- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Maryland’s basketball team might have to wait a few extra days to get Greivis Vasquez his first collegiate game experience.

The freshman sprained an ankle Monday, and coach Gary Williams described him as “questionable” for tonight’s exhibition opener against Division II California (Pa.).

Williams wants Vasquez to play in the team’s exhibition Saturday, so Vasquez could sit to rest the injury.

If the combo guard doesn’t play, Williams said his probable starting lineup would be freshman Eric Hayes at the point, seniors Mike Jones and D.J. Strawberry on the wing and junior James Gist and senior Ekene Ibekwe in the post.

However, Williams cautioned tonight’s starters might not be the same group on the floor when the Terps (19-13 last season) begin the regular season Tuesday against Hampton.

“By now you have an idea, but you’re still looking at some things,” Williams said. “The big thing you’re trying to do is get a rotation of eight players where it really doesn’t matter who’s on the court, you feel comfortable with whoever’s out there.”

Williams will have opportunities to tinker with the lineup throughout the game and could deploy some situational combinations.

Since the Vulcans’ roster includes no players listed taller than 6-foot-6, the Terps also could utilize a four-guard set Williams has hinted at since practice began.

“You want to stay as open as possible at this time of year,” Williams said. “It is just November. Even though you have some games coming up, you can’t close yourself off to anything.”

Nor can the players, who have had less than three weeks to prepare for their first on-court experience since a loss to Manhattan in the NIT in March. With so little time — and less than a week before the opener — the Terps simply want to find out what needs the most improvement heading into the season.

“We haven’t put all our plays in,” senior center Will Bowers said. “It’s more an opportunity to see where you’re at. You don’t know before you go into it what you need to work on, but you’ll know after the game.”

Notes — Williams said freshman forward Jerome Burney (fractured foot) is still two weeks from returning. …

Senior guard Parrish Brown (sprained ankle) returned to practice Monday after missing a week.

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