Top Terp Tournament: #3 Greivis Vasquez vs. #14 Tony Massenburg

Welcome to the #3 vs. #14 match up in the Testudo Times Top Terp Tournament of the Gary Williams era. Today we look at two former Terps that were both very good players but as has been the case in some of these early round, this will likely be another blow-out by the higher seed. After today's match up, we have two more first round match ups to get to before starting the 2nd round of our tournament, when the voting will likely become much tighter.

Our #14 seed is a player that many people, myself included, might not know much about unless you can remember back to the players Gary coached during his first season at Maryland; his name is Tony Massenburg. Tony only played one season under Gary Williams (he also played under Lefty and Bob Wade), so while he was great that season, he drew a poor match up against one of the best 4 year players to wear a Maryland uniform, General Greivis Vasquez.

The #14 seed - #25, Tony Massenburg, F/C, 1986-1990

When you think of Maryland players who have averaged a double-double over the course of a season during the Gary Williams era, the list is shockingly short; Joe Smith, Jordan Williams and Tony Massenburg. During his senior season, which was Gary's first as head coach at Maryland, Massenburg averaged 17.8 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. That's a pretty solid accomplishment and it's why Massenburg was able to crack this list, despite only playing for Gary for one season. The choice to include Tony on this list was a hard one, especially considering who had to be left off so he could make the cute, including players such as Byron Mouton. But if you're doing your due diligence in looking at players of the Gary era, Massenburg was one of the best. His 17.8 points per game in a season ranks as the 4th best season scoring average during the Gary Williams era and his 10.1 rebounds per game his senior year is a top 5 rebounding performances as well. 

I couldn't find many videos of Massenburg, but I was able to find this highlight reel of him playing in Europe. He had a good NBA and Europe career and was very much a journeyman throughout his career. Here are some highlights:

Barcelona - Tony Massenburg mates Mix (via FIBAStars)

 

The #3 Seed, #21, Greivis Vasquez, G, 2006-2010

The General. Maryland's #2 all-time leading scorer, trailing just the great Juan Dixon, Vasquez also holds the distinction of being the only player in ACC basketball history with 2,000+ points, 750+ assists, and 600+ rebounds. He's #2 on Maryland's all-time assists list, dishing out 772 of them in his 4-year career. In his time at Maryland, he helped lead the Terps to three NCAA Tournament appearances, as well as a split of the 2009-2010 ACC regular season title. Vasquez wore his emotions on his sleeve and probably personified the Gary Williams approach and dedication to Maryland basketball better than anyone who played for Gary, except maybe Dixon. Vasquez would go to war for his coach and often times found himself defending him during his time at Maryland.

While Greivis finished his career at Maryland extremely beloved, his relationship with the fans wasn't also a good one. Early on in his career, many didn't like Vasquez's antics, thinking that he was trying to showboat more than play basketball. Most fans simply hadn't realized that what they were seeing was simply Vasquez being Vasquez. He'd put up a shot and you'd find yourself asking "What is he doing?" until it somehow fell in. I think it took some time for people to realize that in order for Greivis to be most effective, he might turn the ball over, but he'd turn around and make two spectacular plays after by continuing to play that way. He had a constant motor on the court and would give it his all to win a game. The perfect example of that was during the 2008-2009 season, when critics of Gary Williams and of the Maryland program were growing louder and louder as Maryland sat squarely on the bubble in February.  Maryland was facing #3 North Carolina at home. Vasquez did what no Maryland player had done in 22 year - recorded the school's first triple-double as Maryland defeated the Tar Heels 88-85 in OT. 

His senior year was fantastic as Vasquez was named the ACC player of the year, finishing the season averaging 19.6 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and 6.3 assists per game. There is much more I can write about Greivis, but we'll save that for his next match up, assuming he wins this one.

Here is a nice little highlight video of Grevis during his time at Maryland:

Greivis Vasquez dances through the ACC (via oralterpitude)

So who you got? Who moves onto the next round?

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