It’s so good to see our old friend Greivis having an actual NBA career. (via)
– Maryland has to feel good about hanging with Duke, at Duke, but Maryland Sports Correspondent Andy Peden says, “If they don’t start winning, they’ll miss the Tournament. They have to beat Villanova and go 10-6 in ACC.”
– Jordan Williams is a beast (23 and 12). The rest of the team not so much.
– Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard need to get old young.
– The free throws (9-17) continue to kill Maryland.
– Not a big fan of the all-black unis.
– I’m ready for Kyle Singler to graduate.
– The Plumlees, who are supposed to be good, are not good.
– It was so nice spending a cold winter evening with The G-Man.
– Great quote from Gary in the postgame: “We didn’t have to sub with their small. We were just small.”
– Ron Thompson’s “Instance Reactions” (see the scroll above) are funny. They’re not supposed to be funny.
– Head over to our friends at Testudo Times for actual analysis.
While the Terps backcourt is unsettled at best, Greivis Vasquez has found a new home in Memphis, getting 10 minute per game as the backup PG for the 8-14 Grizzlies. Still, being an NBA rookie comes with its growing pains, like getting decimated by a Deron Williams crossover (via Slam Online):
It happens, Greivis. Shimmy shake it off.
Texted words and pics from Mr. Irrelevant Maryland sports correspondent Andy Peden, who attended Friday night’s Nats-Reds game, which had been widely speculated to be Stephen Strasburg’s debut. He can be seen here modeling our red Strasburg 11:58:43 t-shirt behind home plate.
I would say there had to be 32,000 or so there. Most of the folks who bought tickets hoping Strasburg was pitching still showed up.
For a guy whose team wasn’t playing, Greivis had a busy Final Four. He was presented with the Cousy Award, which is nice. It also seems he went to a nightclub where Ohio State player/Club Trillion blogger Mark Titus was in attendance. Here’s what Titus wrote about the encounter:
I realized that this bar was capable of producing a good time because I not only saw Greivis Vasquez, but I also saw the absurd amount of Affliction clothes he was wearing and the unfortunate-looking female he was dancing with.
After watching Greivis dance with what I originally thought was one of his teammates for a few minutes, I felt an obligation to help him out a little bit. While there was nothing I could do to help him not look like he was dressed to challenge Brock Lesnar for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, there was something I could do to help him quit dancing with what looked like a combination of Pizza Face and Lori Beth Denberg. I tried to distract him from his dancing partner by introducing myself as a guy who used to play basketball for Ohio State. He continued dancing and said something like, “I love Ohio State and I love Evan Turner.” I responded with, “You obviously don’t know Evan Turner”, but I don’t think he heard/comprehended what I said.
His lack of response told me that he didn’t care what I had to say and just wanted to focus on dancing with this chick (although it looked more like he was wrestling a grizzly bear). I figured that there was nothing I could say to change his mind, so I did the next best thing and bought him some alcohol. That way he could at least convince himself that he was dancing with a good looking girl. Lord knows he wasn’t convincing anybody else.
Pretty sure some sort of bro code was broken there. Not cool, Titus.
Greivis Vasquez beat out Evan Turner, John Wall and others for the Cousy Award honoring college basketball’s top point guard, and the ceremony was yesterday at the Basketball Hall of Fame. Here’s how Big Red introduced Vasquez:
In addressing this body today, I can think of the immortal words of Mother Teresa, who told us that a life not lived for others is not a life. John Wooden took that phrase and turned it into the world of basketball, our world. A game not played for others is not a game. [...]
Gary Williams was that man for Greivis Vasquez. Gary Williams joins that incredible list of Mother Teresa, John Wooden, Oscar Robertson and Jerry Colangelo, someone who made a difference for a young man, who gave someone a chance to be a part of something special.
Greivis Vasquez, he grew up in Caracas, Venezuela without much. Greivis Vasquez, because of Jerry Colangelo and David Stern and the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in Brazil, he was able to be touched by a great message and even better leaders. Greivis Vasquez, who grew up idolizing Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, true descendants of Bob Cousy, an unbelievable lineage, the ability to make the difference, to bring a smile to someone else’s face.
Greivis Vasquez, who came to Maryland as a high school player, could not speak a word of English. After just a few short years, he was offered a scholarship to the University of Maryland under the leadership and the mentoring and guidance of a brilliant man and a fine soul, Gary Williams. Greivis Vasquez is now graduating in four years with a degree in American Studies. Greivis Vasquez, he has made the most of his opportunities that others have given him, which is the true message of Bob Cousy and the point guard of the year award.
