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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."

By Steve Yanda  |  May 21, 2009; 2:40 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I think Greivis is better suited to the pros than to the more disciplined college game. He matches up fairly well with a lot of NBA guards, because of his combination of size and energy. His flaws are the same ones we saw in college: a tendency to try to do everything himself, rather than involve his teammates; an inconsistent outside shot; and a stubborn attitude (which you saw in this article). Still, Ginobili and Nocioni have some of those same traits and they've been productive.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

His game is more suited to the pro's all right, the Euro League or the South American League, but yes they are Pro leagues as well. His jump shot is better because he is practicing with no pressure, and he is not being closely guarded so he has time to spot up. You don't get to do that in the NBA. I hope his defense has improved as he says. That will go a long way to becoming the player he thought he already was. My fear is not that he leaves, it's that he comes back and is more interested in impressing scouts with whatever they tell him to work on instead of what he needs to do for the team ala Gilchrist a few years ago. Now if the scouts tell him the best way to get noticed is to play team ball, make your team mates better and win, then maybe we have a chance, but I still think he is CBA or Euro League bound.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | May 21, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Greivis, I know you read this blog and this is laying it on pretty thick here, but this is just to remind you of all the other positives if you stay next year:

You can be first team All ACC next season if you come back.

You can be ACC player of the year.

You can win an ACC championship.

You can go to the sweet 16 and maybe more.

You can set career records next year at MD and go down as one of the greatest Maryland Terrapins of all time.

The money will still be there a year from now, and probably a lot more of it if you have a great senior year.

You think it will be fun sitting on the bench your rookie year in the NBA? It's a lot different than being the star of your college team.

No one in the stands will be cheering for you in the NBA like the MD fans cheer for you. They won't love you like we love you.

Your family and friends back in Venezuela can see you more on tv while you're at MD than most NBA teams, because MD plays more games on ESPN and other international tv networks than most NBA teams (17 internationally televised games this season vs likely less than 10 for most NBA teams)

The girls in the real world won't love you like the girls at MD love you.

They won't know who you are in the real world, but at MD everyone knows who you are.

Former Terp Chris Wilcox said he wished he didn't leave MD early, that he should have stayed another year or 2. Don't regret the decision like Wilcox did.

College is the greatest time of your life and you can't get it back once you decide to go pro. You only get this chance once in your lifetime, don't blow it all by leaving a year early.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 21, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I still think he is CBA or Euro League bound.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | May 21, 2009 4:40 PM

Most of those "scouts" you refer to have projected Vasquez to be a late 1st round/early 2nd round pick THIS year, as a junior. Combined with the fact that the NBA expanded rosters from 12 to 15 a couple years ago, what planet are you living on thinking Vasquez is CBA bound?

Get a clue.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 21, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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...."

Did he really refer to himself in the 3rd person? HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Kinda speaks to the type of player Gary-The-God is recruiting at UMD.

But Gary's God. Go Terps!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | May 21, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse


funny reading Barno's "Please Don't Go Vasquez" post.

The girls in the real world won't love you like the ones at UMD will? HAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHA

Barno only wishes he could get any girl, albeit from the real world or UMD, to love him.

Barno's posts are always a good laugh.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | May 21, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse


I know you read this take this message to heart...GO!!!!

GET OUT!!!! Many of us are sick of your antics.

Barno will give you a place to live and some Koolaid.

You can make it in the pro leagues....but NOT in the NBA.

See ya!

Posted by: petecard | May 22, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Proving once again we have a Duke fan among us, see above post.

Posted by: terpsfan09 | May 23, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Lance Stephenson's father said last week the only 2 places his son will play next year are Arizona or Maryland. Surprised no one on here jumped all over this new tidbit.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 27, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey Eric. Just read that Memphis is currently being investigated for MAJOR recruiting voliations and lack of institutional control. Maybe you can write an 3-piece article about one of our players getting a ride to class from a friend. I don't know...could be a story there.

Posted by: MDFan | May 27, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

This is very good!

Posted by: suesue8709 | May 28, 2009 5:48 AM | Report abuse

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