Greivis Vasquez made a rare appearance in the Comcast Center interview room Tuesday in College Park. After listening to Vasquez's 15-minute discourse, I can understand why Gary Williams tries to limit access to the talented but erratic sophomore guard.
Asked if the Terps will go only as far as he will lead them, Vasquez said, "I recognize that. Trust me, I have a lot of responsibility on the team and I know what I'm putting myself into. I know the team is going to go the way I go. In a humble way, I'm not saying that I'm the best player on the team, but if I go and dive for the ball, I'm sure James Gist and Bambale Osby are going to do the same thing... I know I just got to calm down sometimes and just lead the team. I know I'm the leader and I've got the ball every time. It's hard to have that type of responsibility every night, in the ACC, especially when you're at Maryland.''
On his performance when the Terps lost at Virginia Tech back in January. Vasquez made only two-of-14 shots, didn't hit a three, yet took what was potentially the game-winner, a 23-footer that missed: "I wasn't playing 100 percent, that's no excuse. I remember I was being selfish, not giving the team everything that I could give them. I learned a lot from that game.''
On adjusting from playing with the Venezuelan national team last summer to Maryland: "I thought I was going to come over here and just dominate because of the summer I had. My role here is to be a point guard, my role on the national team is to be a point guard who can score. I was the second-leading scorer on my national team. Something that really hurt me was that I was away for so long, I didn't get back on time to work with the team (over the summer). I never played that many games in my life. It was a lot of travel, You've got to be a pro to be used to that. I'm not a pro yet. Right now my game is getting better because I'm playing as a point not knowing that I have to score. I'm going to score regardless of anything because my team needs me to score. I'm not looking to score just to impress anybody. I know my mentality is not to score to be in the newspaper, maybe get 22 assists and get the win.''
On his performance Saturday against N.C. State, which included 20 points, eight assists and eight turnovers: "I'm just capable to do that, to do a lot of things. Some people don't trust, they question me a lot. I love to keep hearing about what people say about me. It's motivating me a lot. I know I can hit threes. I know I can pass the ball, I know I can turn the ball over quick too. I got to work on some things just to make myself look better. Sometimes when people criticize me, just because I make them criticize me, that's my own fault Like the last game, eight turnovers, that's just unbelievable. How can I have eight turnovers if I want to be a great player? Why would you do that? I get sloppy at times, pass the ball some, I don't make great decisions. I know that. It's really good when other people tell you because it makes you work."
On his eight turnovers: "It made me sick. It gave people reason to talk about me. When you guys say that, you all know I'm a great player. You talk about the bad things I'm doing, you don't talk about the good things, which is good. It almost reminds me that 'You've got to keep working. You're not good enough yet.' Every time I watch tape, I say, 'What am I doing? That's not me. What is me?"
I'm sure Landon Milbourne will be back in the press room on Friday if the Terps beat Virginia Tech Wednesday night.
The next time we'll hear from Vasquez before a game will probably be prior to the ACC tournament.