Maryland's Vasquez wins Cousy Award for nation's top point guard

Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy was the type of fearless playmaker known for his leadership skills and charisma -- much like Maryland's Greivis Vasquez.

The similarities were recognized by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday when it named Vasquez the winner of the 2010 Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation's top point guard. It is just the latest in a series of prestigious awards for Vasquez, who was the Atlantic Coast Conference's Player of the Year, a second-team All-American and is one of 10 Wooden Award finalists for national player of the year. He averaged 19.6 points and 6.3 assists this season.

The Cousy Award was especially impressive because Vasquez beat out 73 other candidates from Divisions I, II and III, including Ohio State's Evan Turner, Kentucky's John Wall and Duke's Jon Scheyer. The award also took some of the sting out of the Terps' loss to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

"I can't really describe how I feel right now because I am caught up with everything that happened -- good and bad," Vasquez said during a news conference at Comcast Center. "We had more good things than bad things. So, if you would have asked me in my freshman or sophomore year that it was going to happen like this, and I was going to win all of these awards, I probably would have doubted it a little bit. I am just thankful and I think I am shocked."

Vasquez's impressive season also validated his decision to return to Maryland for his senior season in hopes of winning a national championship and improving his stock for the upcoming NBA draft. While he fell short in the former, Vasquez likely improved his position in the draft with his dominant season.

"I already went through the whole process so I am more patient, more mature and I know what [general managers] and teams are looking at," said Vasquez, who is Maryland's second all-time leading scorer behind Juan Dixon. "I am just taking it step by step. I am going to start working out next week here at Maryland.

Vasquez, a Caracas, Venezuela native, said he might have been able to separate himself from other marquee players because of his leadership. That notion was not lost on Maryland coach Gary Williams.

"Whether it was passing, rebounding, playing defense or making big shots, Greivis made our team better," Williams said. "Greivis did whatever was necessary to help us win games. He was a great leader."

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