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Williams Believes Vasquez Will Return For Senior Season

After speaking for 20 minutes at the Maryland Economic Development Association’s awards banquet Monday night at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Cambridge, Md., Maryland men’s basketball coach Gary Williams asked the dinner party of 200 if there were any questions. One hand immediately shot up from a table near the stage.

“Is Vasquez coming back?” the man asked.

“Is Vasquez coming back?” Williams repeated. “What a surprise to have that question.”

Williams said he’d seen Greivis Vasquez – the guard who just finished his junior season at Maryland and has entered his name into the NBA draft pool – earlier in the day and that Vasquez will participate in upcoming workouts in Minnesota, Portland, Sacramento and Philadelphia.

The coach also made sure to note that Vasquez has not signed with an agent, therefore preserving the option to return to College Park for his senior season. And yes, Williams said, he does believe the Terrapins’ leader in scoring, rebounding and assists will be back.

“I really do believe he’s going to come back,” Williams said. “I was with him in Chicago (at the pre-draft camp) on Thursday, and he was up against the top 12-15 point guards in the country. Greivis has a great amount of height – he’s 6-5. These guys are all 6-2, 6-3, but they’re very explosive. Greivis can get stronger in another year, get more explosive, and I think that’s what the NBA is looking for.

“I think he’ll be back, but that could be wishful thinking on my part. But I really believe he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he understands the situation. If he does come back, I think he can be one of the top 20 players next year in college basketball.”

Williams, who will depart Tuesday morning to play in a charity golf tournament in Connecticut, spent most of his speech candidly reliving moments with former teams and players. He was self-deprecating and humorous, proud and confident.

“The good teams play together; the good teams win,” Williams said. “I think given the situation we’re in right now with the economy, we can’t forget that. We’re a great country, No. 1. We live in a great country. We live in a great state, the state of Maryland. I think sometimes when we all live here we’re lucky get to travel with the team, we go around the country recruiting and you hear other people talk about the university, you hear other people talk about the state of Maryland, and you realize: We’re the nation’s capital, we’re Annapolis, we’re Baltimore, we’ve got all these things going for us.

“Somehow, when I go to Kansas I don’t see any of those things there. The things we have available to us are unavailable in other places. They have to fly here. That’s why people come to D.C. That’s why people come to Baltimore, to see those things. We should benefit from that. We should never forget just how good we are.

“I remind our team, some people think I’m negative sometimes with our team, and I’ll yell at our guys and things like that, but at the same time, away from the court, we’re pumping guys up all the time, we’re telling them how good we are. You’re going to be able to do this if you keep working hard. And I think everybody in this room is dedicated to working hard to make this happen because I think we’ll come back quicker than most places because of who we are and where we are and just the toughness that this state has. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

I’ll post more of Williams’s speech tomorrow.

By Steve Yanda  |  June 1, 2009; 9:47 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: More Excerpts From Gary Williams's Speech



Posted by: Barno1 | June 1, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

* prays *

Posted by: littles_ | June 2, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

HE SHOULD RETURN! He's not all that. The NBA would eat him alive.

Posted by: keedrow | June 2, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Maryland IS a great state! This is a great part of the country, and even though we act as if we live and die with the win-loss record of the basketball team, there is a whole lot of life going on in Maryland.

I'm proud to have Gary as part of it!

(this is where Billy Gillespie just blew it at Kentucky, by the way...)

Posted by: mabkhar | June 2, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

the real question is why would anyone want him to come back. he is terrible. big game against carolina. but he disappears way too much and thinks he is better then he is. his assists to to ratio is abysmal. but i will enjoy watching his ego get bruised at any level.

Posted by: funkey | June 3, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

GW better hope so - he sure did not land any noteworthy recruits this year.

Posted by: BulletsFan1 | June 3, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

His is not gut feeling, but wishful thinking. This is the best chance for Vasquez to be taken in the first round of the draft--the weakest in ages. Williams' spin is that the other guards are explosive. His message to Vasquez: "Return to school and you'll become explosive." This is nonsense. And Vasquez will be a fool if he were to pass up on this golden opportunity to be drafted in the first round. With or without him, the Terps are not NCAA-material. Therefore, from a business point of view, remaining in the draft is the best option for him.

Posted by: forgetit1 | June 3, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse


In case you missed the season, Greivis was the team leader in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. Also happened to get voted 2nd team All-ACC for the second year in a row. Are you telling me that's a player you don't want back on your team?

Posted by: JMSinCHeights | June 3, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

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