Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reactions to Vasquez's return to Maryland

Greivis Vasquez is returning to Maryland for his senior season after withdrawing his name from the 2009 NBA Draft, which is great news for Gary Williams and the Terps. With Vasquez back, Maryland's starting lineup is significantly better, and it also makes the bench a little deeper.

Here are some reactions that examine Vasquez's return further:
  • Terrapins Insider:

    G -- Vasquez
    G -- Bowie
    G -- Mosley
    F -- Milbourne
    F -- Williams

    Bench -- Hayes, Gregory, Tucker, Padgett

    How do you like that lineup?

    Here's the thing about Vasquez: You pretty much know what you're going to get every time he takes the court. For the most part, he was a consistent presence for the Terrapins last season. Even during the stretch when his shooting percentage sunk, he almost always found a way to score 10 or more points. How many other players on Maryland's squad possess that capability?

  • The Dagger:

    While we can debate how good this will make Maryland next year (better than they would be had Vasquez left and certainly more confident), it's undoubtedly a good thing for Vasquez's pro chances. Had he gone pro, he may have slipped into the second round and earned the non-guaranteed contract that comes with it. Now, Vasquez will be leading a presumptive top 25 team in 2010 and figures to have a much better chance at being selected in the first round. Not bad for a guy who doesn't always make the right choice on the court.

  • D.C. Sports Bog Live:

    I like Greivis. He's good for sports. And the Terps are, if not a Top 25 team, an Also Receiving Votes team now. So much for "Program in Crisis" talk.

  • Mike Wise:

    The great thing about Vasquez returning isn't that it flies in the face of so many one-and-done kids making a farce out of the NBA's age-restriction rule; no, [Vasquez and Williams] deserve each other for one more season, if for no other reason than what they've already gone through.

    The Gary and Greivis Show was never validated by numbers and splits or any other timing instrument or tape measure; it was about the bonding of two survivalists.

  • Baltimore Sun:

    With the 6-foot-5 Vasquez back, Maryland has all its starters returning except the graduated Dave Neal. The Terps will blend the backcourt experience of Vasquez and fellow guard Eric Hayes - who will also be a senior - with new inside players James Padgett and Jordan Williams and returning forward Landon Milbourne.

    Vasquez, however, won't be paired with Lance Stephenson, the highly touted, 6-foot-5 McDonald's All-American from Brooklyn, N.Y. Two sources with knowledge of Maryland's efforts, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday that the school no longer is recruiting Stephenson, who has had off-the-court issues.

    Vasquez's main assets are his size and ability to penetrate and rebound. He has struggled at times with his three-point shooting (32.7 percent for the season) and his defense. Williams said Vasquez has been working on improving his game, particularly the consistency of his shooting.

  • Tracking the Terps:

    I think most suspected Vasquez wouldn't stay in the NBA draft and would return for his senior season. "I thought he would (remain)," Eric Hayes said. Gary Williams had said much the same thing.

    But still. You never know when an itchy NBA team will get a covetous feeling about a player and whisper in his ear.

    Gary Williams said he was perfectly prepared to say goodbye to Greivis if the player got a top-20 draft nibble. But I don't think the coach expected that to happen. And neither did most of you Terps fans.

    Say what you will about Greivis and his personality -- mercurial? passionate? hot-headed? I think the guy really works to improve himself. He knows all about the turnovers and knows he must improve his shot. I expect him to return a better player this year.

  • ESPN:

    Williams said he is convinced Vasquez can be a top 20 draft pick in 2010.

    "He makes us pretty good,'' Williams said Monday afternoon, a few hours before the 5 p.m. ET deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft. "He's a competitive guy and when he was playing well against other point guards in workouts it was hard to see them projected ahead of him in the draft."

  • Andy Katz:

    A number of teams contacted by ESPN.com said Vasquez would've been a strong second-round selection this year, with the potential of being a solid first-round pick in 2010. On Monday, Vasquez decided on the latter. The native Venezuelan averaged 17.5 ppg last season for a Terps team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Maryland returns essentially everyone from that squad.

  • Andy Katz's latest preseason top 25:

    17. Maryland: Yes, the Terps are getting this high a nod. I know they got rocked by Georgetown and Duke at one point last season and had to scratch and claw their way into the NCAAs. But Greivis Vasquez' decision to return gives Gary Williams the ammunition he needs to build a tough-minded, gritty bunch once again, with eight of the team's nine top scorers back.
I think that about does it. Vasquez's return should certainly make the upcoming season a little more exciting.

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