearly a me-first player. If you can't see that you clearly aren't paying attention.

Posted by: CYork1 | January 13, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Vasquez is overrated.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 13, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The way alot of people are reacting you would think GV is the next coming of Ron Artest. I do not agree with a player talking negative to the crowd but that should go both ways for the fans as well. Yea we pay alot of money for seats and have the right to boo but that is as far as it should go. Anything directed personally at a player is just completely wrong if that is what took place. I wish I had as much passion and heart as GV has. I can guarentee that any of the Div.1 b-ball programs would take a player like him anyday.

Posted by: Nemo4 | January 13, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

It just shows the fans are getting fed up with Gary's .500-teams he's been running out there year-in and year-out.

Time for boozehound to step up the recruiting or hit the bricks.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 13, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

First of all, I'm a Maryland Grad from back in the early Lefty years, and regardless of how badly a player is playing, especially your OWN player, there is no reason for booing or calling them names. I agree with the guy who said that a lot of students are from out-of-state so they don't act like true Maryland fans. Having said all that, I've never liked Vasquez's style of play. I'm constantly screaming at the TV when he does something stupid. He might be a very talented player, and he scores a lot of points, but he also gives up just as many points either thru turnovers or poor decisions. How many times have we seen him go across the mid-court line ahead of his teammates and immediately take a long three-pointer? If he misses, which is far more often than not, it's an easy rebound and possibly a fast break bucket for the other team. He's a much better player, and teammate, when he spreads the ball around. The team generally is much better when Hayes is the point guard and Vasquez is the shooting guard. Vasquez is just another less-than-smart player (Caner-Medley, Gilcrist) that we seemed to have recruited since the Championship in 2002. Why don't we recruit from local schools? Why don't we get the blue-chip players? We've had too many players since Dixon, Blake, etc. that don't know what to do when they get a lead. They forget what got them the lead in the first place. Gary needs to get into the minds of these local players early, show an interest in them, like in their freshmen year in High School, and make them want to play for their state school. If he waits until their Junior or Senior years they've already pretty much decided where they want to go. Maybe they're scared of Gary when they see the way he acts on the court during games? If he gets to know them off-the-court they'll see he's not really like that at all.
Chip - Class of 78

Posted by: cnp32755 | January 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

First off to Chip and the others who've already said that booing your own team is embarrassing, Amen to that. To Barno, as a Marylander by birth and a Terps fan by choice, I'm far more embarrassed by boorish fan behavior. I'm far more embarrassed when national TV coverage singles out Maryland fans as excessive. Why would any recruit come to a program when he gets to see the abuse he'll be in for as a Terp? Be passionate support your team even/especially when they are down. But leave the thuggish behavior to others.

Posted by: pippsk | January 13, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

CYork1

Only in sports do we subscribe to the theory that our paid ticket gives us the right to behave badly. If you go to watch a movie and the movie turns out to be boring do you boo the rest of the movie. How about a play or concert? A political debate. Paying for a ticket does not always justify rude or bad behavior. Just in sports.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Vasquez has NBA hopes but is clearly a D league wannabe that being said he could be a 12th-15th man in the pro's if he focused more on his skills and making his teamate's better than matching wit's with the Maryland faithfull.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 13, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

cnp32755

I think Williams likes to go after guys that he does not think will bolt for the NBA after one good year. That is how Kevin Durrant and Mike Beasley went to schools outside of the area. When you are good enough to make pro your senior year in high school what is the use in recruiting you for one year? Williams needs to get guys good enough for D-1 but not yet good enough to go pro early. That was the case of the 2002 team.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 13, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, our teams aren't winning so let's go light some couches on fire and burn down the campus." - what a University of Maryland education buys you

Posted by: playahatah | January 13, 2009 2:08 PM

Actually the "tradition" of burning couches started in 2001 to celebrate a win at #2 Duke. This was the second of four meetings between the two teams that season, the first seeing Maryland famously lose a 10 point lead in the finally 48 seconds and the last in the final four. A few students went to Byrd Stadium and tore down the football goal posts, since at that point it was assumed that there would never be cause to do that for the football team, so why not for a big basketball win. Then they carried them almost the entire length of the campus to a fire in front of Frat Row. A few people grabbed a couch or two and threw them on the fire also. It was actually a rather happy and tame event, relatively speaking. Of the subsequent fires associated with Maryland Basketball, half have also been after victories and none have been lit on campus. No arrests of an actual student at the University of Maryland happened at any "riot" at least through 2004. The main reason it was seen as such a big deal was at the next couch burning, in two different streets off campus, a bunch of people lost there cable for a few days due to the flames and blamed the school.

As for GV, racial slurs eliciting a little profanity is understandable, but he needs to get past it. I think he would be much more of a team player if Gary recruited a little better. This is not an excuse, just saying he is not the reason the Terps have gone from battling for National Championships to NIT mainstays.