And in presenting this award to Greivis, I would just like to close with a song that Neil Young wrote for Greivis. It’s called ‘Light a Candle,’ and the verse goes, ‘Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle for where we’re going. There’s something ahead worth looking for.’ Thank you, Bob Cousy, and congratulations to Greivis Vasquez.
Now, I don’t think Shakey actually wrote that song for Greivis, but if he did that’s awesome. Actually, it’s awesome either way, because Bill Walton is awesome, and we should never forget it.
I have confirmed Gary Williams & Greivis Vasquez coach and player of the year in the ACC. Congrats to both.
Vasquez is Maryland’s first POY winner since Juan Dixon in 2002. Williams also won COY that season, before the Terps went on to win the National Championship.
I’d also like to add that both John Scheyer and Coach K can stick it.
Update: Greivis ran away with it, receiving 39 of 53 votes.
Update No. 2: Jordan Williams finished second in the ROY voting.
Maryland 79, Duke 72. Meaning the Terps will probably share the ACC title, but not Player of the Year. That’s all Greivis’.
See also: Vasquez’ original curious facial hair
Update No. 2: Images and video of Terps fans storming the floor, etc.
Update No. 3: Via Steinz, here’s video of Vasquez’s last-minute shot, which was infuriatingly awful … until it went in and then, god, it was brilliant:
Here to rebut Andy’s argument that Greivis Vasquez is this season’s ACC Player of the Year is Duke senior and former Deadspin intern Ben Cohen.
Typically, when Duke goes up to play Maryland, the subsequent jeers are vulgar. Sometimes, they’re laced with profanity. In J.J. Redick’s case, they’re not-so-veiled allusions to sisters in high school. Mercifully, Operation Scheyerface, the taunt of choice the last two years, is neither offensive nor crude. It’s creative, clever and admirable. It’s good heckling. Tomorrow night, it’s going to need to be effective heckling, too. It would be a special sort of irony for Duke to celebrate an ACC championship amidst cardboard Scheyerfaces — and for Jon Scheyer to beat out Greivis Vasquez for the inside track to Player of the Year honors in the process.
That’s not meant to belittle Vasquez, who has, indeed, had a wonderful season on a team with considerably less talent than Scheyer’s. He very well might be the best player in the league, and, on a slightly related note, he may just be named ACC Player of the Year. This is all well and good, and no one’s going to quibble with it. But in the spirit of civilized discourse — it’s not like Duke-Maryland is an actual rivalry or anything — the fact that Vasquez is clearly one of the two best players in the conference doesn’t mean we should devalue Scheyer’s merit, either.
So, when we look at the statistics without dismissing either candidate beforehand, the result is not all that stunning. Essentially, they’re the same.
Ladies and lads, here’s Mr. Irrelevant Maryland sports correspondent Andy Peden.
Wednesday’s Maryland-Duke game is billed as a showdown for both the ACC regular-season title and ACC Player of the Year. Over the past 56 years of the ACC, 71 percent of its POY winners have come from a team that finished first or second in the conference. Based on that history along with Va. Tech falling off (thus eliminating Malcolm Delaney), this year’s POY race comes down to the best player from either MD or Duke.
For MD, it’s pretty easy; it’s Greivis Vasquez. For Duke, it’s Jon Scheyer, but it’s not as clear cut. Entering the ACC schedule Scheyer was clearly their best player and the leading candidate for POY. But 14 games into the ACC Duke has become more balanced while Vasquez has blown up.
If you think about what they mean to their team, it’s safe to say Vasquez is everything to MD. After Vasquez’s 22.1 points per game, MD’s next highest scorer is Milbourne at 10.9. Duke has three players averaging 17-plus. Scheyer is going to be first-team All-ACC because of how steady he is, but he hasn’t scored more than 24 points or had more than seven assists or five rebounds in a game. Basically, there isn’t a game where you said, “Wow, Scheyer won that game for Duke.” However, it’s safe to say that Vasquez almost single-handedly won the VT game (33 points in second half/OT), UVA (25 in first half) and UNC (26 and 11 assists). Vasquez has five games with at least 26 points, four games with at least seven rebounds and five games with at least eight assists (including 13 against Clemson).
Here are Vasquez and Scheyer’s stats in ACC play. The numbers aren’t close — Vasquez has him in points, rebounds, assists and FG percentage:
(Ed. note: I flubbed the chart but don’t feel like redoing it; Scheyer’s 3PT% should be .398 and FT& should be FT%. That is all.)
Duke is the best team in the ACC, and the trio of Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith is unmatched. All three are going to be first or second-team All-ACC while MD may have Vasquez as POY but no one else on the first three All-ACC teams.
This will make for a great match-up Wednesday night, a game that will determine the ACC title but not POY. That race officially ended last Saturday when Vasquez dropped 41 against VT.