Vasquez Works Out For Wizards
Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez was one of four players to work out for the Washington Wizards today at Verizon Center. Vasquez said it was his third pre-draft workout (Cleveland and San Antonio were the others) and that he had several more on tap before June 15, the date by which he must decide whether he is going to remain in the NBA draft or return to the Terrapins for his senior season.
Vasquez definitively stated he is not close to making a decision yet regarding his NBA draft status. He also said he is not considering playing professionally overseas next season.
Vasquez said Stu Vetter, his high school coach at Montrose Christian and a father figure to the native of Caracas, Venezuela, traveled with him to his workouts in Cleveland and San Antonio as a show of support. Among the players with whom Vasquez said he worked out with in those two cities were Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Danny Green (North Carolina), Dionte Christmas (Temple), Darren Collison (UCLA), Leo Lyons (Missouri), Jermain Taylor (Central Florida) and Tyler Smith (Tennessee).
Wizards Coach Flip Saunders ran Vasquez and three other guards -- Kentucky's Jodie Meeks, Mississippi's David Huertas and Louisiana State's Marcus Thornton -- through drills and scrimmages for roughly an hour. The players also received instruction from former NBA guard Sam Cassell and Wizards assistant Wes Unseld Jr.
Following the workout, Vasquez spoke with reporters, and here's what he had to say:
On the areas of his game that he feels have improved since the end of the season: "I’m shooting the ball way better. I’m feeling more comfortable shooting the ball. My defense, I feel like I’m playing better defense now, one-on-one defense. It’s just like I said, it’s too early to make comments about if I’m going to stay or not, but I just want to get better. As long as I can become a better player, that’s what I want to do."
On his decision to remain in the draft or return to Maryland: "I’m not thinking about how tough it’s going to be. This is the time for me to get better as an individual. It’s summertime, you know? It’s not about me going and leaving; it’s just about me getting better. If something comes up, it’s time for me to go, but, you know, if I don’t have to, I’m going to stay. But it’s tough to say right now.
"It’s too early, really, to answer those questions. I can’t really say nothing about that. Just like I said, my main mentality is just to get better."
On whether he is considering playing professionally overseas: "Not at all, let’s make that clear. Not at all. Greivis Vasquez is not going overseas. He’s not playing in Europe. I would rather get my education and get my degree. You know, if it comes down to me going overseas, I think, you know, I want to work hard to make it to the point that I want to be a pro one day, but you know, it’s not going to be overseas right now."
On meeting Spurs guard Manu Ginobili at his San Antonio workout: "He was working out by himself where the college guys were working out. He just said: 'Keep working and don’t give up. You’re going to go to workouts where things are probably not going to go your way. People are going to score on you. Sometimes, things are going to go wrong, but just keep your composure and be a leader and things are going to work out for you.' "
On his mentality during these pre-draft workouts: "This is fun for me because I’m a junior, and I don’t have no pressure. I’m coming to these workouts and I’m just trying to get better. I’m not trying to get a contract. I’m not going in with that mentality. I’m going in with the mentality that I want to learn as much as I can."
On why he feels his shot has improved: "My thing was just using my legs. With my shot, my form is not bad at all; it’s just me using my body. I got to get lower. You know, I’m 6-5. I’ve got to be able to shoot the ball, and I always got to be low so when I get up, I get up high and I shoot the ball in a better way."
On what position he prefers to play in the pros: "I’m a point guard. That’s another thing that I want to make it clear. I’m not a shooting guard. I’m a combo guard. I’ll do whatever the coach wants me to do, but I’m a point guard. I’m a 6-5 point guard. It’s not me trying to be cocky or anything like that. It’s just me telling people the position that I play. Some people get it confused because I’m 6-5 and think I’m a three guard or a two guard. I want to lead the team. The best part of my game is my passing abilities. So just let me run a team, let me lead a team. Don’t make me score 40 points or 20 points a game. Then we can talk."
On the experience of going through the pre-draft process as a junior: "I suggest that every junior in the country should do it. Why not? Just because you go against some good competition and you’re only going to get better because if a guy kills you in one of those workouts, you’re going to get mad. If you’re a player, you’re going to get mad and come back and get better."
On whether his decision to remain in the draft or return to Maryland might come down to the wire: "It might be right there. I got a couple of workouts right at the end, so we’ll see what happens."
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