Mt Time Warner box did its Jumper imitation three more times. I finally gave up and just turned the game on in real time to catch the final five. I missed how Duke build a 11-pt halftime lead. I missed how they extended it to sixteen and I missed how Maryland nearly caught up. Obviously, I can’t produce a solid review.
Fuck Time Warner to hell!
However, I will comment on something DeMarcus Nelson said after the game about Maryland guard, Greivies Vasquez.
“He’s a real cocky player,” DeMarcus Nelson said. “He plays to the crowd and does a lot of flamboyant things. If you could read my mind, I might be in trouble … He might have gotten his points tonight, but his teammates didn’t.”
Basically, Nelson is saying (and this is just my interpretation) two separate things here. Vasquez does jaw with the crowd, which of course is fine, if you win. The crowds goal (no matter what school you root for) is to get into the head of the players, to be the sixth man on the court. If Vasquez is spending more time worrying about the crowd, than the game at hand, then you have a problem. Of course, if you look at his stat line, you might thing otherwise. On top of his 22 points, he pulled down eight rebounds and dished out seven assists. That’s the second straight game he nearly pulled out a triple-double in Cameron.
However, one may have to consider that his attitude towards the Crazies might be having a negative effect on the outcome of the game, simply because it motivates the other team.
From Jon Scheyer:
“He’s an emotional guy,” Scheyer said. “He’s a hell of a player, so if that’s what fires him up. … We have a lot of respect for him. He can play, but when somebody comes in here and starts talking, it does make you focus more.”
This is probably true, but it is still too early to tell. So far Vasquez has split his two games at Duke in his career.
As for Nelson’s second point, “He might have gotten his points tonight, but his teammates didn’t.”
This may be fair point when you look at the basic stat sheet. Vasquez took 22 shots to score his 25 points. I’m not an expert, but that does remind me of a Stephon Marbury’s type stat line and how many titles does Stephon have? Exactly.
Against Duke, Vasquez took 33% of the team’s shots. Hell, after Gist and Osby’s 22 combined attempts, it took seven other Terps to take the other 22 shots.
Now you could argue two key points; a) Vasquez (in his 22 shots) shot .500 ball, while the rest of the Terps shot 36% from the floor. Maybe he’s a smart PG for realizing he had the hot hand? You also have to take into account that the Terps were down and trying to comeback late. Who else is going to be taking those late 3’s? For the record, Vasquez was 1-6 from behind the stripe.
Now I wasn’t on the court, so I don’t have the advantage that Nelson has. I was stuck watching the game on a busted Time Warner box in my New York City apartment. However, Vasquez did land seven assists. Also, I went back and looked at the portion of the game that did work.
I watched roughly 20 minutes of the actual game and in that time, I counted 15 times that Vasquez brought the ball down, dribbled the ball around for a bit, passed it, and that guy took the shot (sometimes making it, sometimes not). So that’s 15 times in just 20 minutes of game time, where the Terps passed the ball on a possession one, single time. Plus, I’m not counting the three times Vasquez went to make the first pass of the possession and it was stolen (or mishandled), or the handful of times he just drove down and shot.
On top of asking, is Vasquez selfish, I have to ask, is it game planning? Obviously, this might have just been the strategy against the undersized Blue Devils, but interior passing was a huge missing piece in the Terps offense.
Would it kill Maryland to occasionally throw the extra pass? Yes, I know they’re not a great team shooting from the outside, but if you simply run the same offense; Vasquez dribbles across mid-court, dribbles around for a while, spots a guy, passes to him, shoot…if that’s your offense on over half your possessions, then it’s not that hard to understand why the Terps got beat. I can only wish my cable box didn’t break; I would have loved to have broken this stat down throughout the whole game.
Anyhow, in the end, I’m not willing to call Vasquez selfish…yet. Sure, I think the jawing with the fans is stupid, but that’s who he is. Vasquez often talks about not getting respect and how he’s always out to get it. Now I’m not sure where he gets that idea. Anyone who watches ACC hoops knows that Vasquez (the 4th leading scorer in the ACC) is not only the star on an improving Maryland team, he’s one of the top players in the league. Some players need that edge (just go back and listen to any interview done by a New York Giant i the two months prior to the Superbowl). It’s that feeling of ‘no respect’ that motivates Vasquez, and getting into it with the Crazies, the one fan base that is constantly in your face, then that’s what he has to do.