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Friday, April 18, 2008

What Will Men's Basketball Look Like Next Season?

You didn't deserve this, and I owe you all an apology. I'm sorry for not posting for almost 10 days. I'm a bad person.

Now that I've apologized, here we go. We've got to talk about:


Maryland signed guard Tyree Evans on Tuesday, bringing on board a troubled young man but a prolific scorer. He'll play shooting guard for the Terps. Evans came out of high school in 2005, but his college career was torn asunder by a statutory rape charge that was later dismissed. Classy. He's been drifting in junior college ever since and now has two years of eligibility left in College Park.

Evans' signing raises at least three questions for next season's squad:

1) Is Maryland still recruiting Bobby Maze? My understanding is that the scholarships are full right now, so unless someone else is leaving, it would appear not. However, sources say Maze's people seem to think things are on track, which leads to the next two questions ...

2) Is Eric Hayes transferring? The simple answer is that no one knows. This rumor has been circulating for at least a month, and The Sun's Don Markus has been addressing it recently. Markus says that if Maze signs, Hayes will go somewhere else, possibly Loyola. Personally, I think he can bring control to the game, and perhaps his injury during the season was worse than we thought. However, if he wants to go, Gary Williams should let him. He didn't take the next step this past year - his defense and how he creates shots on offense (or lack thereof) leaves much to be desired. He might just be ill-suited to ACC competition.

3) Is Greivis Vasquez leaving for the NBA? I hope not. I've feared this possibility since last fall. The honest truth that everyone knows but no one likes to admit is that Vasquez is the Terps' best player. He's good for at least 13 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds every night despite his inconsistency. He could be better next year if he slows down his game, but I don't know if Gary has that kind of control over him. However, ever since he played in Las Vegas against Kobe, it seems like Greivis has thought, "Gee, I can guard the best player in the NBA," (if you want to call what he did against Kobe "guarding"). It is my personal belief - although I emphasize I have no evidence to prove this - that Greivis believes that he is ready for the NBA. I think there will be a lot of people telling him to stay in school, but Gravy is the type of guy who does whatever he wants to do. If he genuinely believes he's ready, he'll bolt in a second.

It's a tough prospect when you consider that Evans and Mosley are both considered good enough to start right away - some experts believe that both are better than anyone who played guard last year, even Jason McAlpin. Hayes might be facing a lot of bench time, and Vasquez might be reluctant to subject himself to the criticism of the Maryland crowd (even though some of it is deserved). Whatever happens, I think it's safe to say that we're in store for an interesting season next year.

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