I hate the Christmas lull -- the time during which the Terp basketball team rarely plays anyone of significance (although EKU gave us a world of problems last night). And this year's month-long respite is an especially bitter pill to swallow, as Maryland is 0-for-3 against NCAA Tournament-caliber teams thus far. The Terps probably need to win nine conference games to ensure an NCAA bid, a feat they have accomplished only once in the past six seasons. Fortunately, nine wins seems manageable for this team, especially considering how weak the ACC is this year. Here is the first installment of my first quarter grades for our 11-deep rotation.
Greivis Vasquez (C-): That grade might be generous, considering his 34.6% field goal percentage. But he does enough on the floor (4.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists) to save him -- barely -- from being considered a complete liability. It's kind of a tricky problem to deal with, because Vasquez needs to get his shots in order to regain his shooting touch. But that kind of "let me get into the action" mentality has at times fractured the team's chemistry, most notably against Villanova when he missed two consecutive shots to quell a 13-0 rally. The silver lining is that this drought is happening now instead of during conference/tournament play. No one can benefit more from the otherwise stale December schedule than "The Matador". His 20-point performance against EKU is an encouraging sign.