For Terps, respect starts coming

Maryland moves up to No. 19 in AP poll

ACC honors Vasquez, J. Williams

March 08, 2010|By Jeff Barker |

Maryland moved up Monday to No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 -- the team's highest ranking this season -- and learned that senior guard Greivis Vasquez has become the first Terrapin in seven years to be named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team.

Maryland, riding a seven-game winning streak heading into this week's ACC tournament, also placed power forward Jordan Williams -- fourth in the ACC in rebounding at 8.3 per game -- on the conference All-Rookie Team.

A pair of bigger individual prizes looms Tuesday afternoon. The conference is expected to announce the ACC's Player of the Year, as well as Coach of the Year.

Vasquez is in the running for top player along with Duke senior guard Jon Scheyer and Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney (Towson Catholic). The competition is of keen interest to Maryland fans because of the nature of the rivalry with No. 4 Duke. Some Terps fans have taunted Scheyer -- occasionally chanting obscenities -- when Duke has visited Comcast Center the past few seasons.

Vasquez is averaging 19.6 points and 6.3 assists per game. Scheyer averages 18.9 points and 5.2 assists. In conference games only, Vasquez's numbers are 22.1 and 6.7, compared to Scheyer's 18.7 and 4.6.

Vasquez has said he embraces individual honors, but that his priority is for Maryland to win games and for the team to perform well in the postseason. The Terps will face the winner of the Georgia Tech-North Carolina game in the ACC tournament Friday in Greensboro, N.C.

"I want to make sure people understand," Vasquez said recently. He said he was seeking the "the spotlight of leading the team to victory, not the spotlight for me to score 50 points and be a hero."

Vasquez was All-ACC second team the past two seasons. The last Terp to make first team until Monday was point guard Steve Blake in 2002-03.

Maryland has not had a player of the year since Juan Dixon in 2001-02. Joe Smith won it before that in 1994-95.

Maryland coach Gary Williams last won ACC Coach of the Year in the national championship season of 2001-02. He helped Maryland improve from 7-9 in the conference last season to 13-3 this season -- the same ACC mark as Duke. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose Blue Devils went undefeated at home, is also certainly a Coach of the Year candidate.

Maryland did not practice Sunday or Monday after winning at Virginia on Saturday. The Terps, who resume practice Tuesday, were No. 22 in the AP poll last week. That was before an emotional win over Duke on Wednesday.

Asked about national rankings Monday, Gary Williams replied that such recognition was helpful, but not critical to the program's success.

"This is good, the attention that you get," Williams said. "But at the same time we kind of gear itself toward getting into this position.

"When you win a national championship, that doesn't go away quickly. People remember that. We've won games in the NCAA tournament two of the last three years, so we're recognized nationally."

First team

Greivis Vasquez, Maryland (159)
Jon Scheyer, Duke (159)
Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech (159)
Trevor Booker, Clemson (137)
Kyle Singler, Duke (134)

Second team

Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest (126)
Nolan Smith, Duke (104)
Sylven Landesberg, Virginia (95)
Tracy Smith, N.C. State (82)
Ishmael Smith, Wake Forest (76)

Third team

Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech (73)
Dorenzo Hudson, Virginia Tech (51)
Chris Singleton, Florida State (50)
Joe Trapani, Boston College (38)
Solomon Alabi, Florida State (30)

All-Rookie Team

Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech (52)
Jordan Williams, Maryland (51)
Durand Scott, Miami (44)
C.J. Harris, Wake Forest (41)
Michael Snaer, Florida State (35)

All-Defensive Team

Chris Singleton, Florida State (48)
Solomon Alabi, Florida State (39)
Trevor Booker, Clemson (21)
Lance Thomas, Duke (17)
L.D. Williams, Wake Forest (16)

AP Top 25
1. Kansas (63) 29-2
2. Kentucky (2) 29-2
3. Syracuse 28-3
4. Duke 26-5
5. Ohio St. 24-7
6. Purdue 26-4
7. West Virginia 24-6
8. New Mexico 28-3
9. Kansas St. 24-6
10. Villanova 24-6
11. Michigan St. 24-7
12. Butler 27-4
13. Wisconsin 23-7
14. BYU 28-4
15. Tennessee 23-7
16. Pittsburgh 24-7
17. Temple 26-5
18. Gonzaga 26-5
19. Maryland 23-7
20. Vanderbilt 23-7
21. Baylor 24-6
22. Georgetown 20-9
23. Texas A&M 22-8
24. Xavier 23-7
25. UTEP 24-5

Others receiving votes: N. Iowa 48, Richmond 41, Utah St. 12, Virginia Tech 12, Texas 10, Marquette 6, Notre Dame 6, Cornell 3, Louisville 3, California 2, Oklahoma St. 1, Siena 1.

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