Terps' defense is 'contagious'
With just less than eight minutes remaining in the first half Tuesday night, Miami guard Durand Scott attempted a pass to guard DeQuan Jones that was tipped away by Maryland senior guard Greivis Vasquez. Scott got the ball back, but only temporarily, as junior guard Adrian Bowie knocked it loose shortly thereafter.
Bowie and Jones chased after the ball, and both dived across the floor in pursuit. The ball popped loose and continued to trickle down the court. By that point, sophomore guard Sean Mosley and Scott were giving chase. Before the ball fell out of bounds, Mosley leapt, bounced the ball off of Scott and fell to the ground.
Maryland was awarded possession, and following a television timeout, freshman forward Jordan Williams scored and was fouled. He made the free throw to push the Terrapins' lead to 15.
That entire sequence of events began with Vasquez sticking his long arm into the passing lane and denying his man the ball.
"I think he's committed to being a very good defensive player," Coach Gary Williams said of Vasquez. "And those things are contagious when you have veterans like Landon Milbourne, Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez that really, on every possession, are doing whatever they can defensively. That's great leadership. Leadership isn't just the guys who clap hands when the coach is looking and they know the coach wants them to clap their hands; it's what you do on the court, how you are in practice every day. I think we're fortunate to have that type of leadership on this team, and that's been there from day one in practice October 17. It's a good feeling for me to see that because we've had those three guys for four years here."
Vasquez finished the game with 16 points and nine assists. He was credited with just one steal, but Gary Williams said Vasquez's defense deserves more credit than it typically gets.
Gary Williams pointed out that against N.C. State on Saturday it was Vasquez who often provided help defense to Jordan Williams, who was guarding the Wolfpack's primary offensive target, 6-foot-8 forward Tracy Smith.
"When Greivis decides to play, his defense is really good, because he's so long he can really bother people in certain situations," Gary Williams said. "People feed off of that. You need your senior players, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne, to do that, and they're all committed to do that. That's a big part of Greivis's game."
Just more than six minutes into the game Tuesday night, Vasquez scored a lay-up in transition. Then Vasquez stole a pass from Miami guard James Dews near mid-court. He scooted in for a fast break dunk that forced Hurricanes Coach Frank Haith to call a 30-second timeout less than a minute after the first television timeout.
By that point, Maryland led by 10, and the early signs of a rout were beginning to appear.
January 27, 2010; 10:16 AM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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