Once again; Maryland’s star guard Greivis Vasquez is saying things that Gary Williams might rather he keep to himself. In a press confernce today in Kansas City for the Terps’ NCAA Tournament 2nd Round game; Vasquez took shots at Maryland’s next opponent Memphis; specifically the Tigers’ schedule in Conference USA. From Jeff Barker over at The Sun…..
“They’d have a losing record in the league – probably win all of their games outside the league, losing record in the league,” Vasquez said. “The ACC is too tough. You can’t just win games night in and night out because you’re so athletic.”
He repeated similar sentiments a couple of times, and repeatedly called Memphis’ conference “questionable.”
It was a popular line of questioning from the Memphis reporters. Dave Neal was a bit more careful with his words, though he did suggest Memphis would be “fourth or fifth” in the ACC.
This isn’t the first time Vasquez has said some things that maybe he would have been best off avoiding. Before Maryland’s trip to Duke; Greivis boasted the comment “that’s my house” in talking about Cameron Indoor Stadium. The man Tim Brando dubbed “The Vivacious Venezuelan” had won at Duke just once in his career; and was particularly humbled in a historically embarrassing 85-44 defeat at the hands of the Blue Devils.
After the game; I asked Gary Williams about Vasquez’s comments. As you can read from my post-game story that fateful day; Gary was not happy with Greivis’ comments; and Greivis had much smarter things to say before Duke came to visit Comcast Center.
But Greivis’ emotions have not been any more downplayed since the embarrassment in Durham. His play has been at an all-world type of level; but he has remained particularly emotional; in both wins and losses. The one thing he HAD done a nice job of avoiding in recent weeks though is offering bulletin board material. Obviously that is until today.
Despite Gary’s displeasure with Greivis’ comments before the trip to Cameron; he admitted afterward that the comments had nothing to due with what happened on the floor-as Duke just flat out outplayed Maryland throughout the game. And should John Calapari’s Tigers beat Maryland tomorrow; I doubt it will have much to go with anything Greivis said to the media. But that doesn’t make it a good idea to give them any fuel.
We all know the ACC is worlds better than Conference USA. In fact; many of us in the media have taken the time to mention that when talking about Memphis-as we don’t REALLY know how good we are since the only good team we saw them play in ’09 was Gonzaga (who they thoroughly beat on a “neutral” floor in Washington). I would be willing to bet that few (if any) members of the media assembled in KC needed Greivis’ reminder of the schedule Memphis played this season.
But this Tigers team features a number of the parts that were just seconds away from a NCAA Championship one season ago. They are a VERY good team. They don’t need help.
But that’s Greivis. Or, as Manny Ramirez might say; that’s “Just Greivis being Greivis.” He’s an exceptional player; and he isn’t always the most polished. He’s rough around the edges, he’s emotional, he’s sometimes particularly out of control.
If he scores 35 points and posts a triple double tomorrow in a Maryland win; no one will remember what he said on Friday. But he scores 8 points and struggles throughout a blowout loss at the hands of the Tigers; Maryland fans won’t be soon to forget-especially as tomorrow could be the last time the junior dons the Under Armour Maryland jersey.