A Look Back: Greivis Vasquez

How do I begin to describe this young man??

It keeping with the theme of the other two posts of Hayes and Milbourne, I’ll describe him the way he was introduced for four years at Comcast Center…a 6’6″ guard…from Caracas, Venezuela…#21…Greivis Vasquez!!

I’ve seen countless nicknames for him. Tim Brando called him the Vivacious Venezuelan. Others have called him the Venezuelan sensation. There are signs and posters that say VIVA VASQUEZ.

Whatever you call him, you have to respect his game and the mark he left on the Maryland basketball program. Let’s take a look.

It was evident from his freshman year that Vasquez had very real talent. He was an extension of coach Gary Williams while on the floor: Emotional, passionate, and hard-working. At times he took ill-advised shots and made careless turnovers, which was a cause of concern for some. But he contributed a great deal as a freshman and helped Maryland reach the second round of the NCAA tournament.

In his sophomore year he increased his numbers across the board in rebounds, points, and assists. However his turnovers per game nearly doubled and the inconsistent Terps failed to make the Big Dance.

In Vasquez’s junior year, he once again put up very solid numbers. Although the team fell to Duke three times, including a 40 point loss in Durham, the high point of the season came on Feb. 21, 2009.

Facing the third ranked (and eventual National Champion) UNC Tar Heels, Greivis placed the team on his back and put up one of the most impressive single game performances in school history. He dropped 35 points, grabbed 11 boards, and had 10 assists: The first Maryland triple-double since 1987.

Maryland went on the reach the second round the NCAA’s once again. But just like in his freshman year, Vasquez couldn’t do enough as a talent filled Memphis squad rolled over the Terps 89-70.

There was much speculation as to whether or not he would forgo his senior year and turn pro. I inaccurately predicted (see last paragraph) that he would go pro. It seemed inevitable. There had been some tension between him and the fans earlier in the season…and if you are good enough to go professional, why wouldn’t you?

Vasquez went to a few pre-draft workouts to see how he stacked up against the competition and how high he might get picked. He never signed an agent which meant he was still eligible to come back and play his senior season if he wanted to. And once the workouts were over, that is exactly what happened. There would be a senior year for Mr. Vasquez after all.

And what a senior year it was. In averaging 19.6 ppg, 6.3 apg, and 4.6 rpg, he never scored below 10 points in any of the team’s conference games. He led the team to seven consecutive victories to close out the season including two memorable games: at Virginia Tech and senior night vs. Duke.

The game at Blacksburg was wild for many reasons. The start time of the game was delayed nearly three hours because a beer truck ran over a fire hydrant and broke a water main. The game itself was thrilling. Back and forth with numerous ties and lead changes in the second half. It took two overtime periods to decide this one. But the Terps emerged victorious behind a career high 41 points from Vasquez.

The Duke game was big as always because Maryland fans just despise the Blue Devils. But for the first time in almost a decade, the stakes were high…a share of the regular season ACC title was on the line. Just like the Tech game, this one had a great flow. Back and forth it went in the second half. And with 39 seconds left to play, with his team up by two, Vasquez hit an extremely difficult fall away runner that helped seal the win for Maryland.

Just like in ’07 and 09′, the Terrapins’ 2010 season ended in the second round of the NCAA Tourney. Against Michigan State, Vasquez put the Terps up by one with 6 seconds to play, but a buzzer beater by the Spartans’ Korie Lucious ended Greivis’ season, and his career.

The career numbers for Vasquez are quite amazing. He is the first Maryland player to ever record 500 rebounds and 500 assists and the only player in ACC history to amass 2,000 points, 700 rebounds, and 600 assists. In his final game he surpassed the late Len Bias as the Terrapins second leading scorer all-time. Only Juan Dixon compiled more career points.

Greivis Vasquez…A Terrapin Forever…Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 Response to “A Look Back: Greivis Vasquez”


  1. 1 Pop March 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Enjoyed your articles on Vasquez, Hayes and Milbourne and your thoughts on the last game Terps vs State. Now onto Lacrosse and in the Fall football. Keep up the good comments and I’ll see you soon. Pop


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