Hot topic: Gregory, of course
With the return of junior forward Dino Gregory from suspension roughly 24 hours away, the popular topic of conversation Friday at Comcast Center was, naturally, the impact Gregory's presence will have on the Terrapins.
"A player like Dino, I saw his stats on the cover of the back page of the Diamonback today, you know, players give to the team other things besides statistics," Maryland Coach Gary Williams said. "In other words, when you buy a business there's an item line that's 'good will.' There's a good will that you build up as a business, and that goes into the value of that particular business when it's for sale. And it's the same thing for players.
"Players like Dave Neal, like Dino Gregory, give things to the team that are difficult to put a value on, but they're very important to the team. With Dino, it's effort everyday in practice. It's the same effort that shows in the games. It's a player who wants to get better. Dino's a much better player than when he came here as a freshman. His tenacity down the stretch during the NCAA tournament, the ACC tournament, the game against North Carolina, things like that, certainly were a big factor in our team's success because it's contagious. If you're a good passing team, that becomes contagious. If you have good effort, that becomes contagious. If you have guys that really work hard, and that's what Dino is.
"He fits a lot of those categories that don't necessarily show up on the stat sheet, and to belittle Dino's accomplishments last year is wrong. I think most basketball people with knowledge of basketball would say the same thing."
Williams went on to note that Gregory's return also might positively impact the play of senior guard Greivis Vasquez, who has struggled offensively so far this season.
"I think Greivis has proven that he's a great player," Williams said. "He led us in points, assists and rebounds last year. I think he's the first player in the history of Maryland ever to do that. That's what he can do, and I think if he would just allow that to happen sometimes, it happens.
"Basketball's a funny game. I don't think I ever coached a player who was our best scorer that didn't lead his team in scoring. The ball seems to find those guys. I think Greivis, it'll happen, and he just needs one game to break out, and I'm very confident in Greivis of his ability that that will happen. And this could be another situation where Dino's return will help Greivis, so we'll see how it goes."
Vasquez, who is shooting 32.3 percent from the field and averaging 12.8 points per game, also spoke to the media today. I'll post a lengthy transcript of that chat in a little bit.
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