November 7, 2007

Men's Basketball Preview: Point Guard

With the 2007-08 Terps men's basketball season tipping off on Sunday here's a position by position preview of the team starting up top at point guard where the Terps will have a two-headed monster to say the least.

Starter: Greivis Vasquez, So., 6-6, 190, Caracas, Venezuela (9.8 points per game, 3.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 steals, .444 FG%, .316 3FG%, .798 FT% in 34 games/22 starts)

Top Reserve: Eric Hayes, 6-4, 184, Dumfries, Va. (4.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.9 apg, 0.7 spg, .420 FG%, .393 3FG%, .912 FT% in 34 games/11 starts)

Also: Adrian Bowie, Fr. 6-2, 190, Greenbelt, Md. (14.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.8 apg, 2.3 spg at Montrose Christian Academy)

Lost: None

First, Vasquez and Hayes will likely both start, barring injury. And they will be as interchangeable as point guard and shooting guard as any tandem in the country. Their contrasting styles are both strengths for the Terrapins and each has grown an inch since the beginning of last year, making them bigger and better defensively, too.

Vasquez is too good and too dangerous with the ball in his hands to completely turn the point guard role over to Hayes, who is more of a classic pass-first-ask-questions-later quarterback. Vasquez has never met a shot he didn't like or an opponent he didn't want to challenge off the dribble, and Maryland fans love him for it. Gary Williams said he is even more confident as a sophomore, which may be scary as he brimmed with it as a rookie last year.

Vasquez' fearless and showy play seems to feed his teammates, too, often in the toughest of circumstances. His 17 points off the bench helped snap Illinois' 51-game home non-conference winning streak and were a foreshadowing of things to come.

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