Last night, the Terps demolished Morgan State, 89-65. Eric Hayes tied a season high with 19 points and Gist dropped 18. But neither of them were the best player.
Although it's true that Hayes lit a fire under the team after a scrappy first half by hitting 4 big shots, the highly controversial Greivis Vasquez showed up big in the stat column: 17 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds. Yes, he had 7 turnovers, but he had three 3-pointers and hit all of his free throws as well. It's hard to argue that Vasquez did anything but his job last night.
In a happy coincidence, an article came out this morning about the polarizing Maryland point guard who had this to say:
"People are either gonna love me or they're gonna hate me," he said. "That's who I am."
Well, it's true. I encourage everyone to read the article.
I've heard a lot of muttering in the arena when I'm at games and when I talk about the team. I'm talking about Maryland fans themselves. The mutterings usually consist of phrases like these:
- "He makes such stupid decisions!"
- "Why is he taking so many shots?"
- "Eric Hayes should run the point."
I don't disagree. Vasquez, so far this season, has been pretty poor for a starting point guard. I think I sufficiently pointed this out earlier. However, today is a perfect day for the release of the article - the day after Greivis played well in a game.
As much as he hold the team back with turnovers, bad shooting or sloppy defense (how about Jamal Shuler calling him out?), when he plays well, he carries the team, the crowd and the world on his shoulders. Remember his near-triple-double at Cameron Indoor Stadium and how he was basically dominating and pissing off the Cameron not-so-Crazies (A.K.A. The Pointers)? Yeah, I do.
He is epically more athletic than Hayes, faster and more confident. I love Hayes, and he's definitely been living up to his shooting hype, but he has a hard time creating his own shot and when he started at the point last year, he wasn't as inspiring as Vasquez can be. And for those who argue that Hayes makes better decisions, last year Vasquez had a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio and Hayes had a 1.8; that's really not that much of a difference. Plus, since both Hayes and Vasquez are playing the most minutes on the team, almost complete games, what's the big deal? It's not like Vasquez is going anywhere and Hayes can run some plays if Gary wants.
I really don't think Vasquez should be as hated as he is. All players are different. Some are the same night-in and night-out, and some are gamblers - the kind of guy that goes on and off. Vasquez (so far) has been inconsistent, but as he showed last year in the Illinois game and the Duke game, he will play lights-out basketball in big games when people count him out.
Amusing Greivis notes:
- I think he's in love with Kobe.
- He was in one of the greatest high school games ever. Montrose Christian vs. Oak Hill Academy in 2006. "The Game" featured not only Maryland commits Vasquez, Landon Milbourne and Adrian Bowie, but also future UNC star Ty Lawson and the one and only Kevin Durant. Here's some highlights of the star-studded event. Bowie hit a shot for the win at the buzzer.
- The USA/Venezuela game mentioned in the article was an absolute joke. I'll leave you guys with the highlights.