- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2009

Greivis Vasquez will remain at Maryland for his senior year, opting to pull his name from the NBA Draft hours before the withdrawal deadline.

The decision is a boon to the Terrapins, who will now return seven of their top eight scorers from a team that reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last season.

Vasquez drew the process out almost as long as possible. Underclassmen who did not sign with an agent had until 5 p.m. on Monday to decide whether to stay in the draft or return to school.

Throughout the process, Vasquez re-iterated his desire to improve and gauge his strengths and weaknesses. He made little secret of his desire to play in the NBA, emphatically declaring after a workout at Verizon Center last month he would rather return to school than pursue a career in Europe.

Vasquez crisscrossed the country in the last month, participating in several workouts before pulling out of Sunday’s scheduled session in Philadelphia with a tweaked ankle. And while pro scouts lauded his competitiveness, it was also clear Vasquez was facing a steep climb in a deep point guard draft.

Ultimately, that led him back to Maryland, where he averaged 17.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists last season. Vasquez was the Terrapins’ top scorer the last two years and has led the team in assists in each of his three seasons.

Vasquez’s decision elevates the Terps’ ceiling next season. With Boston College (Tyrese Rice), Clemson (K.C. Rivers and Terrence Oglesby), Duke (Gerald Henderson), Florida State (Toney Douglas), North Carolina (Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson) and Wake Forest (Jeff Teague) all losing vital elements of their backcourts, Vasquez figures to be one the top - if not the best - guard in the ACC.

With Vasquez in place, Maryland could warrant preseason top-25 consideration and would have to be favored to reach consecutive NCAA tournaments for the first time since 1994-2004.

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