A year ago, Greivis Vasquez said before Maryland's second-round matchup with Memphis in the NCAA tournament that the Tigers would "have a losing record in the" in the ACC, then added the Conference USA champion "needs some competition."
The Tigers crushed the Terps by 19 and went on the Sweet 16 before losing to Missouri.
Since Maryland is playing another Conference USA tournament champion - albeit an unherald Houston team with a 19-15 record - in the opening round Friday in Spokane, Wash., I asked Vasquez if he was going to take a more diplomatic approach this year.
"You're trying to get me in trouble," Vasquez said with a smile.
What did Vasquez learn from getting in a trash-talking contest with the more talented Tigers? A lot, apparently. The senior guard said, "It's a learning process. I don't regret saying what I say. But I understand what I'm about right now. I won't say anything like that anymore.
"They called me a name, and they were talking a little trash and I talked a little trash, And we lost. If we had won, things would be different. It is what is, I don't remember that. Maybe 10 years from now we can talk about it."
Of the Cougars, who were a .500 team heading into the Conference USA tournament, Vasquez said he has respect for a team that includes the nation's leading scorer, Aubrey Coleman.
"It's going to be a fun game, they have a good team, they won their league, we're not going to come out thinking we're going to beat them, we're going to go out thinking that we're playing a big-time team, and they are a big-time team," Vasquez said.
How boring, but here's a question: anyone else want to take on Vasquez's old role? ---