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G. Williams: Vasquez draws criticism because he's 'not a cookie cutter-type player'

Maryland senior guard Greivis Vasquez is somewhat of a lightning rod -- nationally, regionally, even around campus. While it's likely that most Maryland fans hope that Vasquez performs well -- because ostensibly, that means the team has a better chance of succeeding -- not all of them like how Vasquez goes about conducting his performances. He's flashy and brazen and confident, and that rubs some people the wrong way.

So even when Vasquez scores 30 points, as he did during Tuesday's loss at Wake Forest, there were some who criticized the manner in which he reached that point total. He converted nine of his career-high 27 shot attempts against the Demon Deacons. And several emailers have said they would have preferred Vasquez drive to the basket before taking that final shot in overtime.

Point is, Vasquez always seems to draw as many critics as he does admirers for the way he plays. Earlier today, Coach Gary Williams was asked about his thoughts on how his star player is received by the general public.

"I think, first, we live in this area," Williams said. "If they can criticize the President of the United States, then they can criticize a basketball player, so you have to (the criticism) that for granted. If he's a some places, you know, in Columbus, Ohio, I coached there, you know, it's rah-rah for the Buckeyes all the time. It's not quite like that around here, so that's part of it.

"Greivis is a personality that's not afraid to show his emotions; I'm sure that's part of it. Some people resent that because your're not a cookie cutter-type player. You don't act like people think you should act all the time, but every player has a way to play to get himself to play the best he can play, and Greivis grew up, you know, playing with a lot of emotion, playing with a lot of guys that played with emotion, and that's the way he plays."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 15, 2010; 12:51 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

Can't win without him, period. Yes, he takes the more than occasional "what the hell are you thinkging shot" but he can carry the team. Just STOP the stupid wiggle you do after making a few 3s. Do it after the game, after you have won. Just stop doing it during the game. Someone T him up already so he will stop doing it.

Posted by: kenw1 | January 15, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

No question that Vasquez has ability, but he is an Arenas waiting to happen. He has to have the focus on him which is inconsistent with a team sport.

Posted by: deacon3 | January 15, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Gary is totally off on this one. It has nothing to do with his fiery personality. Thats fine. Its the lack of focus and erratic play. He is capable of playing very well SOMETIMES. Too many bad decisions, especially for a point guard, especially when the team really needs a big play. He doesn't consistantly get his teamates involved. he is an un-focused player period, and the team seems to follow suit. When Vasquez plays under control the team looks great. I would love to see him play smart and focused all the time, like a real point guard. Its not gonna happen! i truly believed this was the year Vasquez was going to get it. Nope! more of the same.

Posted by: wdcdave | January 15, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

A bit of GV's erratic play has to do with GW allowing it. I do feel strongly that GV plays his best when he is re-inserted into a game. Certainly he seems to come in focussed and making intelligent decisions over prayer shots. I guess the most frustrating thing is that GV is capable of being a bona fide star at the college level and Terps fans absolutely want to see that. And the shimmy is annoying. I seem to recall GW being much quicker to pull players - including stars such as Booth, Francis, Baxter, Blake and Dixon when they started playing out of control and making bad decisions on the court.

Interesting point about the criticism in the DC area. We are not nearly as critical as Philly towards their teams including Penn, Nova, etc.

So this far this season we were outplayed in four losses and gave away the Wake game. Looking forward to a strong showing against BC tomorrow.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 15, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

So far, every comment above is on target. But even Kenw1 offers a critical and valid comment to his claim that "we can't win without him."

The worst part of this post is that GW thinks playing in this area creates more citicism because of Washington politics. Give me a break.

I live in NY where we know how to hold players and teams accountable for their play and (more important) the way they approach the game.

The whole country is critical/caught up on Washington politics. That's NOT it Gary.

Read this blog regularly (which, since you ARE Barno, you are doing) and you will see that virtually everyone feels that way about GV. You, Gary, need to do a much better job of managing him.

Enough said. read the clips week in and week out. Realize, GW, that your most diehard fans have legitimate issues with your star. And we hold you, to a large extent, accountable....

Posted by: petecard | January 15, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

wdcdave and HughG,

Particular kudos to you guys for your very insightful comments.....

Posted by: petecard | January 15, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he is a lighting rod but when you haven't hit a game winning shot and you say your best when your drive to the basket because it opens up things for you and others, then you need to go with what you're good at and what is best for the team. Until Greivis can make the right decisions for the team and put himself and the team in the best position to win, he needs to hear this and change his attitude or way he goes about things at the end of the game. I definitely remember other games when they did high pick and rolls with him and he missed the same shot because there are now two defenders in front of you and you'll shoot from further back. VT 2 years ago is one that immediately comes to mind and a game we should have won considering we were up 4 with about 1:30 to play. I think we all remember the chinese fire drill at the end of the UVA game last year that if we won, would have helped us get better position in the tournament. Luckily we did get in.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | January 15, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

wdcdave, Exactly.

Gary is totally off on this one. It has nothing to do with his fiery personality. Thats fine. Its the lack of focus and erratic play. He is capable of playing very well SOMETIMES. Too many bad decisions, especially for a point guard, especially when the team really needs a big play. He doesn't consistantly get his teamates involved. he is an un-focused player period, and the team seems to follow suit. When Vasquez plays under control the team looks great. I would love to see him play smart and focused all the time, like a real point guard. Its not gonna happen! i truly believed this was the year Vasquez was going to get it. Nope! more of the same.

Posted by: wdcdave | January 15, 2010 3:29 PM

Posted by: tomfoley1 | January 16, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't live in your lovely community, but admire Gary Williams as a good coach.

Not to be offensive, but the best thing Maryland can do with that "Vasquez" is the same thing they did with that Lefty. Show him the door while telling him to re-do his "class".

This guy is class personified. "Class" minus the first two letters.

Posted by: dumpondook | January 19, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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