Posted by: Dancy1 | January 13, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Grievis can talk, but neither he nor Gary should swear at the games.

Posted by: robinfickerofrobinrealty | January 13, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

CYork1,
I've heard it myself from further back at games, Yanda alluded to it, and I've heard it form a couple other people that were at the game. And no he doesn't play harder than Dixon or Mouton but to say he doesn't play as hard is ludicrous. The kid leads the team in assists and rebounds. Let me say that again leads the team in assists and rebounds. And that is with 4 guys standing around the three point line waiting for the ball. He asserts himself when he has to because nobody else is doing ANYTHING. And yeah occasionally he jacks up a dumb three but guess what? He is still shooting 32% from beyond the arc and a good 7% better than Bowie and a good shooting game or two from being the best 3 point shooter on the team. People see Vasquez's game through angry/jaded glasses.

Posted by: Lee26 | January 13, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

maybe maryland should try to find players who can at least graduate. how anyone can be fans of the guys GW brings in is beyond me. maybe the fans are tired of the pathetic recruits who can't even handle school. If you are not going to win, at least bring in good students and good people. Before anyone gets upset, take a look at graduation rates from UMD. Then look at the Nick Caner Medleys, Lonny Baxters, etc... I think the fans should boo.

Posted by: bestpilotonearth | January 13, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

ged0386-

If a movie is bad you leave...because there is no one to boo. Maybe people are booing because they feel that Vasquez isn't upholding MD standards? Clearly Gary hasn't affected the way Vasquez plays, so maybe the crowd can let him know how the fans and alums actually feel. Respect is earned, and Greivis is throwing his away. Now, if someone in the crowd did in fact say something racist toward him, I completely understand why he may have yelled back; however, it doesn't justify his behavior. Playing with passion and playing out of control are two different things.

Posted by: CYork1 | January 13, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

What a shock. MD fans shouting at GV. They have the reputation of being the most incorrigble fans in the ACC. Now they have turned on their own players.

Posted by: sportsfan2 | January 13, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

playahatah

I dont know, most of the Maryland grads I know are doing pretty good financially. Perhaps they would be doing better had they graduated from an Ivy league u but they arent complaining.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 13, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Chip hit the nail on the head. "The team generally is much better when Hayes is the point guard and Vasquez is the shooting guard." Duh. Vasquez isn't a point guard. He got stuck at the point last year because Hayes forgot how to dribble. That kid regressed from year 1 to year 2, glad to see he got his game back this year. I feel like Vasquez being forced to play point which he just plain doesn't have the mentality for has turned 50% of the fan base against him. And that isn't his fault. Kobe Bryant (not saying vasquez is as good as him) isn't a point guard either, doesn't mean he isn't a good player...

Posted by: Lee26 | January 13, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see how such a large portion of a fan base can hate a 6 5 player that leads his team in rebounding, steals, and assists. Those are all effort/team first stats especially for a player his size. The facts don't support the feelings. Much love GV, do your thing and keep your head up and keep giving 110% to the Terps. Real fans got your back.

Posted by: Lee26 | January 13, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Greivis is undoubtedly the most talented person on the Terps. That being said, at times, his play is erratic and out of control.

Case in point, at the loss to Morgan State, the Terps had a chance to go ahead. Greivis had the ball with about 10 seconds left. He drove the lane, drew triple coverage a put up a poor shot. There was plenty of time and other people wearing white to be had. This type of play often hurts the Terps as much as it helps.

He has gotten better, but still lets this side of his game show too often.

Another frustration that I don't understand. David Neal, our only true big man consisantly standing out in three point land.

He should be in or near the paint allowing the game to work inside out. Gist used to do this last year too.

It is a failure in Gary's system that allows your post player to spend so much time so far from the basket.

Posted by: jcyr4 | January 13, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

This is the reason no one locally goes to MD. GV is well respected on the local hoop circuit, where a lot players come from. And believe you me, this has been the talk of the week so far in practices. They see that athletes are used at MD, and the only minorities on the campus are athletes. Add that you will be heckled at your home games will only add to the apprehension of signing there.

Good job MD fan, way to help with recruiting.

Posted by: flsnupe | January 13, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

GV is a solid player but, erratic at times. I know I get upset watching on TV when he gets out of control but, then turn around 2 seconds later and say he's the man when he makes a big shot.

As a fan, especially of college teams, you need to take the good with the bad. College Athletes, IMO, should NEVER be booed. That said GV needs to not get involved with the crowd, home or away.

I have noticed though, that the talent level of the players that Gary has brought in since the National Championship team has dropped off dramatically. Guys like Dave Neal and Braxton Dupree are role players in the past, not starters.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 13, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

The most embarassing part of this whole situation was that at this particular game Maryland had a highly touted recuit in attendance....do you think he's really going to want to come play at Maryland after witnessing the students boo their OWN team? Their OWN player?

