My parents were staying at my house a couple weekends ago and they used the snow as an excuse to stay a couple extra days, which we welcomed. The family was huddled around the TV watching the Terps play NC State, and Greivis Vasquez put on an offensive display. Greivis went 13/23 for 33pts, including 21 in the second half, in a 71-60 win against the Wolf Pack. After the game my dad commented, “They should rename this team ‘Greivis and the Terps’, like a rock band.”
Love him or hate him (and I love him), there is little doubt that Greivis is the front man of the Terps. This team goes as Greivis goes. In the ACC tournament, it’s likely to come down to how well Greivis is shooting the three ball.
There were two stories in the Post that led me to this conclusion. The first was yesterday’s column by Steve Yanda that Maryland is likely to face zone defense throughout the tournament. Maryland is not known for having a stellar half court offense, and teams from the top to the bottom of the league (not to mention Morgan State) have used the zone effectively against the Terps. Maryland is going to be forced to shoot over the zone in order to be effective, and Greivis is going to be taking the bulk of those shots.
The other story that led me to this conclusion was today’s column by Eric Prisbell stating that Greivis is going to declare himself NBA draft elligible at the end of this season. I’m getting deja vu. Wasn’t there a time roughly five years ago when Maryland had a volatile star with his sights on the NBA, and the Terps desperately needed him to have a superhuman performance in order to get an ACC Championship and a berth in the big dance? What was that guy’s name? I’ve erased it from my memory. Anyway, I think I remember that guy shooting lights out from three in beating a #3, #2, and #1 seed that weekend in Greensboro. With his sights set on life after college, Greivis is likely to try and duplicate that performance.
It’s obvious that Greivis has to put this team on his back. Will he succeed? Vasquez is shooting 32% from behind the arc this year, which is quite respectable. When he’s tight, he misses. When he’s loose and not forcing it he’s as good a shooter as anybody in college ball. When he’s in the zone, Greivis can drop a triple-double on you, and Maryland hasn’t had that kind of threat since… well, some guy whose name I forget.
The Terps come into tonight’s game with five days rest and play an NC State team that is just not as good as Maryland. In order to maintain the level of energy they need to get through the tournament, the Terps have got to put NC State away early. Then, they’re likely to face Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC if they’re going to make a run at it. In order to beat three of the best teams in the game, Maryland needs Vasquez to be in the zone between now and Sunday.
The Terps need a superhero in order to get through this bracket. Put on your cape, Greivis. Maryland needs you to save the season.