Greivis Vasquez cemented his legacy as one of the greats:
Coming into the season many people wondered where Greivis Vasquez would end up in Maryland hoops lure, a topic which is still hotly debated. To me, this season, Vasquez cemented his legacy as one of the greatest Maryland players to ever play the game and should be in the conversations with the likes of Joe Smith, Keith Booth etc. There have been many players to come through College Park and Len Bias and Juan Dixon are the cream of the crop. Players like Tom McMillen, John Lucas, Albert King are also considered greats, but the name Greivis Vasquez should be right there with them.
Many who do not believe Greivis is one of the greats, point to his inability to lead the Terps to the Sweet 16 or beyond in the NCAA Tournament. Anyone making that argument must not have watched the Michigan St game this season in the 2nd round when Vasquez brought the Terps back down from a 15 point deficit and hit what looked to be the game winning shot with six seconds left. Was it his fault that the Spartans won the game on a broken play in which a back up guard hit a fade away 3 pointer at the buzzer? Was it his fault that a Maryland team that was starting Dave Neal as its center could not get past a Memphis team in the second round that had amazing talent? No it was not so that argument should not be made. To me, great players are defined by great moments, and every Terps fan will remember Vasquez's 41 point performance against Virginia Tech and his 20 point performance to out duel Jon Scheyer and lead the Terps over Duke. To me, this season cemented Greivis Vasquez's legacy as one of the best to ever play the game.
Gary Williams should not be criticized, EVER:
After the sting of the loss to Michigan St wore off (which for me took about a week), I expected Terps fans to look back on this season and realize how special it really was. Instead, many of them polluted the radio airwaves with talk about Gary Williams' lack of recruiting. Look, I would have loved for guys like Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo and such to come here, but the simple fact is that Gary Williams does not need players like this to be successful. I am going to touch on this more in a future article I am going to write about recruiting, but the Terps would not have been co- ACC regular season champs this season nor would they have made two final fours and won the national title without Gary Williams. What more do you want from the guy? How many times this season did we see him out coach the opposing coach? He made Dino Gaudio look like a high school coach in the loss to Wake Forest and his move to counteract Coach K and go with a smaller lineup, led them to a victory over Duke.
Many fail to realize that this team was almost the exact team that Williams took to the 2nd round of the tournament the previous season, and everyone referred to that as one of his best coaching jobs ever. The only difference in that team from this year's team was Jordan Williams replacing Dave Neal inside, and last time I checked, it was Gary Williams that recruited Jordan Williams. John Calipari, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins will all be watching the Final Four from their couch, just like the Terps.
I criticized Gary Williams last season and I will never do it again. Hopefully, Terps fans realized just how great he is.
The Cupboard is not bare for next season:
The Terps are losing three seniors from this years' team but they still have some talent returning and new talent coming it next season. Certainly it will be hard to replace the two 1,000+ point scorers and the second leading scorer in the history of the program, but this team will be fine next season. Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker contributed off the bench, especially late in the season, and Sean Mosley, Jordan Williams, Dino Gregory and James Padgett all return. In addition to those six( five of whom will likely start) the Terps bring in a good recruiting class consisting of Mychal Parker, who was a top 100 recruit, Terrell Stoglin, a point guard from Arizona, Pe'Shon Howard and Ashton Pankey who were starters on two of the best high school programs in the country and Hakur Palsson, who is lights out from beyond the arc. This team will be a mix of young talent and veterans that have gone through the gauntlet that is the ACC. It may take a few months for them to gel, but this team has the talent to lead the Terps back to the tournament. The future is bright in College Park.
The 2009-2010 season ended in heartbreak for the Terps and their fans and they are saying goodbye to three seniors that have had tremendous careers. This season was a special one in College Park and Maryland Basketball once again became a force in college basketball. It was fun to be a Terps fan this season, and despite the horrible ending, the Terps players made their fans proud this season. Everyone now just needs to sit back and think of what a tremendous season this has been. There have been moments that will be remembered forever, and I am glad I was around to witness them.
Marco can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter @mromanell or friend him on Facebook, Marco Romanell.