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Maryland basketball legends chime in on Vasquez: Lucas

John Lucas played at Maryland from 1973-76 and during that span he scored 2,015, which ranks him sixth on the all-time Terrapins scoring list. Lucas also is tied with Albert King for first in field goals made (862).

These days, Lucas is an assistant coach with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. Here's what he had to say about Maryland senior guard Greivis Vasquez ...

On how Vasquez's game has evolved over the course of his collegiate career: "I think he's now identifying what his strengths are as a player. I watched him when Maryland was recruiting my son (Jai Lucas) three years ago, and just his improvement from that point has been really good. He's got great size and I think he's going to be a good pro."

On what he sees in Vasquez's game now that he didn't see three years ago: "I think he didn't have command of his game. I knew what I thought he wanted to do, but I didn't think he knew how to get there to do it. And so therefore a lot of turnovers were created and bad shots. And I've seen as he's evolved that his shot selection is much better, the way he distributes the ball, and the way he's improved his shooting.

"I came up to Maryland to watch him play during his freshman and sophomore years. When guys put their names in the draft, guys are not using the draft for what it was set up to be. Guys are using the draft to get out early. The draft was normally set up to make the worst teams better. Now guys are using the draft to come out early. And I think Greivis will be much more ready to be a contributor on the next level now than he was when he was trying to come out. He just has so much more command of his game.

"What I've liked about what Greivis has done is he's grown his game in that regard. He can post up, he can shoot the ball and he can distribute it. Those are the three things that in basketball make you uniquely unique. And what else I've seen is that his teammates respect what he does. When I saw him earlier, he hadn't developed into that leader yet that he is now."

On the growth in Vasquez's game that he's noticed since Vasquez entered his name into the NBA draft and participated in workouts for NBA teams last spring: "His shot selection, maturity and rebounding. He strikes me as a guy who does a little bit of everything. He does everything very well. He is much more of a complete player today, especially on the defensive end. He doesn't get into foul trouble. He just has command of his game. And it's been a delight to watch and see. He is now what you would call a guy that would be pro ready. And I look at it from a different perspective. I look at who can come in and help a (NBA) team right away. He has that capability to help a team now, right away. Last year he didn't."

On the elements necessary to be considered on of Maryland's all-time great players: "Winning is the key. When we were in school we would win 29, 30 games and we'd lose to North Carolina State and we wouldn't play another game because (the NCAA tournament) wasn't open to 64 teams. Winning is one of the biggest components. Then after you separate the winners, it's individually, not the stats, but it's who on your team did you help to get better. All of those guys, they got everybody better.

"You wouldn't say this is one of Maryland's greatest teams, but Vasquez has helped his team get better. He's raised everybody's level around him, and I think people miss that sometimes. People look at stats. A lot of that goes into what your coach lets you do. How much will your coach let you have the freedom to score. The bottom line is, Who has he helped make better? Has he made Hayes better? Yes. Has he made Tucker better, Bowie better, Milbourne better? Yes. Because he commands so much attention that other players get a chance to do what they can do because he commands so much."

On where Vasquez ranks among the all-time great Maryland players: "I don't know where he does. I think this is a great year for him, and obviously you have to put him somewhere there. I haven't really gone back and looked through a list to see. I just know this is his time."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 18, 2010; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: NCAA tournament video: Highlights of Maryland's season so far

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