Maryland's Greivis Vasquez Speaks His Mind

Glenn PettyAnalyst IJanuary 15, 2009

Last night the Maryland Terrapins lost to the Miami Hurricanes in spite of having a 17-point second half lead.  On top of that, the Terps have never beaten the Canes since the U joined the ACC.

In light of all that, it came as a small surprise that volatile Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez didn't yell at anybody before, during, or after the game. Well, at least as far as we know.

Last Saturday, in an ugly Terp win against Georgia Tech, Vasquez was a bit more outspoken, telling his own fans to shut up more than once and then giving the media an earful post game.

Now, here at Today's ACC Headlines we have some love for Maryland left over from adolescence, when Lefty Driesell ruled all things Terps.  On more than one occasion, we were lucky enough to go to old Cole Field House to see the likes of John Lucas, Len Elmore, Tom McMillan, and Mo Howard, to name a few.

Over the past few years, we have remained perplexed by Maryland’s inconsistency and inability to replicate a team the caliber of the National Championship squad of Juan Dixon, Lenny Baxter, Chris Wilcox, and Steve Blake. But we still have a soft spot for the kids from College Park.

We air that as the preface because what we are about to say won’t be popular in some circles. A bunch of Maryland fans (primarily students) are idiots. There, we said it.

Yo, Terpalicious dudes, you have one really good player—Vasquez. Yes, he’s inconsistent. And yes, sometimes he looks brilliant, and sometimes he looks like he has basketball I.Q. to rival his jersey number, but just like you, he’s a kid...a college student. And, oddly enough, college kids sometimes do things that defy explanation.

But at the end of the day, he’s really all you’ve got. So show G.V. some love, and, to put it as succinctly as he did last Saturday, SHUT UP.

Evidently, during the Terps' victory last weekend over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, some Maryland fans (again, mostly, if not all, students) were heckling Vasquez.

We know what you’re thinking: “You’re kiddin’ me, right?” According to the Washington Post, “When Vasquez missed a shot or made a mistake, a cluster of Maryland students either booed the guard or yelled for Vasquez to shape up. And Vasquez responded at least three times by turning toward his classmates (once while dribbling the ball), putting his index finger over his lips and telling them to ‘shut the [expletive] up!’”

After the game Vasquez wasn't much calmer, saying, "If they don't believe in us, they can get the hell out. We don't need them anyway. We need the people who will support us, who are with us. I know they are all happy now, but they didn't believe in us when we were down."

Rumor has it that Greivis’ exchange with the cranky fans was the most compelling aspect of an ugly game, and it added a new chapter to the love-hate relationship between the Terps' best player and a fan base burdened by high (and perhaps now unrealistic) expectations.

While coach Gary Williams has groused on occasion, he has not come right out and criticized the fanbase. Vasquez, on the other hand, has mentioned in recent years how quickly the fans jump on and off the Terps' bandwagon.

Just to add a little icing to his shut-your-pie-hole cake, coming out of a timeout with nine seconds remaining with the game in hand, Vasquez walked over in front of the Maryland student section and had a few not-so-kind words with the troops. One student, bewildered, responded, "But we love you, Greivis."

"They don't believe in what we do," Vasquez said. "I didn't shoot well; no one else did. But they always get on me. They are always expecting something out of me. I'm not here for the fans. I'm here for myself, my family, and Coach Williams."

Vasquez said Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech have student sections that support their teams regardless of performance. He also said to think this team resembles last season's team that struggled through non-conference play is wrong, adding, "We are a totally different team. What the hell are they thinking?"

Agree or disagree, give Greivis credit for speaking his mind.


(Photos: AP Photo by Rob Carr, Getty Images, Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun and Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)