Vasquez likely to declare for draft

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Just passing along something I just filed for tomorrow’s dead-tree edition. There isn’t much incentive to write it two different ways, especially with a bunch more work looming.

Anyway, Greivis Vasquezsaying he’ll look into going to NBA pre-draft camps comes as absolutely no surprise at all. Maybe the timing is mildly surprising. But either way, a junior who hasn’t declared for the draft and doesn’t at least gauge his stock a little bit probably isn’t being smart. It’s low-risk, high-reward.

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ATLANTA | Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez said he is strongly considering placing his name into the NBA Draft after the season to assess his value among professional teams.

The ploy is a common one for underclassmen, especially juniors who have not previously explored their NBA stock. College basketball players can declare one time and return to school without penalty so long as they do not hire an agent.

Vasquez, who leads the Terrapins in points (17.8), rebounds (5.4) and assists (4.8), did not declare after his sophomore season, instead undergoing ankle surgery and returning for his third year.

“I have to visit with my high school coach and my family,” Vasquez said. “That’s my concern. I’m a junior, so why wouldn’t I do that just to see where I’m at? Just to see who is going to be my competition if I come back.”

Vasquez played on an NCAA tournament as a freshman, but Maryland regressed to the NIT last season. The Terps (18-12), who meet N.C. State on Thursday in the ACC tournament first round, could wind up in either postseason tournament pending this weekend’s results.

Maryland’s chances of earning an NCAA invitation next season would exponentially increase if Vasquez returned for his final year. Vasquez, however, remains hopeful a final go-round in College Park would include guard Lance Stephenson, a New York high school star who remains uncommitted.

“If I come back, my goals aren’t just going to be going to the tournament,” Vasquez said. “My goal is going to be winning a national championship. But in the meantime, we have to get Lance. With a big-time scorer like Lance, I can guarantee a lot of things.

Vasquez, though, was in no position to make many promises yesterday, especially with a vital closing stretch awaiting the Terps at the Georgia Dome.

“As of right now, that’s in the back of my head,” Vasquez said. “That’s kind of like my plans, but I’m more into this game and winning tomorrow.”

Patrick Stevens

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