But I'm guessing those (probably drunk) freshman or sophmore punks who were booing their OWN team didn't think about that...why would they, they aren't real Terp fans to begin with.

Posted by: umcpgirl98 | January 13, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

flsnupe

You are an idiot if you think the only minorities on campus are athletes. There is a local University that does that, and its located up the hill in Georgetown. I am an Alumnus, and walk anywhere on campus and you will see tons of diversity. I think you are crying racial "wolf," and just trolling. Keep your ignorant comments about student populations to the facts!

Posted by: bmdugan | January 13, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

First off to Chip and the others who've already said that booing your own team is embarrassing, Amen to that. To Barno, as a Marylander by birth and a Terps fan by choice, I'm far more embarrassed by boorish fan behavior. I'm far more embarrassed when national TV coverage singles out Maryland fans as excessive. Why would any recruit come to a program when he gets to see the abuse he'll be in for as a Terp? Be passionate support your team even/especially when they are down. But leave the thuggish behavior to others.

Posted by: pippsk | January 13, 2009 3:05 PM

Really? That's what embarrasses you? Beat it nerd. I take pride in our fans antics. Nothing made me prouder than our F U J.J. chant a few years back.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 13, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I think many of you just really don't grasp the whole situation. Even the most loyal Terp fans have to admit that Greivis is a jerk. One of the reasons teams play so hard against us is his unsportsmanlike and disrespectful behavior. When you act this way, people can't wait to boo you. He does give plenty of opportunity as well due to his selfish play, ball hogging and stupid decisions, but even if he didn't do that, people are tired of his childish behavior. Nobody wants to see him pulling on his jersey, pounding his chest, blowing kisses to the opposite tems fans. Especially when we are playing some school that we are supposed to beat by 30 and instead beat by only 10. Of course he leads the team in points, he is a ball hog. Of course he leads in assists, he has the ball all the time so if anyone else makes a shot they probably got it from him. And of course he leads in rebounding because he isn't covering his man on defense. He has individual talent. If he wants to be a one man team he should play tennis or golf. He doesn't make any of his team mates better, period. Didn't we get enough of that with Gilchrist. of course he got benched for it, and Gary defends thos clown, so ehy would he change. the latest outburst is Greivis "growing" into the spoiled brat Gary has raised. if Gary had taken care of business when he was a freshman, the fans wouldn't have to do it now!

Whoever said he could make an NBA team, just doesn't know basketball. he will be lucky to make an Italian team.

It is a bad situation when the ho,e fans boo their team, but I certainly don't blame it on a student body from out of town as MD has always had an out of town population. I put the blame squarely on Gary Williams who thought recruits would come here instead of Duke or UNC without recruiting them because he won the National Championship. Instead we end up with the Caner-Medley's and Gilchrists because nobody else wanted them. Mike Jones was a talent and if he had a team around him would have been a great player. Instead he wasn't because he couldn't be the man by himself. Sort of like Keith Booth. When he had Joe Smith he looked like all world. When Joe left he was just another good college player.

Anyway, if we win 6 more games it will be a miracle. If Grevis doesn't pout through every home game the rest of the year it will be a miracle. Unfortuantely Gary has tied his wagon to this kid and we are all along for the ride, but we can and should let them know how we feel about it. If you want to boo, go ahead.

For the record I was at the game and I did not personally hear any racial slurs. if they happened, shame on Gary for not stopping the game and addressing it. After all isn't that what college is all about? Be an educator and a teacher and mold young minds? Oh yeah I forgot it's not about that, its about a kid from South America.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | January 13, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

"For the record I was at the game and I did not personally hear any racial slurs. if they happened, shame on Gary for not stopping the game and addressing it. After all isn't that what college is all about? Be an educator and a teacher and mold young minds? Oh yeah I forgot it's not about that, its about a kid from South America."

Meant to be funny or not funny like when someone says "I'm not racist but this is the thing about "?

Posted by: Lee26 | January 14, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Some of the comments on here are unbelievable. Overrated? Where are these people that say good things about this kid? I'd like to talk basketball with them. Even anything positive on here is immediately followed with some silly knock against him.

Turnovers? Sure he gets out of control sometimes, but if he doesn't try to get something done who will. When you teach the other players to catch the ball then maybe he'll throw it to them.

Defense? Are you nuts? He guards the best player on the other team every night.

Not to mention he's playing out of position, the kid is not a scorer! He is a pass first shoot second player.

Posted by: money1 | January 14, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Landon Milbourne, PLEASE STEP UP. You're so money and you don't even know it

Posted by: adaro2000 | January 14, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

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