Terps' Vasquez returning for senior year
Maryland junior point guard Greivis Vasquez is returning for his senior season.
Coach Gary Williams weathered a storm of discontent early last season after the Terrapins were blown out by rivals Georgetown and Duke by beating top-ranked North Carolina in overtime at home, reaching the NCAA tournament and then winning a first-round game behind Vasquez.
The good vibe off Vasquez's and the Terps' late-season performances will continue after the Venezuelan native broke the news to Williams on Monday.
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Vasquez was having solid predraft workouts and was considered a possible first-round pick in the June 25 draft. But his inability to get a guarantee and the dearth of players at his position forced him to decide to go back to school.
Williams said he is convinced Vasquez can be a top 20 draft pick in 2010.
"He makes us pretty good,'' Williams said Monday afternoon, a few hours before the 5 p.m. ET deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft. "He's a competitive guy and when he was playing well against other point guards in workouts it was hard to see them projected ahead of him in the draft."
Vasquez averaged a team-high 17.5 points and five assists. The Terps, who finished 7-9 in the ACC, beat Cal in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Kansas City and then lost to Memphis in the second round to finish 21-14. The Terps will return eight of their top nine scorers.
Maryland will be one of the featured teams in the Maui Invitational with Gonzaga in November, plays Villanova in the Verizon Center and travels to Indiana in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in its marquee nonconference games.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.