Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Junior guard Greivis Vasquez garnered some unwanted attention for his exchanges with members of the Maryland student section during Saturday's game against Georgia Tech. Well, at his media availability, Coach Gary Williams said Vasquez won't be doing much interacting with the crowd anymore.
To recap: At several points during the Terps' ACC opener, boos were directed in Vasquez's direction, either for missed shots or decisions deemed inadequate by unsatisfied fans. Vasquez, apparently, took the public criticism very personally. Near the end of the game, he repeatedly walked over near the student section and spewed four-letter words in succession. It was colorful, entertaining and inappropriate all at the same time. Anyway, Williams put the kibosh on such antics.
"I addressed the issue with Greivis after the game and again yesterday, and that's behind us," Williams said. "That, that, you can't do that. No matter what was said -- and there was some really bad things said besides the booing -- from the crowd. Given that, you still can't respond, and Greivis understands that, and I think you will not see that again."
Vasquez, the team leader in numerous categories, seems to prefer playing in environments where he feels as though everyone is against him. That may be why he recently told freshman guard Sean Mosley that playing on the road is more fun than playing at home. Still, Williams would prefer a little more support behind Maryland's star attraction, at least when the team plays at Comcast Center.
"Greivis has a chance to be the first player in Maryland history to lead the team in scoring, rebounds and assists, and I think that speaks for itself," Williams said. "If a guy misses shots, you know, that's too bad, but that doesn't mean you're a bad player. I know two of Eric [Hayes]'s threes down the stretch were assists from Greivis Vasquez.
"You know, he's a different player than people are used to seeing or maybe how older people think players should play, but the game's international now. You have different people from all parts of the world that act differently than they do here in the United States when something happens. It's just, you know, I think we need his energy for sure. Like I said, he can't talk to anyone in the crowd anymore. That's gotta stop. But we need his energy. I don't want to see him go away from the way he plays."
-- Steve Yanda