Thursday, November 10, 2005

Vasquez a Terp, Hayes & Burney Sign

Montrose Christian senior guard Greivis Vasquez committed to Maryland yesterday. Vasquez had narrowed his choices to Maryland and Virginia Tech, so it's not surprising he chose the Terps. The versatile 6-5 swingman can play point guard, shooting guard and small forward. He is considered a typical "international" style player: he won't impress anyone with his athletic ability but he has good ball handling skills, decent shooting range, and a high "basketball IQ".

Vasquez impressed Gary Williams when he went to scout teammate Uche Echefu who ended up signing with FSU in the spring. Williams extended an offer shortly after scouting him and ahead of some more highly regarded recruits. This was a kid that Gary wanted badly. On the radio Saturday he sounded almost giddy at the impending signing of Vasquez and called him a "major" recruit. I'll take Williams' talent evaluation over just about anyone else and if Gary thinks he's going to be an excellent player that is something to get excited about. Williams saw that kind of potential in guys like Juan Dixon, whom he told ESPN analyst Jay Bilas would be another Johnny Dawkins when he was a scrawny redshirt freshman, who were questioned as legitimate ACC caliber players.

Vasquez is expected to sign a letter of intent today along with Oak Hill forward Landon Milbourne. Other 2006 recruits include Eric Hayes and Milbourne's former Georgia high school teammate C Jerome Burney. Both Burney and Hayes signed LOI yesterday to play for Maryland. This gives the Terps a very solid 2006 class. Three of the players are considered top 100 caliber (Hayes, Milbourne and Vasquez) and Burney is a talented and hard working big man who could blossom under Gary's tutelage. Other big men before him like Lonny Baxter, Ryan Randle, Jamar Smith, Chris Wilcox, and Obinna Ekezie have developed in solid starters, and you may be able to add James Gist to that list after this season. Burney will develop into a very solid player, if nothing else, and will rebound and play defense. Milbourne is developing a perimeter game to go along with his explosive athleticism and could grow into a Terrence Morris type player. If he can handle himself he will get the chance for a bunch of minutes at small forward in 2006. Eric Hayes plays for his father at Potomac high in Virginia and has the understanding of the game you would expect being a coach's son. He also completely loves Maryland, as he said yesterday, "I am exited about being part of the Maryland tradition, I really like the coaching staff and look forward to playing in front of a great fan base at Maryland.". It's going to be a two way love affair between Terp fans and Hayes.

As it stands the 2006 squad will be:

G/F DJ Strawberry, G Parrish Brown, G Mike Jones, PF Ekene Ibekwe, C Will Bowers

PF James Gist

F David Neal

PG Eric Hayes, G/F Greivis Vasquez, SF Landon Milbourne, PF Jerome Burney

That is a nice mix of offense, defense and experience. A tad thin in the frontcourt but Maryland may sign another Juco big man in the spring to plug that hole.

PG Eric Hayes 6-3 Potomac HS, VA

SF Landon Milbourne 6-7 Oak Hill Academy, VA also played in Georgia

PF/C Jerome Burney 6-8 Westlake HS, GA

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