Vasquez Giveth... Vasquez Taketh Away... and so on...

1/13/2010 7:46:04 AM Well, it's been about 12 hours and I still have that all too familiar feeling Terp fans. You know the one. It's that feeling I had last year when we lost to Florida State. This one will come back to haunt us. I will be the first to say that I was proud of the effort and toughness the team showed. They did not play smart, but they played hard. However, if that's truly what we have to say game after game, then something is wrong. This team for the past few years has been just good enough to lose in big games. Yes, we've won some big ones, but when games get tight in the end, the successes has been few.

All the talk, and rightfully so, has been around GV. And it should be. He is our best player. And, as we've said many times, he can be our worst enemy as well.

I admire a player who wants to be the hero. I admire a player who wants to be the one to put the team on his back and lead them to victory. I truly belive this is not a selfish trait of Vasquez. He cares about his teammates a great deal. This is just his mentality. He wants to be the guy. That's fine. But the guy has to realize that this is not the NBA. This is not a league where the refs will bail you out with call after call when you drive into the lane late in games. That's not going to happen. It's been 4 years and you would have thought he would have learned by now. Unfortunately, he is a very stubborn player, and it's going to be something we are going to have to live with for the rest of his career as a Terp. He will go down in history, at least stat-wise, as one of the best to have played in College Park, but for him to have a legacy, he needs to get it done in the final 14 games of the ACC schedule.

Now that I've admired Vaz, here is my biggest criticism. If the media accounts are accurate (and I know they aren't always!), GV was joking around after the game and couldn't say enough how close they were to winning and that Wake was 'lucky'.

This should be more unacceptable as some of those shot selections. Come on Vaz. This is not what Terp fans want to hear. This is not what your teammates need to hear. I mean, even the Washington Post's headline was "Terps waste big night from Vasquez". Did those Post guys even watch the game??? If Vasquez is satisfied with how the team played, then we are in big trouble and will be spending another Selection Sunday watching ESPNU reveal the NIT brackets.

Most of us were worn out and pissed off afterwards. That's what I want to hear from our best player. Losing in overtime is not acceptable. This was a game they should have won and I want to hear that. I want to hear how they were close, but close doesn't mean a thing. This is a team trying to make some noise and wins should be all that matters.

Now before all the Gary haters chime in about how the coach should be setting that tone, I disagree. Gary has always been about everyone being against the Terps and Gary was the one building their confidence. With young players, that's important. That's Gary's job.. to be tough, yet supportive. It's up to the senior leaders to take it upon themselves to get the team playing with intensity and with a never-lose attitude. When the rest of the team sees the best player shrugging off a loss, that's not good.

Now that I have all that off my chest, I did see some good competitiveness in that game and like I said in an earlier comment, if they play this hard on Saturday, they should win by 10. Not a whole lot has to change for this team to get to that 10 win plateau in the league, but it starts with being smarter. That has to come from the best player first. I just hope it's not too late.
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