The University of Maryland men's basketball team was honored Thursday night at the annual honors banquet, held on the arena floor at Comcast Center. More than 300 family members, boosters and Terrapin supporters attended the event, which featured presentation of awards and a highlight video.
Junior Greivis Vasquez and senior Dave Neal shared the Ameritel Most Valuable Player honors, given by head coach Gary Williams. Vasquez was a second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection for the second straight year. Neal was the lone senior on the team and was an inspirational leader throughout the season, which finished with the Terps earning an NCAA Tournament invitation and a 21-14 overall record.
A lot of people really liked Dave Neal. I know I did. All the lovable YMCA comparisons, the "church league" style, the trucking of Nolan Smith. He provided team leadership and was the lone senior, which I respect. He completely overachieved and was a key part of the team. But he wasn't close to being MVP worthy.
That honor should go to Greivis Vasquez and Greivis Vasquez alone. No one else should really even be considered. He carried the team through stretches of the season. He had one of the greatest performances in Terp history against UNC. He said some stupid stuff, but he was the team leader and by far the best player on it. I understand giving the "co" to DN (the lone senior and all), but I wouldn't have done it.
Unfortunately, I think Greivis would've taken home most of the awards they gave out if everything was done honestly. He received the Most Assists award along with the MVP, and he probably should've gotten the most outstanding FT shooter award (Hayes received it). Landon Milbourne received the best rebounder award, but he was second on the team in rebounds. Vaz, unsurprisingly, was number one. The only ones that wouldn't have gone to him were academic (David Pearman) and most improved (Dino Gregory). I definitely agree on Dino's award; he really blossomed in ACC play.
As for GV and the NBA, he's going to pre-draft camps but hasn't signed an agent, so he can come back if he so chooses. I believe the deadline to withdraw is June 15, exactly 10 days before the draft. I think the scouts will tell him to head back to school for a year and work on his shot, but that's just me. Something tells me scouts might have trouble accepting him - they might see him as a bit of a tweener, because he doesn't have the quickness usually associated with point guards, even though he's a PG at heart. In the end, none of this may matter - there are medical problems in his family and he may go pro regardless of what scouts tell him. We'll find out soon enough.