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Vasquez: Memphis would have 'losing record' in ACC


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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Maryland's NCAA tournament run became the Greivis Vasquez reality show today.

The excitable junior guard is expected to be the focus of the Memphis defense tomorrow when the Tigers (32-3), who have won 26 games in a row, play the Terrapins (21-13) in a second-round NCAA tournament game. Memphis coach John Calipari today called the 6-foot-6 Vasquez "crafty" and "multidimensional" and named four different Tigers -- including 6-9 forward Robert Dozier -- who might guard him.

But the attention the Tigers devote to Vasquez will pale compared to the interest he drew from the media following Maryland's closed practice at the Sprint Center. As he navigated the Sprint Center corridors, Vasquez seemed perpetually surrounded by a thicket of cameras and microphones recording his thoughts on such topics as his histrionics on the court and interaction with fans, his early days in Venezuela and the Tigers and Conference USA.

Just as he is Maryland's point man on the court, Vasquez has become known in the media as a "go-to-guy" to turn to for an entertaining quote.Among the questions he was asked today was whether Maryland's basketball program ever tries to rein in his more outrageous comments.

"Never," Vasquez replied.

And then he proved it by seeming to slight Conference USA, the Texas-based league that includes Memphis, Tulsa, UAB and nine other schools.

Asked about Memphis, Vasquez said during a question-and-answer session: "Their conference is pretty much questionable. They don't have tough games. But I still believe they're good."

He later qualified his remarks, saying, "I didn't mean to disrespect their conference. We have tough games night in, night out" in the Atlantic Coast Conference. "Every game we play in the ACC is tough."

But about 20 minutes later, Vasquez -- interviewed this time in the Maryland locker room -- was back on the subject.

"They'd have a losing record in the league -- probably win all of their games outside the league, losing record in the league," he said. "The ACC is too tough. You can't just win games night in and night out because you're so athletic."

Senior forward Dave Neal offered a tamer version of the theme.

"When you're sitting around TV watching Memphis win 25 games in a row, you're thinking, 'Well, do they play as tough teams as we do?' Not to knock Conference USA but the ACC is the No. 1 rated conference in the country and we play against better competition," Neal said. "We're going to be ready tomorrow to show them what ACC basketball is all about."

Memphis dominated Conference USA this season, finishing 16-0 and winning the league tournament for the fourth straight season. The Tigers have grown accustomed to hearing their conference criticized.

Conference USA is 10th nationally in the Ratings Percentage Index, a formula that ranks teams and leagues. The ACC is first.

"We don't worry about what people say about our conference," Memphis guard Antonio Anderson said. "We played in the national championship last year and the Elite Eight the year before. We know what we're capable of as a team. We don't pay that any mind."

Apprised of Vasquez's comments, Calipari texted back a message today to a Memphis Commercial Appeal reporter. "That's fine," the message said.

Vasquez scored 27 points in Maryland's first-round victory over California and has been playing confidently. His midseason shooting slump -- he scored in single digits at Florida State and Duke -- seems long ago.

The Tigers pose a challenge to Vasquez because of their size. No Memphis starter is smaller than 6-5.

Said Vasquez: "They can be 6-8, 240 and be a point guard. We're still here to compete."

Senior guard Antonio Anderson, listed at 6-6, was among the Tigers named by Calipari as likely to match up at some point against Vasquez.

Anderson "is one of the best defenders in the country," said teammate Doneal Mack, a 6-5 guard. "He's going to make it tough on Vasquez."

Asked what he knew about Anderson, Vasquez replied: "I don't know much. He's a driver. I'm horrible with names. If I see his face, I will tell you."

Memphis players didn't seem to know much about Maryland players either. Except Vasquez.

"He's just being himself out there," Anderson said of the Maryland star. "He's not trying to be anybody else. That's how we look at it."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/college...0,1142085.story

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Does Vasquez ever shut the **** up? First off his team isn't that great to be talking **** all the time, and he's good but he's not great.

Memphis is more talented than Maryland, to say they would have a losing record in the ACC is ridiculous. Of course they wouldn't go undefeated but I bet they would have a winning record.

I hope they run all over Maryland.

