Freshmen impressive at first scrimmage

With six freshmen on this year's team, Greivis Vasquez knows he has to set a good example early. So after a self-described "horrible" shooting performance in Saturday's scrimmage, he stayed on the court and took jump shots.

It's that type of work ethic that Vasquez is trying to instill in the freshmen. It wouldn't hurt if they emulated his performance today either—despite 4-of-16 shooting from the field, he finished with 12 points, 13 assists and 5 rebounds, complete with a couple of crowd-wooing dishes.

Pretty good day, huh?

"I'm not satisfied," Vasquez said. "I'm trying to get better. I shot the ball horrible today but I just got to keep working on my shot."

Through one week of practice, it seems the team is following his lead, especially the young guys. This year's team has been described as a group of "Gary's guys"—players that come in with something to prove and a willingness to work hard.

Of course, on-court performance is important too. The freshmen in particular asserted themselves today—the Montrose Christian duo of Adrian Bowie and Shane Walker had 14 and 12 points respectively. Walker added nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Bowie had three assists.

Braxton Dupree, who Williams said has "an incredible amount of potential," had 9 points and 11 rebounds while matched-up for much of the day against the equally physically-imposing Bambale Osby.

"When he gets the ball close he's very difficult to stop," Williams added.

Cliff Tucker, the lone freshman who didn't play at a Maryland high school last year, had 2 points and 7 rebounds. Dino Gregory had 6 points and 6 rebounds.

"It was impressive today," Vasquez said of his newest teammates. "They've been playing hard but I've never seen them play that hard. They played really well today. I'm really proud of them."

"They're willing to work hard and that's a good thing," said Gist, who had a scrimmage-high 23 points. "Nobody has any egos and everybody's ready to just come in and win and play Maryland basketball."

To start the second 20-minute period, Williams put the freshmen through "initiation." They were matched up against the likely starting five of Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne, Gist and Osby. The veterans jumped out to a 15-2 lead, but the new guys cut it to 21-16, with Gregory and Walker scoring 6 and 8 during the stretch.

"They're battling," Williams said. "They're no too respectful of the veteran players which is important."

Williams on Gist:

"James is working his game the last couple of years where he can play a little strong forward now. He's going from a ‘5' to a ‘4' where now he can play the ‘3' also. He's a good enough shooter from 18 feet where they have to cover him. I'm pretty confident playing him at the ‘3' when he's needed there because we do have some depth at the ‘4' and ‘5' position to go along with that."

On Hayes (12 points, 6 assists) and Vasquez:

"I look at both Eric Hayes and Greivis this year as like 1-2 type players—they're just guards. People will call one guy a point guard and the other guy a second guard, but they're guards. That's coming back into vogue now to be a guard instead of having to be a point guard or two guard."

On Milbourne (10 points, 6 rebounds):

"He's really working hard. Everyday he gets better seeing stuff in the offense. We haven't done anything new really. I'm just watching Landon how he fits with those four guys to see if he's up to speed with where they are and he's doing a pretty good job."

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