Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jeremy Pargo: First Round or Bust

As Gonzaga fans continue to hold their collective breaths, Jeremy Pargo took the floor with the elite of college basketball in the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp. The camp ran from May 27-30 at the World Wide of Sports in Orlando, FL. One of the most intriguing players in the camp is Pargo because he is still a player with a big decision to make: go test the NBA or return to Gonzaga for his senior campaign. As the camp wound down yesterday, Pargo's camp could best be described as flashy but inconsistent.

The first two days were a struggle for Pargo. He scored sparingly and many reports questioned his decision making as well as his court vision. What Gonzaga fans have come to love about watching Jeremy Pargo is his commitment to drive the lane and make plays, however in the NBA, Jeremy has to be able to learn to not just see straight ahead; he's got to look for passing options as well. Days 3 and 4 were much better overall for Jeremy. He had 31 points and 9 assists combined in the last two days, including a game high 20 points in the final day when it seemed that every other player was exhausted. He was also able to grab 6 rebounds in Day 3.

His ability to drive to the rim stood out as did his overall strength. He is able to run the ball up the court very well, and in today's NBA that is a very sought after talent. People are moving away from the Andre Miller slow-paced guards and looking more to the higher scoring running types of offenses.

The draft camp has been a microcosm of Jeremy's first 3 years at Gonzaga. Most games he is scoring 11-20 points and filling up the stat sheet with assists and boards, but he still shows the inconsistency at times which may need another year of college ball. His turnovers are his main concern to go along with his streaky shooting. He had 11 combined turnovers in the last two days.

It seems that the consensus from many sources is that Jeremy is a sure fire draft pick if he stays at Gonzaga for one more year. Looking at next years mock draft, Jeremy could be one of the top guards taken. Ricky Rubio, a PG from Spain, will be the best guard next year but beyond that the playing field is pretty even. He would have to battle with a bunch of freshman, including Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings but who knows how there freshman years will turn out; Jeremy is already a very established player.

It seems though that Jeremy in his mind is ready for something new. He has made it clear that he believes that he is NBA-ready and that he will do whatever it takes to be in the draft this season. He has made it clear that he is only willing to go to the draft is he is promised to be in the first round and he will be traveling the nation looking to work out for teams so that he can achieve his first round aspirations. Pargo will be more than likely visiting Boston, Toronto, New Jersey, Washington, Portland, Seattle, Cleveland, Memphis, and New Orleans.

With the draft less than a month away, Pargo will have a very interesting decision to make. No one can fault him for leaving Gonzaga if he is guaranteed a first round selection. The difference between the 30th pick and the 31st pick is extreme. He fits decently well with a couple of the teams he will be visiting, including Memphis and Seattle and maybe even Cleveland and Washington. However, I can't help but hope Jeremy stays a year, wins an NCAA championship and gets drafted in the first round by the (true point guard-lacking) L.A. Lakers. That would be ideal. We wish Jeremy the best of luck, we'll continue holding our breath now.

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