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Evaluating Vasquez

With the game coming down to the wire last night, it was no surprise to see junior guard Greivis Vasquez handling the ball. He is the Terps' self-proclaimed go-to guy, and honestly, I'm not sure his teammates would want it any other way (remember the Vermont game, anyone?).

When Vasquez drove into the lane and shot a floater with 3.7 seconds left that would have provided Maryland a one-point lead, the sight of the ball bouncing off the rim seemed to take all the oxygen out of Comcast Center. It might been the most enthralling atmosphere to date this season.

Afterward, Vasquez said that shot alone did not decide the game (completely true) and that he felt his performance on the night was fairly sloppy.

"I thought I didn’t pass the ball enough today,' he said. "I was trying to shoot too much, and that’s not my game."

Vasquez shot 5 for 21 from the field and 1 for 9 from three-point range. He tallied a team-high 19 points and added nine rebounds.

What were your thoughts of how Vasquez played last night? Specifically, how did you think he and the team handled those final minutes?

By Steve Yanda  |  January 8, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Unfortunately, the Terps will have to rely on Vasquez taking lots of shots this year as they have not yet developed another "go to option" in crunch times. There are other fairly capable players on this team, but no one seems to emerge when they fall behind and everything falls to Vasquez. When no one else is looking for the ball (hense his comments that he didn't pass the ball enough)It will be on him to create shots. He is the heart and soul of this team. In addition, GW's failure to adequately recruit an "inside" option has left this team to rely almost solely on the firepower that the backcourt can provide. Facts are, that they will come up short on nights where Vasquez just isn't on his game.

Posted by: hopefulterp | January 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Who else stepped up? I don't recall Eric sinking many shots.

But probably GV's self-assessment is accurate. I wonder why the Terps did not set up a play, like to Milbourne or to GV, instead of running around scattershot like that. Were the Terps out of TO's with 11 seconds to go (when they had the ball out of bounds)? Morgan State seemed more in control.

Posted by: EdDC | January 8, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Vasquez reverted to his old form last night...thought he had made progress to this point. Its one thing for the best player to get all the looks, they should, and teammates should look to get that player looks in the last 5 min of tight games. Problem with Vasquez is that he doesn't do it within the offense ie. he attempts to create the shot himself, and ends up taking bad, very low percentage shots. Dont want to hear the excuse that no one else on the team can create a shot....the offense making more than 2 passes will typically create a breakdown that will lead to an open look. No one else emerges because once the ball goes into Vasquez's hands, it doesn't leave. MD's fate was sealed last night the way they played the last 5 min. Additionally, forget GV's 5-22 performance on the offensive end, he was also checking Thomas on D.

Posted by: asnis715 | January 8, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, GV was checking the kid Reggie Holmes, not Thomas. Whatever his name is, he can play.

Posted by: asnis715 | January 8, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

We got killed on the offensive glass and big man from morgan state scored at will. Vasquez is not the problem, we need him to play his game. The problem is we have no inside presence whatsover. Not good for conference play. Gus Gilchrist would be looking pretty good right now!!

Posted by: terpskinzorioless | January 8, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Thomas was a beast in the paint. Definitely schooled Neal a few times with simple post moves. Doesn't bode well for when we have to face Hansborough, Booker, et. al.

Where's hclark? Oh yeah, school's not out until 3 or so.

Posted by: island1 | January 8, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Hayes better start sinking his shots or he has no reason to be on the court. It's not like he has Blake's handling skills or even GV's vision. Outside shooting was sorry--and that doesn't bode well for a team with no big man.

Hey Gary, maybe if you stop M.Effing your kids on the sideline the recruits in the stands won't be so scared to play for you. Did anyone see GW call Dino a Effin Ahole over and over during a timeout?

Posted by: Effyeahterps | January 8, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

To answer a few of your questions...

1) Maryland was out of timeouts at the end. I think they were out of timeouts for the last couple of minutes actually.

2) They showed it pretty clearly on tv of Gary cursing at one of the players, but I thought it was Dupree not Gregory.

To me the bigger problem was their play from the 10 minute mark on. Maryland got up by 14 points at one point by playing great pressure defense. Then they got outscored 15-4 I think it was over a 9 minute span. When you don't score, you can't set up your press. During that run, they weren't taking bad shots either. They just couldn't make fairly wide open shots that they had been making in the 1st half. That concerns me more than anything else.