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Does Vasquez ever shut the **** up? First off his team isn't that great to be talking **** all the time, and he's good but he's not great.

Memphis is more talented than Maryland, to say they would have a losing record in the ACC is ridiculous. Of course they wouldn't go undefeated but I bet they would have a winning record.

I hope they run all over Maryland.

He'll have the chance to back it up in about 30. Memphis better come out a lot harder than they did Thursday.

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Vasquez has a history of running his mouth. Earlier this year he called Cameron Indoor his house and Maryland went in a few days later and got thumped in Cameron 85-44

That was all over ESPN when he called Cameron Indoor his house, he was on the bench a lot because he was in foul trouble I believe.

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Does Vasquez ever shut the **** up? First off his team isn't that great to be talking **** all the time, and he's good but he's not great.

Memphis is more talented than Maryland, to say they would have a losing record in the ACC is ridiculous. Of course they wouldn't go undefeated but I bet they would have a winning record.

I hope they run all over Maryland.

seriously... i mean it was kind of entertaining for a while but now its just stupid. he lost a lot of credibility after he got stomped on in "his house" by duke. and i have memphis winning so i hope they do too. :lol:

i wonder if vasquez got his confidence from the acc's great showing in the 1st round..

oh boy sac... are you serious? :lol:

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I see everyone jumped on Vasquez but no one bothered to actually discuss what he said?

Memphis has power conference level basketball talent and yet they choose to play in a soft conference. Of course they're going to win 30 games a year because they really don't play anyone. Your big conference games of the year are UAB and Houston? Look at their record this year, lost to Georgetown and Syracuse, barely beat Tennessee in a down SEC...those are games you get every night in a power conference not the few serious games on an otherwise soft schedule. Give me a break. Losing record if they played in the ACC, maybe. 33-3 if they played in a powerhouse conference? Highly unlikely.

Their conference schedule's SOS ranks in at a 252nd and their overall SOS is 59th... for comparison's sake Duke's conference SOS is 130th and overall SOS is 1st. Memphis DOES play a weak schedule and a lot of it can be blamed on that joke of a conference.

Memphis really does need to man up and come play with the big boys.

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I see everyone jumped on Vasquez but no one bothered to actually discuss what he said?

Memphis has power conference level basketball talent and yet they choose to play in a soft conference. Of course they're going to win 30 games a year because they really don't play anyone. Your big conference games of the year are UAB and Houston? Look at their record this year, lost to Georgetown and Syracuse, barely beat Tennessee in a down SEC...those are games you get every night in a power conference not the few serious games on an otherwise soft schedule. Give me a break. Losing record if they played in the ACC, maybe. 33-3 if they played in a powerhouse conference? Highly unlikely.

Their conference schedule's SOS ranks in at a 252nd and their overall SOS is 59th... for comparison's sake Duke's conference SOS is 130th and overall SOS is 1st. Memphis DOES play a weak schedule and a lot of it can be blamed on that joke of a conference.

Memphis really does need to man up and come play with the big boys.

I discussed it and I said they still would have a winning record in the ACC but would not be as dominate.

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I see everyone jumped on Vasquez but no one bothered to actually discuss what he said?

Memphis has power conference level basketball talent and yet they choose to play in a soft conference. Of course they're going to win 30 games a year because they really don't play anyone. Your big conference games of the year are UAB and Houston? Look at their record this year, lost to Georgetown and Syracuse, barely beat Tennessee in a down SEC...those are games you get every night in a power conference not the few serious games on an otherwise soft schedule. Give me a break. Losing record if they played in the ACC, maybe. 33-3 if they played in a powerhouse conference? Highly unlikely.

Their conference schedule's SOS ranks in at a 252nd and their overall SOS is 59th... for comparison's sake Duke's conference SOS is 130th and overall SOS is 1st. Memphis DOES play a weak schedule and a lot of it can be blamed on that joke of a conference.

Memphis really does need to man up and come play with the big boys.

You can't just up and quit your conference without paying a lot of money to the rest of the teams in that conference.

That being said, I'd love to see Memphis in the SEC. Football and basketball. Maybe we could get rid of Vandy.

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