Maryland coach Gary Williams is accustomed to players considering an early departure to the NBA. He’s dealt with a half-dozen who left (notably Joe Smith, Steve Francis and Chris Wilcox) and just as many who did not.
So in terms of the process, he knows how things unfold.
And while he is no doubt pleased just to have Greivis Vasquez back for his senior season, he also said today he was impressed with the senior-to-be guard’s approach to things.
“I think Greivis went in with his head on straight. …,” Williams said. “He can be a top-20 player for sure if he has a good year and we have a good year. It was important that if he could get that guarantee this year, it would change that situation. What I would tell Greivis is he’s put himself in a position where he goes into next year with people knowing who he is. He’s in a much better situation that he was last year.”
Both Williams and Stu Vetter, Vasquez’s high school coach at Montrose Christian, advised Vasquez throughout the last two months. And as it turned out, Vasquez couldn’t be sure he would go quite as high as he wanted.
Some of that calls into question the value of workouts with pro teams, many of whom already have a pretty good idea of what a player can provide based on interviews and existing film well before they get an up-close look.
“I think they have a mindset of who they want before any individual workouts, and it’s hard to change that mindset,” Williams said. “I think it’s a great situation because he’s established what his game is. People at the next level know his style. Greivis is one of the great 5-on-5 players. The way he passes and the way he sees the court certainly is something valuable. He has another chance to show that next year.”
—- Patrick Stevens