All right, there are times when a thing becomes so idiotic, that a sane, categorical response is necessary. And this is just one of those times. As most of you know, Greivis Vasquez (at the time of this post) will most likely beat out Joe Smith in the Testudo Times basketball poll for Gary Williams era best Terps. Since I find this result to be quite offensive, I am going to post my opinion as to the players who are better than Vasquez.
First, I want to make it clear that I think Vasquez was a very good player. Not great, but very good. So, no slight is intended toward him other than placing him a proper perspective among Terps.
As well, I think the result of the above polling shows something much deeper. Namely, the ignorance of young Terp fans as to the spectacular tradition the University of Maryland has, and the absolutely great players who have played for Maryland. This is in large measure due to the poverty of excellence we have had to suffer under since the 2002 season. In other words, in the last nine years, Maryland basketball has been mediocre, and as such, an entire generation of Terp fans doesn't have a clue what excellence is. Well, I am now going to point out some of that excellence here:
Lefty era players better than Vasquez:
(in no particular order)
Len Bias (Senior season, 23.2 points a game)(Consensus All American, First Team)(2nd pick in the NBA draft)
John Lucas (Career, 4 year avg, 18.3 pts a game)(2 time Consensus, First Team, All American)(1st pick in the NBA draft)
Tom McMillen (Career, 3 year avg, 20.5 pts, 9.8 rbs a game)(Consensus, All American)(9th overall pick in NBA draft)
Len Elmore (Career, 3 year avg, 12.2 rbs a game)(Consensus, All American)(8th overall pick in NBA draft)
Albert King (Career, 4 year avg, 17.4 pts a game)(Consensus, All American)
Buck Williams (Career, 3 year avg, 11.7 rbs a game)(3rd overall pick in NBA draft)
There are a few others that I might consider putting in here, but I'll limit it to the above.
Gary era players better than Vasquez:
(in no particular order)
Juan Dixon (Career, 4 year avg, 16.1 pts a game)(Consensus All American)
Joe FREAKING Smith (Career, 2 year avg, 20.1 pts and 10.7 rbs a game)(National Frehsman of the Year)(National Player of the Year)(Consensus All American)(number 1 pick in the NBA draft)
Keith Booth (Career, 4 year avg, 14.1 pts a game)(AP All American, 3rd team)
Walt Williams (Career, 4 year avg, 16.2 pts a game)(26.8 pts a game his senior season)(AP All American, 2nd team)
Heck, I might even put Jordan Williams in here, but for now, I'll leave it at the above.
Greives Vasquez: (Career, 4 year avg, 16 pts a game)(Consensus All American, 2nd team)
I might also point out that the above Terps played during eras when most of the best players didn't leave after their Freshman or Sophomore seasons. So, most of them competed their entire four years, against the best competiton the entire four years. In Greives case, he stayed four years, and competed against mostly players who stayed as well or better players who were underclassmen. In other words, better players left early, making four year players seem better than they actually were. Not to mention the ACC being in a down period.
My main point here is that not only is Joe Smith superior (in nearly every way) to Greives Vasquez as a player, but many other Terp players from the past are as well.
Sorry, I just had to post this as anyone who thinks Vasquez is a better Terp than Joe Smith, is in some serious need of an education in Maryland Terrapine basketball history. Think of this as a beginning to that education. More is needed. You can thank me later.
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