All four of Maryland’s 2006 commitments played for the U.S. All-Stars team against the Baltimore All-Stars team. Guards Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez and forward Landon Milbourne started for the U.S. squad while forward Jerome Burney played mainly with the second team off the bench.
Much as he did against Oak Hill Academy earlier this year, it was Montrose Christian guard Greivis Vasquez who stole the show. Though his U.S. All-Stars team lost to the Baltimore All-Stars 92-88, Vasquez led all scorers with 27 points and even grabbed 8 rebounds.
With the Baltimore team deciding to pressure the ball, Vasquez was used in conjunction with Hayes to bring the ball up court and played both guard positions during the game. While quite capable of running the point, Vasquez said he was looking more to score in this particular game.
“I did play a lot of point today but I was kind of hot so I wanted to play the two-guard with Eric running the point,” Vasquez said. “I played okay today. We didn’t win so I’m not really happy but it was fun. It’s an all-star game.”
Vasquez started out the game entertaining the crowd with a few flashy no-look passes on breaks but seemed to settle down and focus more on production as the game went on. He shot 8-of-12 from the field, 3-for-5 from 3 point range, and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. He also added 4 assists and 3 steals in the 26 minutes he played.
As you might expect, Vasquez is very eager to get to Maryland next fall and start the next chapter of his basketball career.
“I can’t wait to go there. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be serious. We’re going to work hard and we got some players that can play. I hope next year we’ll be in the tournament.”
Vasquez and Hayes played together in the backcourt most of the game. Hayes didn’t have a standout game in this all-star game setting, finishing with 4 points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field (two of his missed shots were hurried attempts to beat the quarter/game clock). He added 3 assists, a steal and a rebound.
As a future Maryland point guard, Hayes was just happy to play with and establish some chemistry with his future teammates.
“I like all of them. Every one of them brings something different. Jerome – he blocks shots and rebounds. Greivis, you see what he did today. He can run the team and he’s a great passer and great scorer. And then Landon, he’s a great athlete. He can get to the hole and finish. I think we have a pretty good group coming in this year.”
Over the past year, Hayes and Vasquez have become close friends and are well on their way to establishing great chemistry on and off the court.
“We’re really good friends,” Hayes said. “He’s probably my best friend right now. We’ll be rooming together next year and our friendship is going to get stronger over these four years.”
Like the other future Maryland players in the game, Hayes expressed his excitement for the start of his college career in the fall.
“Just looking forward to getting out there and playing in the ACC and playing at Maryland and getting back to the NCAA tournament. That’s our main goal.” He added, “I’ll be working hard to get us back to the tournament.”
Atlanta native and future Terp Jerome Burney contributed 6 points on 3-of-4 shooting and tied the Charm City game record with 5 blocks to go along with 5 rebounds. As is the case with any all-star game, it was a very guard and perimeter-oriented game but that didn’t bother Burney.
“I’m used to it,” He said. “I play against smaller guys anyway so that adds to my quickness. That adds to my defensive presence. I can guard guards and big forwards also.”
Burney also talked a little about his goals next year when he gets to Maryland.
“Definitely [making] NCAA tournament and also just trying to improve myself to a better player,” he said. “Whatever they need me to do I’ll make sure I try to do it.”
For future Terp forward Landon Milbourne of Oak Hill Academy, it wasn’t his best game as he scored just 2 points on 1-of-6 shooting. He’s still working on becoming more of a wing player with his jump shot and ability to put the ball on the floor.
Like all of his future teammates in the game, Milbourne is eager to get on the court with them next year at Maryland.
“I look forward to playing with them,” he said. “I really do. In practice and everything I got used to playing with them and stuff like that. I like Greivis’ game. He’s a hustler. I like people that run up and down the court so I think it will be fun.”
He ended with a message for Maryland fans.
“Thanks for the support. Stay on our side. Hopefully we bring back a better season next year.”