On Sunday, Greivis Vasquez’s number was raised to the Comcast Center rafters in a pregame ceremony preceding Maryland’s 87-80 win over the North Carolina State Wolfpack. On the court, freshman Terrell Stoglin did his best imitation of the fiery Venezuelan, scoring 25 points and dishing out nine assists.
Stoglin has been Maryland’s lone bright spot in the last two weeks; the pint-sized point guard has averaged 19.75 points per game on 60.4 percent shooting with 6.5 assists in the Terps’ last four games.
Maryland hasn’t had a freshman have this type of impact since, well, Greivis Vasquez came to College Park in 2006.
Will Stoglin go on to have the career that Vasquez had? Probably not, but he has had a more efficient rookie campaign.
Stoglin averages slightly more points and shoots a better percentage. Vasquez averaged more assists but more turnovers. And by the end of the year, don’t be surprised if Stoglin’s assist average is higher than the 4.6 that Vasquez put up in his freshman year.
The one category that Vasquez does have Stoglin beat is in wins. Vasquez helped Maryland to 25-9 record and a NCAA Tournament berth. Stoglin’s Terps will likely miss the NCAA Tournament.
But Vasquez had more talented around him, including DJ Strawberry, Mike Jones, James Gist and Ekene Ibekwe.
Stoglin has Jordan Williams and that’s about it.
Now some people will dwell on the stretches of poor play that have plagued Stoglin this season, but what freshman doesn’t suffer from inconsistency? Greivis Vasquez struggled with those stretches well into his sophomore year.
I don’t want to sound like I am diminishing what Greivis Vasquez did for Maryland basketball; he is one of the five most important players in the program's history, and he may have saved Gary Williams’ job.
With that said, Terrell Stoglin has had a better freshman season—plain and simple.
Stoglin trumps Vasquez in both the stat sheet and the eye test.
He’s quicker, he has a better handle and he is a better shooter. Neither is exactly Sean Mosley on the defensive end, but Stolgin’s quickness gives him the slight edge over Vasquez.
Stoglin is a blur with the ball in his hands and uses that quickness to get to the line, averaging 5.4 fouls drawn per 40 minutes. He is a tremendous shot-maker and can get to any spot on the floor.
Vasquez, on the other hand, relied on his size and guile to get to the rim, but he struggled against bigger guards.
But then there is the part of Vasquez’s game that can be measured by a statistic or accounted for in a game plan. Vasquez had that "it factor." He had the flair for the dramatic, and that is what set him apart.
Does Stoglin have that?
It’s hard to say at this point.
But with Maryland in must-win mode for the rest of the season, I have a feeling we’re about to find out.