Well the idea to profile a possible second round selection seemed a bit more practical a few weeks ago. That is until Ed Stef thought it better to give the Sixers' selection to Milwaukee and acquire Jodie Meeks in the process. Although the Sixers don't currently have a second round pick, you never know if one may be acquired in the near future (I'm leaning towards not though) or if an intriguing player comes along as an undrafted free agent.
I came to the University of Maryland four years ago in anticipation of seeing some high level college basketball. Upon arrival, I kept hearing about this new 4 star recruit who played with Kevin Durant at Montrose Christian Academy and could have gone to Georgia Tech to debut along side of 5 star recruit Thaddeus Young. Little did I know that this player would shape how I envision Maryland basketball for the rest of my life (maybe with the exception of Juan Dixon). Ladies and gentlemen (and Ricko), meet General Greivis Vasquez.
More on the Venezuelan Sensation after the jump.
nbadraft.net -- #29 (only three behind Jordan's boy
Sam Dalembert Solomon Alabi - three in front of Willie Warren... D'oh!)
DraftExpress -- Undrafted
Many basketball fans know Greivis (pronounced Gray-vis, not Gree-vis) for his ability to talk; claiming Cameron Indoor was "his house", saying the Calipari Memphis teams would "barely be .500 in the ACC", his constant jarring with the opposition's student section, the shimmy, and his superb sweat mopping skills (who is that moron with the headband at the 11 second mark?). As of this season, more viewers are noticing him for his actual skills, including nbadraft.net who had Greivis as the last pick in the draft at the start of the year and now as a late first round pick.
Vasquez's best tangible ability on the court that could follow him to the NBA is probably his passing and court vision. On fast breaks he regularly hits teammates in stride to the basket, all while deceiving the defender that he would pass elsewhere. With this passing ability, however, Greivis tends to try to fit passes into very tight spaces that have no shot at getting to his target.
Not only can Greivis pass but he can score with the best of the nation's players. He is tied with Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney in PPG in the ACC with 22.14 (on Saturday, Greivis dropped 41 on Delaney's Hokies in a double OT win). The three point ability in college has been very consistent in conference play and is at 38% for the entire season. The question remains whether he has NBA range or not. With practice and consistent effort (ahem Marreese) to better that aspect, he should be able to achieve that type of range.
The scoring ability comes in big games as well. Anybody remember his 35 points, 11 boards, and 10 assists against soon to be national champions North Carolina last year?
Vasquez has tremendous size for his position (came in at 6'4.75" without shoes at last summer's combine) that allows him to grab rebounds at a rate most point guards could only dream of. With his rebounding ability, he is one of the most well-rounded statistics players in the NCAA. Just this past week Vasquez became the only, yes only, player in ACC history to record 2,000 points, 700 assists, and 600 rebounds.
Despite all of these positives, Vasquez has many question marks about his game and how he can overcome them to be a consistent NBA player. First off, he will not drive by anybody - zero, zilch, nada, not happenin. His ability to score on drives in college is heavily based on floaters he takes on the side of the basket with his man still on him. He also can't defend a soul on the perimeter. He is just too slow side to side to be able to keep up with the quicker guards that are everywhere in the League. He needs to develop some type of post up game, ala Andre Miller, to be an effective player at the higher level.
Well I can talk all day about Greivis. He is very near and dear to my heart and I wish him the best of the luck after he leaves Maryland. I think, if he does ever make it in the NBA, he could be an effective back-up PG who may not blow by you, but can take advantage of the size differential on the offensive end. Adios (that means goodbye in Spanish for those who are clueless).
PS, if you want to watch Greivis he and the Terps will be on ESPN Wednesday night at 9:00 PM EST (that's 6 for you Jordan and John) against everyone's least favorite team Duke.