Posted by: eric34 | January 8, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

GV always takes to many shots. This team is setting it self up to be worst than I expected. The team should have spent the whole first 10 games or so getting Landon Milbourne to play better.

The terps are in for a long and terrible season. The two big guys coming in next year still won't help.

I am afraid that the MD I knew and loved will not be back. Look at Clemson, that use to look like the MD Team.

Where is my Byron Mouton, Chris Wilcox, Johnny Rhodes? Do you have any players from D.C.?

Posted by: vegastate11 | January 8, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Someone please inform Mr. Vasquez that his "game" is exactly that...shoot first; pass maybe. He is a mostly selfish player that is the "go to guy" because he forces himself to be and Gary allows it. There is NO true "go to player" on this team. Maybe someone should define "go to player" for GV (see Dixon). Just look at his shot selection over his career at MD when they are in panic mode ...invariably he will ego his way into thinking that he has to be the "one" and we are left watching him launch a 25 footer off the back of the iron OR a forced drive into the lane with a poor shot over the 3 defenders he just drew in. He is our current day Gilchrist. I never imagined saying this, but, maybe Gary's time has else can we explain why we have not been able to parlay that National Title into more? Like stronger recruiting, continuing the streak of consecutive NCAA berths, consistent NCAA runs, deeper ACC tournament runs, etc. Instead we don't recruit well (especially locally), we have had to settle for the NIT, we lose in the first rounds of the ACC, NCAA, and the NIT, and we lose early season non-conference games to lesser teams like Morgan State.

Posted by: refusetogivein | January 8, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

GV should stop pointing to the crowd and pounding his chest and play some defense. He couldn't cover Holmes or anybody for that matter, and he is no offensive threat. His lucky shot against Vermont was just that. 5 for 21 is embarrassing. Give the ball up. He is a black hole - once the ball goes to him it never comes back. He is a turnover waiting to happen and not sure why Gary can't see it.

Posted by: ScrapGV | January 8, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Gary also made the mistake of playing Gregory and Dupree together for a few minutes around the 10min mark after building a lead. Not that Neal or Milbourne are significant threats in the post, but they can both score and aren't afraid to have the ball in their hands away from the basket. One of those two needs to be in when any other big is in the game. That stretch allowed Morgan to regain their confidence as well as get back in the game on the scoreboard

Posted by: asnis715 | January 8, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The problem isn't the way he played really. the kid is who he is, an average to decent college basketball player.

The problem is GV is not a star player. He may be the best thing MD has right now, but the does not make him a STAR player. He is no Dixon, Buc or Walt Williams, or Albert King. He's not even an Ernie Graham, Keith Booth or Johnny Rhodes or Steve Blake. He is an average player asked to do entirely too much for this team.

Posted by: oknow1 | January 8, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I have said it before and I'll say it again......"It's time for the high priced, overpaid, outcoached football and basketball coaches to be fired and have some hungry, available, better suited men in charge. GW had been saying that he hoped some folks would notice where the team is so far against peewees not great.......back to the NIT.

Posted by: teddybeartwo | January 8, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to chill. Morgan State will win their league. They will dance in March. They aren't a TERRIBLE team. Terps couldn't buy a bucket and hit a team (really a player) who played the game of his life.

Most concerning thing from last night were all the senseless turnovers. Even with them the game was there to win. If this lights a fire under the Terps and they win 2 of the next 3 (or all 3) they are right back dancing again.

wooo saaaa

Posted by: Lee26 | January 8, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

If we're really,really lucky Grevis will declare for the draft next year and we can be done with all the drama and the out of control dashes he seems to specialize in. Maybe he should learn to "stay medium" a little bit......

Posted by: yodude1 | January 8, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

From a national media perspective, MD basketball is irrelevant.
There's a reason there are single game tickets available for the first 4 ACC home's unheard of.
What decent recruit would want to commit to play for a coach who screams at you.
Williams can't control himself so how can you expect him to control GV.
Although he thinks he is, GV isn't even close to being good enough to be pounding his chest or pointing at the crowd.

Posted by: BD-EC | January 8, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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