At his best, he is his team’s most versatile player. He is able to score, rebound and pass with skill and make the players around him better.
At his worst, he is a ball hog and an erratic shooter. A turnover-prone player who can come up small in the biggest moments.
Terrapins fans know that this is what you get with Greivis Vasquez. At times throughout his career at Maryland he has been capable of greatness (for example, the upset of #1 North Carolina last season). At times, he has been guilty of wretchedness (too many examples to name). When the Terps play on the road, it is Vasquez who is the focus of ire from the stands. Admittedly, he plays to the crowd and he loves to shut up opposing fanbases with good play. Yet when he messes up, he draws the scorn of those same fans, who love nothing more than to see him flop.
Even Terp fans are split on Greivis’s appeal. Some realize that he is willing to step up in the game’s biggest moments and have seen him make plays when it mattered. Others hate his style, say he tries to do too much and often plays out of control. He has also been one of Gary Williams’ biggest backers. When Coach Williams was getting repeatedly peppered with questions about his coaching and whether or not the team would make the NCAA tournament last season, it was Vasquez who was in the coach’s corner and rallied the team to the NCAA tournament, getting as far as the second round in a loss to Memphis.
This season has been the typical Vasquez rollercoaster. Early in the season, he was shooting poorly though he contributed with assists and rebounds. Now that he is scoring a bit better his confidence is high, even if his shooting percentage isn’t. A case in point is the Wake Forest game last Tuesday. Vasquez led the team in scoring with 30 points (on 9-27 shooting from the field) as the Terps fought from behind in the second half to get to overtime. But when Maryland needed a quality shot to try to extend or win the game, there was Vasquez with a crazy shot from the corner that hit the side of the backboard and a contested 3-pointer that was not close. There certainly was time in both instances to find a better shot.
On the other hand, yesterday’s win over Boston College showed how good Vasquez can be if he plays under control. While he scored only 17 points, those points were scored on better than 50% shooting (7 makes out of 13 attempts). He also added 9 assists, 5 rebounds and two steals, with only two turnovers for the game.
This Dr. Jeckyll-Mr. Hyde act is about to come to a close, with this being Vasquez’s senior season. So what are your feelings about Vasquez? Potentially great player if he knows his role and plays under control? Or a player with erratic skills who thinks he is a better player than he really is?